Leading primary computing

15 November 2021

We spoke to Sophie Hudson, who teaches at Linton on Ouse Primary School and Nursery, about her experience of leading primary computing and how she’s benefiting from the NCCE’s support.

How did you get into teaching computing?

I am a primary school teacher and have always taught in small, rural schools after completing my Primary PGCE.  Even though they are small schools, we still have all the subjects to teach, computing being one!

Leading each subject is shared as best as possible between the staff, each teacher having a few subjects to lead and monitor.  I was given the job of leading computing about four years ago and having only taught it previously, will admit to being a bit daunted at first.  I wasn’t sure that my technological knowledge was enough to do the task well but quickly found many useful resources.

Congratulations on having completed your Teach primary computing certificate! Could you give us some insights into why you chose to enrol and how you found the experience?

I was using the Teach Computing website for resources and information since I discovered it about 3 years ago.  I also enrolled on the primary certificate and having looked through the certificate activities, realised that I was already doing some required to complete it.  I could see the benefit of the other tasks to broaden my subject knowledge and access new resources, and set myself the goal to complete it within the year.

Was there a particular course or activity which stood out to you?

Setting up a school Code Club was probably one of the most valuable activities for me and my school. I attempted this during the lock down, working with students online via Google Classrooms.  I became a lot more confident using Scratch and Trinket to complete the projects with the children.  They love it!

We have a thriving Code Club with children from KS2 and now the older children are keen to share their knowledge and help new members with their projects.

How has completing the certificate benefited your teaching and or your students?

Completing the course has given me more confidence in teaching and made me a lot more mindful of the tasks that I am setting the class and how I can sequence lessons effectively.  I’ve been really pleased to be able to adapt resources to suit the topics and ability level of my class.

Would you recommend the certificate to other teachers?

I would!  It’s not too onerous and can be completed in your own time.  The resources on the Teach Computing website are really useful and the activities opened my eyes to new websites and resources that I might not have accessed previously.

As a subject leader I have been able to share my new knowledge and support my colleagues when they are teaching areas of the computing curriculum that they aren’t as confident with.

We recently updated a huge number of resources from our Teach Computing Curriculum. Have you found these resources of use, and if so, how have they helped your lesson planning?

The Teach Computing website continues to be a ‘go to’ for me.  The resources are easy to adapt and make the national curriculum a lot clearer.

What are you excited about that's coming up this term?

I’m linking using databases (excel) to our weather and maths topics to create charts and graphs via Google Classroom. We are also hoping to extend our school Code Club over the coming months and invite children from the local community to our school – so opening it up to secondary age and those who don’t have access to Code Club yet in their school.