Gender Balance in Computing: our trials

11 November 2019

  • Non-formal learning
  • Belonging
  • Relevance
  • Teaching approaches
  • Storytelling


Primary

Belonging (Year 5) — starts March 2021

Your first opportunity to get involved is our light-touch Belonging trial. This will tackle girls’ “lack of belonging” because they don’t see themselves represented in computing media coverage or careers. We will work with primary schools to introduce girls and their parents to positive role models in computer science.

Storytelling (Year 2) — starts April 2021

In Key Stage 1, we will explore how storytelling and story-writing can be an effective introduction to computing. Evidence suggests that gender stereotypes develop early, and so we have created some new lesson plans and resources and will ask some schools to trial the use of these in their classrooms.

Teaching Approach (Years 4 & 6) — starts September 2021

This teaching approach trial is based on the idea that current approaches to teaching computing may not be fully inclusive and so many be less appealing to girls. In Key Stage 2, we will explore a collaborative teaching approach and assess the impact it has on engaging girls in computer programming.

Non-formal learning — starts September 2021

In the non-formal learning trial, we will seek to strengthen the links between non-formal learning and studying computing at GCSE or A level. This is because girls are often unaware that their non-formal learning about computing can help them in formal studies. We have created specific resources for schools running Code Clubs programmes which signpost the links between non-formal and formal learning of computing, and how these can lead to future aspirations and subject choices later on.


Secondary


Non-formal learning (Year 8) — starts April 2021

In the non-formal learning trial, we seek to strengthen the links between non-formal learning and studying computing at GCSE or A level. This is because girls are often unaware that their non-formal learning about computing can help them in formal studies. We have created specific resources for schools running the Apps for Good programme which signpost the links between non-formal and formal learning of computing, and how these can lead to future career/subject choices later in the participants’ lives.

Teaching Approach (Year 8) — starts September 2021

The teaching approach trial is based on the idea that current approaches to teaching computing may not be fully inclusive and so may be less appealing to girls. In Key Stage 3, we will explore a collaborative teaching approach and assess the impact it has on engaging girls in computer programming.


Relevance (Year 8) — starts January 2022

Your first opportunity to get involved is our Relevance trial. This aims to help learners to see the real-world applications of learning computing. We will support schools to engage pupils by helping them to solve real-world problems through technology while studying the computing curriculum. We will also encourage pupils to develop projects that solve problems that are relevant to their local area, home, or classroom. The pupils will be able to further explore the real-world applications of computing through new classroom resources.

Get involved in this landmark programme

  • Register your interest in taking part
  • AND/OR share this article with a teaching colleague in a different school and invite them to register their interest
  • AND/OR if you’re interested in this research but can’t take part, we’d love you to sign up to our newsletter, and to share this article in any newsletters, blog entries, or social media posts your schools puts out

Your support is invaluable — together we can work to improve gender balance in computing!