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Solving computational problems in KS3 computing

CP436 Live remote training course

Build the capability of students to solve problems in computing, and be ready for GCSE Computer Science

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Algorithmic thinking Data & information Programming Key stage 3 Secondary certificate
Live remote training course 5 hours

  • Live remote training 13 June 09:30—13 June 2023
  • Live remote training 19 June 17:00—22 June 2023
  • Live remote training 10 July 19:00—13 July 2023
  • Live remote training 30 August 09:30—30 August 2023

The National Curriculum in computing aims to enable learners to repeatedly analyse problems in computational terms, and to write programs that solve such problems. This is central to the development of computational thinking. Through the application of rich subject knowledge, including algorithm and program design and execution through code, learners become confident and adaptable, and are well prepared for subsequent stages of study. For teachers this approach presents challenges that are related, and which can be considered as a whole. This CPD takes a beginning-to-end view, modelling effective practice that is then rehearsed and practiced - from finding suitable problems that are engaging; through supporting students to understand and tackle the problem; to coding and evaluating a solution. Participants will be equipped to plan authentic projects and activities that stretch all learners to the fullest of their ability, scaffolding learning with approaches that are firmly based in evidence. You’ll develop a full plan for implementation in the classroom, and consider how to monitor its impact on learners.

Who is it for?

Teacher and curriculum leaders in secondary computing with, at least, foundational knowledge of programming.

Topics covered

  • Developing problems for the computing classroom – drawing on your existing knowledge of computing and programming, you’ll begin selecting and presenting a problem that can be solved computationally, and which aligns to the subject knowledge development needs of learners. Drawing on rigorous research and evidence, learn how to develop the ‘problem-space’ and make links to the curriculum that reinforce learning, using culturally-relevant contexts that increase interest and engagement.
  • Building problem analysis skills – apply repeatable methods that reduce cognitive load when decomposing and analysing problem descriptions. Develop criteria for success that will inform solution analysis, and help students to form and evaluate ideas that might solve problems.
  • Developing student knowledge through solving problems – consider how to support students to both draw upon existing knowledge, and engage with new learning, to solve challenges that develop them further. Develop familiarity and skill in applying a range of scaffolding approaches to support novices, and stretch more confident students.
  • Evaluation of problem solving – use student assessment, and teacher reflection, to analyse the success of computational problem-solving in the classroom and to gauge learning progress. Build the capability of learners to evaluate the success of their own solutions, and develop metacognitive skills.

How long is this course?

5 hours spread across multiple sessions allowing for feedback on your progress. 

How will you learn?

Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner. Flexible Professional Development Leader-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content and feedback in the context of your chosen areas of focus. 


  • Use relevant and interesting challenges, from a wide range of contexts, to stimulate passion and learning among learners in your school.
  • Plan and teach lessons that support all learners in building their capability to analyse and solve problems computationally.
  • Implement learning activities based on firm evidence, giving you the confidence to tackle problems with a range of possible solutions.
  • Assess the improving skills and knowledge of learners working at different levels of prior attainment.

This course is part of Teach secondary computing

Teach secondary computing

Our nationally recognised qualification will give you confidence to take your computing teaching to the next level and to apply those skills in the classroom.

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This course is from the National Centre for Computing Education and is delivered by STEM Learning.

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