On July 5th 2016, thirteen teachers from across South Wales became the first cohort of learners to successfully achieve the (QCF) Level 3 Certificate of Computing for Teachers as part of a year-long Technoteach CPD programme. This Technoteach CPD programme is supported by the National Science Academy through the Welsh Government to up-skill teachers to become confident and competent to deliver the computer science curriculum as well as support the introduction of the Digital Competence Framework.
The course which is accredited by ASFI (Accredited Skills for Industry) is delivered throughout the academic year (18 full-day sessions) with teachers meeting once a fortnight to develop their understanding of a range of computer science topics from robotics to Python programming.
Professor Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps commented “It is fantastic to see all thirteen teachers who started the qualification back in September being awarded their well-deserved Certificates. Technocamps’ ambition has always been to support teachers on their computer science journeys by providing essential up-skilling opportunities for teachers all across Wales!”
“This course has been both challenging and demanding at times however it has also been extremely rewarding! I feel my pupils are already benefiting from my increased computer science knowledge.” Catherine Phillips, Dyffryn School, Port Talbot
Case Study - Sarah Thomas, Ysgol Gyfyn Emlyn
As an Assistant Headteacher at a Secondary School, I want the pupils in my school to experience the computing side of ICT and not just the use of office packages which is what the ICT curriculum had become. Whilst looking around for assistance and help in this, Technocamps was brought to my attention; and the Technocamps team offered me to either bring pupils to the University (at their expense), or for a member of their delivery team visit us.
They were the only organisation in Wales that I came across that was prepared to up-skill pupils and teachers in this way, and all for free. I initially booked two year groups into Workshops at Swansea University, and since then we haven’t looked back; we’ve subsequently benefitted from repeated engagements with Technocamps both in terms of my own professional development and in the opportunities which our pupils and our school have enjoyed.
The pupils have been introduced to coding through Scratch, Python and Greenfoot with Technocamps workshops. Through this, pupils have engaged with various individuals at the University (Professors, postgraduate and undergraduate student) on various computing projects which – beyond being enjoyable - enlightened them as to potential career opportunities in computing that are available to them; this has motivated many of them to progress with computing at Key Stage 5 and at University.
The Technocamps activities also helped the pupils see that computing is used in all walks of life, and I believe that the visits increased pupils’ interest, as an incredible one-in-five of the cohort chose computer science as one of their GCSE options. In support of this, Technocamps have come to the school to run Python and Greenfoot Workshops with classes in preparation for their GCSE work; without this support, the school would have found it nearly impossible to deliver the new computer science GCSE.
Personally, I have gained significant skills from attending the Workshops with the pupils. Being a Maths and ICT teacher, it has allowed me to see how someone with a computer science background teaches the concepts required for the subject. This has given me new ideas and confidence in teaching them. Furthermore, I have completed two Technoteach courses and I am currently attending the ASFI Certificate in Computing for Teachers (QCF) Level 3 which is being delivered by Technocamps. Without these, I would not have been able to teach GCSE computer science to my pupils.
And I am not alone. Technoteach has allowed me to network with many other teachers from all across South Wales, and their opinions have been the very same as my own about the positive impact and opportunities created through up-skilling which Technocamps has given to teachers across Wales. I also feel that if I need any assistance with any part of teaching of any part of the GCSE course, I could contact the Technocamps team and they would be there to support me.
Again I would like to emphasise that if teachers like me had not been introduced to and benefitted from Technocamps, our pupils would have missed out on so many life-changing experiences, and we would not have had the professional development needed to introduce a new GCSE at our schools. Technocamps has given teachers the up-skilling across Wales to enable schools to embrace the new curricula changes in computer science and the forthcoming Digital Competence Framework across Wales.
“I have benefitted in various ways from Technocamps, including through Workshops in my Welsh-medium school delivered in Welsh with Welsh resources. This course is the latest - and personally greatest - contribution that Technocamps has made towards my ambition of delivering a strong foundation in computer science to my pupils.” Mark Morris, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen
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