Aspiring head teachers in London – support available from @MayorOfLondon

The Mayor of London’s “London Schools Excellence Fund” (LSEF) network (which funds some of the work that Teaching London Computing does as part of the CAS London network) has an opportunity for aspiring head teachers in London.

This is open to all hopeful head teachers in London, not just those involved in teaching computing so feel free to pass it on to other colleagues.

Jo


Getting Ahead London
Take the next step on your leadership journey

If you’d like to step up to headship, but aren’t sure how to get there, then consider applying to the Getting Ahead London Programme.

The Mayor is running a second year of his scheme for senior leaders in London:  Getting Ahead London. Delivered by Challenge Partners, a place on this scheme can give you prestigious, bespoke training and support to help you on your journey to becoming a headteacher in the capital.

We know that many London schools are struggling to recruit great leaders. Through a structured, year-long programme of coaching, network building and career advice, Getting Ahead London will give senior leaders the skills and confidence to help them move towards a headship position.

We are particularly keen to ensure that women and BAME senior leaders are well represented among senior leader applicants, to strengthen further the diversity of the successful participant cohort in 2016/17.

The support offered includes:

  • Coaching from highly experienced London heads to help participants fulfil their leadership potential
  • Help to navigate existing leadership opportunities
  • Face to face leadership development and networking events with world-class businesses
  • Online tools and resources to support your development
  • Support with applying for jobs and preparing for interviews
  • Getting Ahead London will run from September 2017 until July 2018.

Getting Ahead London complements existing leadership development programmes and qualifications.

The deadline for applications is 14 June 2017
Interested?  Find out more and apply at: https://www.london.gov.uk/gettingaheadlondon

 

Using London’s transport network to teach computing – free resource & workshop (12 June)

Summary

  1. Free London computing resource that uses London’s transport system to teach unplugged computing as well as Python programming – as part of the new London Curriculum
  2. Free teachers’ event on 12 June to demonstrate this resource
  3. It’s also #LondonHistoryDay soon – CAS London / Teaching London Computing has some other resources for your classroom

1. A new resource for computing teachers in London
Someone has come up with the rather lovely and brilliant idea of exploiting (in the best way) London itself as a resource to be used in teaching in schools. Obviously London has lots of history, architecture, transport, science and literary links and these aspects can feed into the curriculum for London schools. I wish I’d thought of it.
Teachers, working with the Mayor of London, have developed subject-relevant London-centric curricular packs for the London Curriculum which are free to access after registering.

Clifford French and Trevor Bragg have created a resource pack – The Connected City – for computer science teachers in London, using the theme of transportation on the city’s roads. Students can use Python to interact with freely available Transport for London data on buses, traffic lights, hire-bikes etc (similar to the way smartphone apps work) but also using by learning about computational thinking ideas that don’t involve programming, such as the unit on pedestrian crossings –

The role of computational thinking
This unit focuses on road traffic signals in London and how they are used to manage travel by road. This includes buses and cars but also pedestrians and cyclists. After a  general introduction to transport in London students are introduced to an ‘unplugged’ model of a pedestrian crossing signal.”
Source: The Connected City (available from the link above)

2. Free teachers’ event to demonstrate this new computing resource
To accompany this Trevor and Clifford are running a free event for computing teachers, on Monday 12 June, to demonstrate how they can use this resource in their classrooms.

Connected City – New Mayor of London, KS3 Computing Curriculum Workshop
Monday, June 12, 2017 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (BST) London
Room 2.87 Franklin Wilkings Building
Eventbrite tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connected-city-new-mayor-of-london-ks3-computing-curriculum-workshop-tickets-34465710869

A Hands on workshop, giving you the chance to try out the Scratch and or Python lessons with support, along with fellow teachers to gain confidence, before you use at your school with your students.

For Scratch there will be modelling of Traffic lights and a Pedestrain Crossing.
For Python you will learn about objects, lists and dictionaries.

Transport for London data can be accessed without any code and from a Python program we will look at both.

This course and the resources it uses are available free.

“London is extraordinary. It has a wealth of cultural, heritage and scientific venues. It is exciting and inspiring. It is also a hotbed of invention and creativity. As such, there is no better classroom than London.

The Mayor’s London Curriculum uses the capital as inspiration to bring the new national curriculum to life at key stages 2 and 3. The programme offers free teaching resources, evening events for teachers and exciting educational activities for students.”
Source: The London Curriculum – learning inspired by London

3. #LondonHistoryDay
London’s first London History Day will take place next Wednesday 31 May 2017 but schools are being invited to encourage their students to take part this Friday (26 May) and dress up as a famous historical Londoner.

We thought schools might be interested in London’s history from a computing perspective and have put together this page which talks about computational thinking and computing ideas as they relate to the Romans, Tudors / Stuarts, Victorians, World War 2 and more modern history.

Find out more at London, History and Computing

Please make sure you’re following @CS4FN / @cas_london_crc for updates about our resources

CAS London

Teaching London Computing (TLC) is a resource hub from the CAS Regional Centre London (‘CAS London’) and we are regularly adding free activities and other resources here. TLC’s initial role was in providing CPD support to London computing teachers, which we continue to do through CAS London by supporting Master Teachers.

Although this website will remain we won’t be updating the @TeachingLDNComp Twitter feed (the feed will still be public though as people may come across our resources while searching for related things on Twitter).

The CAS London Regional Centre is one of several university-led regional centres in the UK. Ours is run by King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London (exactly the same people in fact behind Teaching London Computing!) and CS4FN is the flagship schools computing magazine and website from Prof Paul Curzon and colleagues at QMUL.

Please make sure you’re following –
@CS4FN to hear about newly uploaded activities and resources on this site
@cas_london_crc to hear about other support and events for London computing teachers

Thank you!

Back issues of (some of) our cs4fn magazines available – free for UK schools

Our CS4FN magazines and Teaching London Computing booklets are hugely popular and read by school students for interest and enjoyment, as well as being used by teachers in computing classes and after-school clubs. We typically post out around 20,000 copies to subscribing UK schools (some schools take 1 copy, others have a class set) and we also send one-off boxes of magazines to UK schools and school-related events to give to visitors or to put in delegate bags.

We keep a few more copies of some of our back issues to give away to UK schools and if you’d like to order some please fill in the blue form below.

Note that this form won’t subscribe you to our mailing list(s) – if you’d like to subscribe to start receiving future cs4fn magazines and booklets please fill in [purple form 2] here, and if you’re a teacher based in London interested in our local events please fill in [orange form 1] on the same page. We’d also recommend familiarising yourself with CAS, Computing At School (it’s free to join) and particularly the CAS London Regional Centre (which is run by the same staff at QMUL and KCL that run Teaching London Computing).

 

Money available to support London teachers’ CPD / subject knowledge enhancement

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 16.09.35

As one of the projects funded by the Mayor of London’s ‘London Schools Excellence Fund’, or LSEF, we receive the regular LSEF bulletins and this caught my eye…

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 16.07.39
…its text says…

“Calling all London teachers – LSEF Legacy Teacher Innovation Fund launched
Teachers can apply for up to £10,000 to boost their subject knowledge. The aims of the Fund are to:
•    Improve teacher subject knowledge and pedagogy
•    Improve students attainment and progress
•    Make available more resources and tools to use inside and outside of the classroom.
Please share this with your school networks.  The deadline for application is 12pm on Monday 16th May 2016. To apply please download an application form here.”

There is money available to support teachers in London develop their own knowledge and share their learning with other teachers. Computer Science is explicitly listed among the subject options, which also includes languages, maths, science and tech.

From the FAQ, teachers / applications must satisfy the following London Teachers Fund Criteria –

  • Improve the subject knowledge and pedagogy of teachers
  • Improve students attainment and progress
  • Make available more resources and tools for teachers to use in the classroom
  • You need to be a qualified teacher working in a school or state supported education provision in one of the 33 London Boroughs

Visit the Shine Trust’s website (who are managing the innovation fund for LSEF) for more information and links to application forms and the FAQ etc. Good luck :)

R4 programme on Ada Lovelace (2 days left to listen)

BBC Radio 4 has a two-part series on Ada Lovelace’s letters. Alas Part One of the series has already passed into the ‘programme no longer available’ territory, but Part Two (~28m) is live to listen to online for the next couple of days [at time of writing!].

Our cs4fn magazine special issue on Ada Lovelace isn’t going anywhere though, please download a free PDF at your leisure :)

adaletters.png

“In part two of this dramatization of The Letters of Ada Lovelace, Georgina Ferry reveals the nature of the relationship between the young heiress, Ada Lovelace (Sally Hawkins) and the crusty mathematician, Charles Babbage (Anthony Head), inventor of steam-powered calculating machines.

More info at the programme’s page.

What else are we up to?

1.Saturday 21 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

2. Wed 25 Nov – FREE, 5pm
Sorting Unplugged [info] [tickets]
This is a free workshop, aimed at computer science teachers, which introduces sorting algorithms in an ‘unplugged’ style.

3.Sat 28 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

4. Wed 2 Dec – FREE, doors 5pm, show at 5.30pm
The magic of {Christmas} Computer Science – free magic show for young people. [info] [tickets]
This is a free public talk aimed at secondary school-aged children and their families & friends. Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan will present a fun magic show powered by hidden computer science. There are rumours of mince pies too.

 

 

Things I’ve learned while working on the Teaching London Computing project [Pt 1] Eventbrite is fab :)

I’m the Project Manager for Teaching London Computing, a project funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education which supports London teachers who are delivering the new computing curricula. We do this through a variety of taught courses (covering both subject knowledge and pedgagogy relating to how best to introduce them in the classroom) as well as free workshops and downloadable classroom resources.

Colleagues teach the courses and create the activities and worksheets, other colleagues deal with evaluating the project and its impact (this is a non-commercial research project that takes place in two universities: Queen Mary University of London, where I work, and King’s College London, where I have a visitor’s pass).

At the end of the project (formally 30 September 2015 but we have a no cost extension until the end of the year to finish some bits and pieces off) we submitted a large and detailed self-evaluation document to our funders. In it we tried to capture more than just facts and figures (in fact we were encouraged to by the Mayor’s team as they want to know about challenges and anything that would help someone else running a similar project in future).

I wanted to write a series of blog posts about the day to day minutiae of running a project like this because I think that might also be helpful to people, at least I hope so.

Part One – Eventbrite is fantastic

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 18.01.27

One of our events

For our GCSE and A-level CPD courses, for each place we charge teachers £150 and another £150 to the Mayor’s office (non London teachers aren’t subsidised and must pay the full amount). It is very easy to set up a chargeable event on Eventbrite (the fiddliest bit was finding the IBAN number for QMUL and explaining that we’d be putting money into that account and then later moving it into under our own grant code) and handle payments through credit cards or via invoicing [we do the invoicing ourselves, not via Eventbrite].

I do remember explicitly writing in the report that time spent becoming familiar with the event management tools (and that includes the WordPress blog and Twitter, if you’re less familiar with using those) was time well spent.

We made use of various Eventbrite widgets. On the right hand side of any page on this website you will likely see an orange Eventbrite image / widget which will have information about our event when we’re running them (it will look a bit empty when we’re not). I set this up once and now whenever I publish a new event on Eventbrite it automatically appears here.

I also like the ‘buttons’ widget that lets you choose a button colour and text and then gives you a small piece of code to put on your website or in a blog post, like these, to encourage people to click for tickets. Of course you can just link to the ticketing page with a normal hyperlink, but this seems nice.

Eventbrite - QMUL: miniCPD - Introduction to Arduino, with Nicola Plant [21 Nov 2015]

Eventbrite - QMUL: Paul Curzon computing workshop - Sorting Unplugged – for Sorting Unplugged with Paul Curzon

Eventbrite - QMUL: miniCPD - Introduction to Arduino, with Nicola Plant [28 Nov 2015]

Eventbrite will even let you embed the payment options directly onto your website, again with a bit of code. I’ve not used this as I prefer people to go ‘off site’ to Eventbrite, but perhaps I’ve missed out by not using that option!

It’s extremely easy to gather contact email addresses from people who’ve signed up to our events, so that I can email them with joining instructions and generally keep in touch. Similarly it’s easy for them to send me, as event organiser, an email if they have questions.

Eventbrite also acts as a massive data record of all of the events we’ve hosted at QMUL and I can go back in time and search for any of our events (even once they’ve finished) so there’s little danger of losing any information.

When you sign up to one of our events we ask everyone a series of questions about their school – fortunately we don’t have to remember what these questions are each time we create a new event, thanks to the COPY event option. But we do have to remember to check the ticket prices (our miniCPD events are £30) and make sure that the dates when the tickets go on sale match the time when we want to sell them.

Most of our events involve people arriving once a week for 10 weeks so using the online checkin system for those events isn’t useful but it’s great for our one-off workshops where everyone comes to one event. You can just type in part of someone’s name and any name containing that string will appear.

It did take me a while to become properly familiar with Eventbrite but you can do all the vital things without training, and then spend a bit of time tinkering to get things right. They have fantastic help pages and the team at the company have always been vastly helpful whenever I’ve had a query.

Hopefully there will be more blog posts in this series as I’d like to talk about spreadsheet wrangling (and how I’ve learned some useful shortcuts there), also the fabulous Google Forms (and the resulting Google spreadsheets) and Google Fusion Tables which give you little maps of where you’ve done stuff. I was already familiar with Twitter and WordPress blogs but I might say something about those too.

Obviously there are other products on the market that do Eventbrite-like things. I use Eventbrite because the colleague from whom I took over had set things up already, so I’m not really familiar with ‘the competition’. I should add that neither QMUL nor King’s College London (nor the Mayor’s office) officially endorse Eventbrite, WordPress or even Twitter and this is solely my personal endorsement, because I’ve found it really useful.

Jo Brodie
Teaching London Computing

An invitation to join our ‘Engagement Network’ for Computer Science teachers in London

The Teaching London Computing project was a two year (2014-2015) project funded by the Mayor of London to support Computing teachers in London who are delivering the new computing curricula. We are currently in the middle of an A-level Computing CPD course and also have some new workshops (free) and miniCPD (not free) sessions coming up as the year ends. We hope to continue providing CPD support to London teachers as it has proved to be a popular and much-needed thing, and we like doing it.

Of course we are not the only organisation offering support and the Events pages at the Computing At School website has information about courses, events, resources etc available across the UK.

Teaching London Computing are applying for extra funding from the Mayor of London to further support teachers of Computing in London, building on the CAS London regional network and Teaching London Computing. As part of this we have been asked to give details of schools that will be involved in our application. If you would like to be part of this network please fill in the details in this Google form. Your data will be stored at QMUL and shared only with the Mayor’s office.

But I’m already on your mailing list, will that do?
Unfortunately not – people signing up to one of our mailing lists have agreed that we can use their contact details to send them information about our courses and events and / or to receive free copies of cs4fn magazines. We can’t assume that they’re happy to be in our engagement network unless they tell us, and we have to let them know how their data will be used as part of that separate purpose.

• Would you like to know about our future events for London teachers? Sign up here
• Would you like to receive free cs4fn magazines for your school? Sign up here (goes to cs4fn website)

What is Teaching London Computing currently up to?
We have around 20 teachers on our A-level Computing CPD evening course and we are running the following events in November and December.

1. Free workshop – £0
Sorting Unplugged with Paul Curzon
Date and time: Wednesday 25 November from 5.00pm until ~6.30pm
Location: Room BR 3.01 (Bancroft Road Teaching Rooms at QMUL)
[More info about Sorting Unplugged] [Get a free ticket for Sorting Unplugged

2. miniCPD sessions – £30 for London teachers, £60 for non-London teachers
Introduction to Arduino with Nicola Plant
Date and time: Saturdays 21 or Saturday 28 November, from 2pm to 5pm
Location: G2 Matlab, Engineering Building at QMUL
[More info about Introduction to Arduino]
[Buy a ticket to Introduction to Arduino – 21 November]  [Buy a ticket to Introduction to Arduino – 28 November]

As you might expect from the name, miniCPD sessions are somewhere between workshops and CPD classes and focus on a particular topic in depth.

3. Free magic show – for secondary school-aged children – £0
The Magic of {Christmas} Computer Science with Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan
We’re delighted to be hosting the IET Christmas Children’s Lecture at the People’s Palace (at QMUL). The Magic of {Christmas} Computer Science is a magic show powered by hidden computer science and will take place from 5pm to 7pm on Wednesday 2 December. Please pass this (and the attached flyer) on to your pupils and their families, thank you.
[More info about the magic show]  [Get a free magic show ticket] [Download a flyer]

Have you attended one of our courses or workshops? What did you think?

If you’ve attended one of our events we’d love to hear what you thought about it as our project comes to a close. We would like to know if our project has benefitted you as a Computing teacher and, if so, how. Please take a look at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TLCFinalSurvey (the survey should take around 10 minutes to complete).

Also – our next A-level Computing CPD course starts next Wednesday with FREE places for London Master Teachers.


The current incarnation of Teaching London Computing aka ‘TLC’ (as funded by the Mayor of London’s London School’s Excellence Fund grant) is coming to an end however we are very keen to continue with the project and make it sustainable.

We know from teachers telling us (thank you!) that they really value our in-depth CPD courses, our ‘miniCPD‘ sessions, and our free workshops are perennially popular too. We also know that lots of teachers in London, the rest of the UK and even from around the world are downloading and using our free classroom resources – hooray! We know this partly because people tell us, but also from the website stats (at time of writing we’ve just passed 87,000 blog ‘hits’) and the figures telling us that our PDF have been downloaded around 28,000 times.

The team behind TLC (staff from Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London) have taken on the role of one of the new CAS regional centres (we’re ‘CAS London’) and we’ve working with CAS to enable Master Teachers to attend free* at our next course (A-level Computing CPD, starting on Wednesday 7 October 2015) *while places last.

Thank you for making this project so interesting and rewarding, from all of us at Teaching London Computing.

Launch event for the new CAS London Regional Centre (Computing At School) – Fri 10th July

Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London will be involved in running the new CAS London Regional Centre (this is separate from Teaching London Computing project but many of the same people are involved). There will be a launch event [free] from 4.30pm on Friday 10 July and the invitation and details are below. [Eventbrite link for the meeting]

Find out more about CAS London @cas_london_crc.

Here is a map of the CAS regional hubs and Computing at School‘s website, and they’re @CompAtSch on Twitter.


We would like to invite you to the first CAS London Meeting. This is a regional collaboration bringing together primary and secondary teachers, Computing At School master teachers, hub leaders, lead schools, universities, boroughs and other training groups and interested parties to promote and support computing education in London. The meeting aims to start a discussion of how we can best mutually support each other, further developing our London education computing community.

The twilight event is on Friday 10th July 2015, at King’s College London.

Here is the link to eventbrite invitation.

Outline:

  • 4:30 Networking tasks & refreshments
  • 5:30 Keynote speaker Simon Humphreys
  • 5:45 Contributed presentations: What’s happening in London?
  • 6:30 Working together: Tasks
  • 7:00 Finish – more refreshments and networking

We aim to explore three questions about computing CPD and teaching computing in London schools: What is working well? What help do you need? What can you offer others?

If possible, can you create 1 or 2 slides with your answers to the above questions and send them to us. We will share your slides on a rolling display during the networking sessions and ask a number of contributors to talk through their slides in the contributed presentations session (maximum of 4 minutes per presentation).

Join us to celebrate the work done by our fantastic community of computing educators (that’s you) and to find out how we can further grow and develop the network of support and computing CPD provision across London.

For more information and to share your slides please contact Jane (jane.waite@computingatschool.org.uk) or Trevor (trevor.bragg@computingatschool.org.uk)

Many thanks
Paul Curzon, William Marsh, Jane Waite, Trevor Bragg, Sue Sentance

The CAS London meeting is supported by ‘Computing at School’ and ‘Teaching London Computing’, which is funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education. The meeting is being organised by London’s CAS Regional Centre (CRC) a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London.’