Getting the most from summer CPD

02 September 2019

Having recently attended our NCCE summer school, secondary teacher Leroy David talks about the benefits of blended CPD and collaborating with peers to develop new techniques.

I’ve been teaching ICT for 12 years. Over the years I have taught a range of ICT courses – GNVQ, BTEC, CIDA, ECDL, GCSE, Cambridge Technicals and A level.

I have a degree in computing science and have always had an interest in programming, but I’ve had limited opportunities to fully use this within the classroom. When a previous school that I worked at were considering delivering GCSE computing, I jumped at the opportunity.

I recently received an email from the NCCE which included details about the opportunity to undertake face-to-face CPD during the summer holiday, and this really appealed to me.

I was aware that the Computer Science Accelerator programme included a face-to-face element, but I was dubious about booking onto a course during term time as I had just moved to my current school at the start of the Summer term. The amount of work that goes into setting appropriate computer science cover work for my groups without having a subject specialist in the classroom was also something that I took into consideration.

I thoroughly enjoyed the summer school. I feel like I don’t take up many of the opportunities to meet with other computer science teachers, with the exception of the local CAS Community Meetings which I attend. The summer school gave me a fantastic opportunity to interact with colleagues from different areas, with varying levels of teaching experience and experiences of teaching computer science. I enjoyed collaborating with my peers on the tasks and discussing ideas for the teaching of computer science. It was also quite reassuring to hear that many of us were facing similar issues.

The combination of face-to-face and online worked very well for me. I was able to complete the online elements at my own pace and fit them in around work.

Whereas the face-to-face element allowed me to collaborate with others and discuss different solutions to the same problem/task. It also gave me the opportunity to get additional support from the facilitators and discuss ideas of how to effectively deliver the tasks within the classroom.

I loved the practical element of the Python programming essentials for GCSE computer science. This module covered the basics through to the much more complicated elements. More than just being taught how to program, I was able to gain a clear understanding of the key concepts and ideas of how to effectively deliver this to my students.

I definitely feel more confident as I have picked up a range of skills and techniques that I will be able to use within my classroom and also to enhance my subject knowledge.

I have seen a few more face-to-face courses which I would love to attend and I intend on completing the majority of the online courses which are available.

If you're interested in following in Leroy's footsteps, find out more about the CS Accelerator Programme .