Collaborating for computer confidence

05 September 2019

A recent participant on the NCCE CS Accelerator course to improve teaching of computer science at GCSE level, Ahsan Ashraf explains the ‘amazing’ benefit of working with other computer science teachers

I have been teaching for about eight years. I trained to teach Applied ICT, which was the more geeky one at the time, compared to ICT. I've been teaching several different courses including ICT, computing and photography from Year 7 all the way to 6th form.

I’ve always wanted to do the Computer Science Accelerator course but I just knew I wouldn't get the time off school to do it, until I saw it was available as a four-day residential summer school during the holidays, which was much more convenient. However, I had to make a request to my wife to let me go, which was a little harder than asking SLT, but eventually I got a ‘visa’ to travel to York to do the course.

I wanted to do the course to ensure I'm up to date and just gain some confidence. I found the summer school amazing with brilliant presenters. I also really valued being with other computing teachers. It is the first time I've been able to talk to other like-minded people and share good practice.

I preferred the face-to-face courses, especially having dedicated time to practise Python programming. Face-to-face is more my kind of learning. Having said that, I also enjoyed the cyber-security unit I did online; the online courses went into a lot of depth, which had its benefits.

At the end of the course, the test was a great experience. It actually made me reflect on how my students feel, for several subjects, not just one.

I am proud to have passed the test and to be one of the first to do so. I’m feeling confident and have lots of ideas to try so I'm excited to get back in to the classroom.

Find out more about the NCCE GCSE CS Accelerator course here.