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Support for new primary computing leaders

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Image of a CPD course with a teacher and participant interacting.

“Ah yes, you’d be perfect to lead computing, remember that time you got the sound and projector working in the school hall?” – does this sound familiar? Jokes aside, many computing subject leaders did not volunteer for the role, but got selected because of their skill, or age (assumed that younger people ‘just get’ technology), or because they were an ECT and therefore fresh out of training. What is your story? Is it similar to this? A high number of leaders, as shown in our recent survey have only 1 or 2 years’ experience of leading computing:

Answers to "How long have you been a computing lead?".

Whatever the journey that has lead you to be a computing leader, please let me take this opportunity to congratulate you. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but computing is the best subject to lead; the most cross curricular and versatile subject across the school; some might argue the most important for our children’s futures; the most supported in terms of free CPD, a free scheme of work, resources, accreditation, the list goes on.

Computer science, digital literacy and information technology are essential for today’s work and social culture. While many primary schools are still playing catch-up in terms of prioritising time for computing skills and knowledge, technology in society is progressing and developing at a blistering pace. So I would suggest that not only is leading computing enjoyable and rewarding, it is also absolutely critical in order to give young people the best start in this current digital climate.

If you are new to leading computing, or perhaps you have been allocated the role and don’t start until September, please allow me to suggest a starting point and a pathway that will hopefully take you step by step to becoming a confident and established computing subject leader.

This is the new Teach Computing Primary Leadership Journey and is designed for computing leaders at any stage of their career, to be able to identify gaps in their journey and gain insight into what their next steps could be. You can click on this image to be taken to a dynamic version, with hyperlinks to each feature (more will be added as they are written).

The graphic of the Teach computing primary leadership journey

There are three corresponding CPD courses that align with the three stages of leadership depicted here. The content suggested in the ‘New Leaders’ section is mostly covered in the free full day face-to-face course: Leading Primary Computing – Module 1 which is a great place to start as a new leader. The ‘Developing Leader’ stage links to Leading Primary Computing – Module 2, a full day remote course and ‘Established Leader’ links to the new Leading Primary Computing – Module 3 course, a full day face to face course.

You will also notice that ‘Primary Certificate’ is a feature of the New Leader pathway; this is a fantastic opportunity to use whatever CPD and interaction you undertake with the NCCE to count towards an accreditation for your personal qualifications. It is mentioned at the beginning of the leadership journey to encourage you to enrol early on, so that any activities you do can immediately start contributing to your certificate, which is awarded by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

For each of the incremental steps, you can find useful blogs from myself available on STEM Community. There, I point you in the direction of helpful CPD and resources - you can comment and share ideas and thoughts and also ask questions in the community thread too!

But to begin, I encourage you to sign up to the Leading Primary Computing – Module 1, then head over to the STEM Community pages for the next blog in the New Leader series: Roles and Responsibilities – and begin your journey into the glorious and exciting position of a computing subject lead!

About the author:

Phil Wickins is the NCCE Subject Specialist for Primary Computing Leaders