Ellesmere Leading the Way in Computer Science

Ellesmere College has been awarded a leading role in promoting Computing in Education.

The school has received the accolade from a government-backed initiative known as (CAS) Computing at School. This fundamental role will be to develop a broad and balanced Computer Science curriculum and provide specialist guidance to other schools and CPD opportunities to teachers in the county.

Head of Computer Science, Dr Sarah Shakibi says: "It is a real breath of fresh air to be teaching Computer Science at school. Whereas before we were only using apps now every child is involved in creating apps. This involves Computational & Algorithmic Thinking, which up to now have been dormant and ignored skills in our children."

In 2012, at the time Education Secretary Michael Gove, announced that the then ICT curriculum - universally acknowledged as unambitious, demotivating and dull - had to go. In its place, a new computing curriculum, designed to equip every child with the computing skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Deputy Head, Vicky Pritt-Roberts, said, "I am delighted that we are moving forward with this opportunity for Ellesmere to become a Hub of professional development in Computer Science. It is our intention to offer a range of twilight courses for interested teachers in the local area".

Ellesmere College now offers numerous modules within its Computer Science curriculum: at Key Stage 3, children are actively involved in Web Design using HTML rather than any intermediate software and problem solving using Scratch Programming. A Year 7 group are currently involved in flipped lessons - lessons written and taught by the class and students are competing in a Binary Maths Challenge to get the concept of Binary Mathematics.

"With many students now having grown up with technology, it is no surprise that Computer Science has become a popular subject and we are hoping that Ellesmere will become a veritable showcase for our young programmers". Dr Shakibi explains. "Ellesmere College is interested in turning students from just being consumers into intelligent creators of digital content".

Computing at School is funded by the Department of Education as well as receiving funding and sponsorship from the British Computing Society, Microsoft and Google Education, and provides leadership and strategic guidance to Lead Schools involved in Computing education.

As one of the schools registered for the Network of Teaching Excellence for Computer Science. Ellesmere College will now be hosting a number of activities to help teachers for the transition from IT to Computer Science, both at GCSE and A Levels. Any teachers interested in participating should contact the school.

8th February 2017  Back to News