Computer Science is something that is heavily influenced by ever-changing technology. Keeping students engaged in this subject area is vital if they are to learn skills such as coding and programming to a sufficient standard.
In this article, we will explore some different ways to improve your computer science curriculum.
Ideas to Improve Your Computer Science Curriculum
1. Focus on Discovery Learning
Younger pupils are naturally curious, and using this to engage them in computer science makes sense. Rather than explain why coding is helpful, provide opportunities for them to discover the possibilities.
You simply need to provide them with a challenge and appropriate resources for them to explore the benefits of coding.
2. Ensure Teachers are Confident.
Many teachers have a fear of technology that can quickly be passed on to their students. Providing teachers with sufficient training will ensure they can teach computer science with confidence and a sense of positivity that will excite pupils and keep them engaged.
3. Show the Creativity of Coding.
Many pupils are scared of coding as it seems mathematical or scientific. Reframe the subject by showing how it utilises their creative side to solve problems in various projects.
Focus on algorithms, animations and innovative websites that foster their imagination.
4. Include Pupil Interests
Each class will have pupils with different interests, from gaming to music, sports and the arts.
Harness and celebrate these hobbies to help engage pupils by adapting plans to appeal to individuals.
5. Practical Learning
It shouldn’t need to be reminded to teachers that practical lessons are always better for pupil outcomes. However, it takes more effort and resources to ensure that pupils get hands-on coding opportunities.
Think outside the box by teaching something like the principle of algorithms with an obstacle course. No computer is required!
6. Let Your Pupils Have Some Freedom.
Computer science is the ideal subject for projects where pupils can work alone or in groups to achieve a goal. Utilising some trial and error with adequate scaffolding, pupils can grow in confidence as they tackle challenges independently.
A huge benefit to this kind of independent learning is that pupils practise the skills and knowledge they have acquired and develop mastery as they discover what works and what doesn’t.
7. Find a Platform to deliver your Computer Science Curriculum.
You can often make life easier by choosing a platform that provides lesson plans and a structure for teaching. Many will include marking and progress tracking to reduce admin for teachers.
An example of a valuable computer science tool is Turinglab. Amazon Future Engineer backs it, and it delivers lessons for Python Programming from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4.
You will pleased to hear that it is a completely free tool and provides everything in a step-by-step format.
It will surely engage pupils with its gaming format that aims to make lessons exciting. It follows the National Curriculum, then the GCSE syllabus, and includes content to support pupils with SEND.
Pupils will be easily motivated with leaderboards to encourage some friendly competition.