Resources to support girls' engagement with computer science at key stage 3

11 January 2024

We have hand-picked units from the Teach Computing Curriculum across key stage 3 that align with topics and pedagogical approaches most likely to support girls’ engagement with the subject.

These are recommended activities from I Belong: encouraging girls into computer science and showcasing the implementation of two of the resources below can help your school to complete the certificate.

Year 7

  • Clear messaging in digital media: This unit can support you in creating positive learning experiences for girls by applying a highly relevant theme for young people. They will create digital assets to be proud of and consider the range of future opportunities enabled by computing.
  • Programming essentials in Scratch – parts one and two: Self-efficacy in programming is a factor when girls choose subject options, and therefore, continuing to develop their capability from Year 7 is key. This unit will help them to learn computational thinking and develop problem-solving skills to help them tackle the issues that matter.

Year 8

  • Developing for the Web: This unit helps girls to become creators and build self-efficacy and cultural capital by building web pages on themes they care about while learning about careers that allow their creativity to flourish.
  • Mobile app development: This unit combines creativity in digital media and computer programming to support girls in creating digital assets through social and collaborative learning. Learners will improve their understanding of how apps they use are made and develop the confidence to share this learning with others.
  • Introduction to Python programming: As the world’s most popular programming language, Python opens doors to AI, data science, web app development and a host of exciting careers. This unit develops computational thinking, helping girls become self-sufficient problem-solvers and successful in computer science.

Year 9

  • Media – Animations: Computer animation is a highly creative and in-demand skill set, allowing young people to express themselves and things they care about. Learners will build and share digital media assets and increase awareness of this high-growth industry.
  • Representations – going audiovisual: Experiencing the breadth of computer science creativity and opportunity can help girls to find their niche and to increase their sense of belonging. This unit develops subject knowledge and skills to manipulate digital images, building cultural capital and equipping them for future exam success.
  • Applying programming skills with physical computing: The micro:bit is hugely popular with girls, enabling them to develop programming skills that impact the real world beyond the screen. Encourage them to express diverse cultural identities through social hands-on learning while developing knowledge of the booming ‘Internet of Things’.

What next?

Once you've planned and delivered two or more of these units, share your reflections on how the delivery was gender-responsive and the impact it had.

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Not signed up to the programme?

By enrolling on the programme, you will gain the tools and guidance to support more girls into computer science qualifications and careers. Our activities are selected based on research and evidence around what can contribute to increasing girls’ uptake of computer science.

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