Are you starting as an early career teacher this September?

06 September 2022

There are no great schools without great teachers. Irrespective of where you are in your career, teachers need continuous, high-quality professional development.

As you enter your career, your first two years as an early career teacher (ECT) will be heavily underpinned by training. Whilst you will receive a great deal of this from your schools, mentors etc, the National Centre for Computing Education is also on hand to help develop your teaching practice. From subject knowledge to pedagogical understanding, we have a comprehensive offer to support your journey.

While starting out, you will also have access to the Early Career Framework (available on the government website). This framework has been designed to support early career teacher development and presented around the eight Teaching Standards.

Early career support guide

The National Centre for Computing has published an overview document exploring how our offer maps against each of the eight Teaching Standards. This handy document will inform how you can gain specific support against a particular standard.

View Early career guide

Early career support guide

First things first

Subject knowledge is paramount to delivering a confident and engaging lesson for young people. The 2022 Ofsted Research Review into Computing Education states: ‘the main obstacle to teaching computing faced by teachers was a lack of technical subject knowledge’. This encapsulates the importance of reflecting on your subject knowledge and identifying gaps against the National Curriculum.

Our Computer Science Accelerator programme will help to upskill your subject knowledge and confidence to GCSE level. Courses are available face to face, online and remotely and cover the full spectrum of knowledge required on the GCSE specifications, so wherever your gaps in knowledge may be, there is a course available to fulfil your needs. If you teach in a state-funded school in England, courses are free, and subsidies are also available to support supply cover for your school.

As an early career teacher, we recommend you explore our CSA / Awarding Body Specification Map; you can use this document to identify gaps in your knowledge and find suitable courses to build your subject knowledge. The first term of the academic year is a great time to identify these needs to ensure you're prepared when delivering this content.

Browse all Computer Science Accelerator courses

But what about pedagogical understanding?

Subject knowledge and pedagogical understanding go hand-in-hand, allowing you to build the foundations of being a successful teacher. Once you have completed the Computer Science Accelerator, you gain free access to all of our professional development if you work in state-funded education. Our offer goes beyond just subject knowledge; we have a programme of computing support, focusing on areas such as pedagogy, assessment, careers, SEND, cross-curricular, leadership and curriculum design.

Teaching computing can look and feel very different to other classroom-based subjects. Technology can greatly enhance the learning experience for students, with the practical element contributing to an engaging and inspiring environment. To support your teaching and learning, we have three courses focused on pedagogy in a computing classroom:

  1. Teaching GCSE computer science developing knowledge and understanding
  2. Teaching GCSE computer science pedagogy for programming
  3. Teaching GCSE computer science: improving student engagement

Each course is underpinned by robust evidence to support your pedagogical development. You’ll be able to network with peers, and accessing these courses will contribute to the Secondary certificate, the follow-on qualification available once you’ve completed the Computer Science Accelerator.

Browse Secondary certificate courses

The NCCE has also produced several Pedagogy Quick Read documents, focusing on strategies to enhance your teaching. Why not look at the Quick Read on the PRIMM model - a useful approach to structuring programming lessons; brilliant for promoting discussion around code and encouraging students to read before writing.

View Pedagogy Quick reads

Online professional development

Alongside our face to face and remote course offer, we have online courses available 24/7 so you can participate around your work schedule. Courses for subject knowledge and to support your pedagogical understanding are available. You may wish to consider the two below to kick-start your online journey:

  1. Impact of Technology: How To Lead Classroom Discussions
  2. Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Approaches to Supporting Learners with SEND in Computing

Teach Computing Curriculum

Don’t reinvent the wheel; available free of charge on the Teach Computing website is our curriculum which covers all topics from Key Stage 1 - 4. Each unit of work includes lesson plans, teacher slides, activity sheets, homework and assessments. Why not look at what resources are available and map them against your schemes of work for the upcoming term?

Browse curriculum resources

A quick and easy overview

Navigating your way through the first couple of years as a computing teacher is exciting - you have the power to shape the lives of so many young people. Throughout your journey, your local Computing Hub will be on hand to support you. In the meantime, we’ve put together a simple overview of support you may find useful during your two years as a new teacher.

Access a quick overview