CSA Class of 21: Academy trust paves the way for success

13 July 2021

All this week we’re celebrating the successes of the CSA Class of 21, as well as inviting teachers to share their experience of the CSA, and get involved!

Over 4,500 teachers have now engaged with the Computer Science Accelerator, a professional development programme, leading to a national certificate in computer science subject knowledge.  Among them are teachers from the Delta Academies Trust, which runs 51 schools across Leeds, Doncaster, Harrogate, Scunthorpe and the North East. The team at Delta Academies has encouraged teachers to engage in the CSA, with 40 now taking part in the programme.

Dave Hewitt, principal of Manor Croft Academy in Dewsbury, part of the Delta Academies Trust, has encouraged teachers to take part in the CSA.

He said:

“This last year has really highlighted the importance of good computing and digital skills, with online education and the growing demand from employers for technical skills. We’re thrilled that nearly 40 teachers are taking part in the CSA. We know that our young people will benefit from that enhanced training; we hope to train all Delta teachers who deliver computing across all our academies.”

“Here at Delta, we recognise the importance of computing and equipping our staff and students for a future where tech will play an increasingly vital role.”

(L to R) Delta teachers Eryk Owczare, Damian Burrin, Cal Johnson

Among the Delta Academy teachers who are taking part in the CSA, is Cal Johnson, from Melior Community Academy in Scunthorpe. Cal is a cover supervisor and has taken on some KS3 Computing classes for the first time this year, so has been keen to develop their computing skills.

"It is absolutely essential that we equip our students with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in the society in which they will live and work for years to come.

“We have a cohort that don't often enjoy the opportunity or, indeed the right, to have access to computer equipment. Considering the way in which computing can be integrated into the current curriculum and the requirement that students have a broad-based understanding of how to use a computer for a number of different tasks means that it is vital that these skills be delivered effectively.

“It is essential that teaching staff have the necessary skills to equip our students for their futures. That is where the CSA training is relevant. The importance of these courses cannot be understated - it means there is a provider of knowledge for those that deliver knowledge. Mentors and teachers for our teachers are so important and these courses are crucial to us and our students.”

Damian Burrin, from The Vale Academy, in Brigg, Lincolnshire, is a Learning Leader who is undertaking the CSA advanced pathway

“Having been a computer science teacher for several years as well as a CS graduate, I was unsure how the CSA would be of relevance to me.  However, looking through the units available, I was quickly convinced.

“I found I was able to pick out interesting online courses that suited me and my personal development such as Object Orientated Python which has really supported my A level teaching as well as taking part in online pedagogy, training and discussions which gave me a new and fresh perspective into how I teach CS across all year groups and ability ranges.

“The CSA is not just an excellent method of developing teachers’ subject knowledge but also a great way to interact with colleagues and help further develop how you deliver computer science in your lessons.”

Eryk Owczare,  is a Teaching Assistant at Rossington All Saints Academy, in South Yorkshire.

“Since starting my career in teaching as a Teaching Assistant, I haven't been involved in computer science as much as I'd want to, especially since my specialism is in sports. When I heard about this opportunity I thought it was a great place to start. The Computer Science Accelerator course has helped me understand the key basics of CS and how these can be delivered in a fun and exciting way to keep students engaged.

“The vast majority of courses that are also available, are great as it lets you access topics across all levels of the curriculum and cover most if not all the topics, which are all done at a brilliant pace.”

“This course has been a great opportunity for me and a great place to start building my subject knowledge, and it has been great to interact with other members of the STEM community.”

Join the Class of '21

More than 4,500 teachers have now engaged in the CS Accelerator. If you are yet to complete the programme, the NCCE has put in place a summer programme with five pathways to choose from, summer schools across the country, a curated programme of CPD, and the CSA in the Summer, with something for all abilities, from beginner to advanced level.

And if you’ve engaged with the CSA programme, join us to celebrate your success on social media! To join in, follow these simple steps:

  • upload a picture wearing your CSA enamel pin badge
  • tag @WeAreComputing on Twitter or Facebook
  • add the hashtag #CSAClassof21