Teaching London Computing Newsletter #6 – January 2020

Welcome to our sixth Teaching London Computing newsletter (the previous newsletters live here) and you are welcome to forward this to colleagues – new readers can sign up using the orange form on this page.

Follow us on Twitter @cas_london_crc or @cs4fn.


1. Paul Curzon wins the Booth Education Award for CS4FN / TLC
QMUL’s Prof Paul Curzon has won the Booth Education Award 2020 for his “outstanding record in computer science and engineering education” thanks to his creative output through the CS4FN project (co-created with Prof Peter McOwan) and the resources on the Teaching London Computing website. You can read more about Paul’s contribution to computing education in the UK, in this CAS forum post from Simon Peyton Jones (you will need to create a free account to access, or you can read a copy on our blog).

Paul said of his award

It is a really nice and wonderful surprise to receive this award. I am only one of many people worldwide who have been contributing to the rebirth of Computer Science in schools, including many colleagues at Queen Mary and elsewhere, who have helped me in my work.

“I have always aimed to support teachers in making the subject fun as well as rigorous. What matters most is that we continue to inspire students about how exciting the subject of Computer Science can be. I hope I have contributed at least a little to that goal.

Courses, conferences and events

2. CAS London Conference – 29 February 2020
Our one-day CPD and networking event on Saturday 29th February 2020 is now sold out and we have opened the waiting list. If you’re no longer able to attend please let Jo [j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk] know ASAP and she can release your ticket for others.

3. TechPathways courses – 11 March 2020 and onwards
QMUL are running four courses through TechPathways London which are free. The first is “Teaching networks KS3 – KS5” which is on 11 March 2020, then three others are coming up later in the year Games Development with Construct 3 at Ukie, 22nd May 2020 and Creating 3D Animations with 3Dami at King’s College London, 11th June 2020 and Teaching Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Secondary Schools at London CLC, 7 July 2020.


4. NCCE / STEM Learning and Raspberry Pi courses
London-based courses information for January and February 2020 are listed on our blog post here but the full range of computing courses can be found at the STEM Learning website – search for London or use the region filter (in the panel on the right hand side, near the bottom) to bring up courses nearest to London. Online-only courses can also be found at https://www.futurelearn.com/, Raspberry Pi provide some of the courses, https://www.futurelearn.com/partners/raspberry-pi, a subset of which will also contribute to the CS Accelerator certificate. To search the course listings you will need to create a free account.

5. ICT for Education conference, 13 March 2020, Brighton – free places
ICT for Education is an independent producer of regional computing conferences for UK schools and they have a free conference on Friday 13 March 2020 for teachers. There’s a PDF of the conference invitation and a POSTER.



6. New Teaching London Computing resources
We have two new art and computing resources which draw their inspiration from Bridget Riley and Wassily Kandinsky. The resources will let you and your class use a computer program to generate op-art / abstract art and can also be used as a way to explore the differences between vector and bitmap images, and the importance of following a sequence in order.

7. Our puzzle books are now free
We’ve added the Puzzle Book to our available back issues and the updated (blue) form can be found on our sign-up page. There are other forms on that page – the first (orange) is for people to sign up to receive this newsletter, the second (purple) is for schoolteachers who want to receive copies of the next CS4FN magazine and the third (blue) to request back issues of available magazines and booklets etc.

All our previous CS4FN publications are freely downloadable as PDFs.

8. Careers advice support from Digital Schoolhouse
One Minute Mentor (OMM) is a new careers resource which aims to inspire pupils with the breadth of roles available in the creative digital sector through punchy, digestible videos hosted on Digital Schoolhouse’s YouTube channel.

This resource features a library of one-minute videos made by professionals within the sector “to educate aspiring pupils on careers pathways they might not have otherwise considered”. Teachers can use the One Minute Mentor library as a resource to inform students about the possible career paths in the video games and wider creative digital industries.



9. Take part in research
A PhD student at the University of Abertay, Dundee is investigating “the ways online automatic assessment assistants could help specifically students between the ages of 14 and 16 learning how to code in either Python or Java while completing a GCSE/IGCSE in Computer Science.” If you’d like to contribute (and if you’re a teacher from “state and independent schools that teach any of the OCR/AQA/WJEC/Edexcel/CIE (IGCSE) Computer Science specifications”), find out more here: https://coding2020.compscihub.net/

10. 20 things every computing teacher should try in 2020
Some suggestions to inspire you from Teach with ICT: https://www.teachwithict.com/cs20.html