Kids at home? Free computing-themed activity newsletter from @cs4fn ^JB #HomeLearning #ComputingAtHome

Over the last 14 years CS4FN (Computer Science For Fun) has been creating and sharing with schools our FREE inspiring computing resources for use in the classroom. Our sister project Teaching London Computing (this website) also supports teachers directly with continuing professional development.

During lockdown we’re gradually converting some of our school resources into a format that doesn’t need a printer – so that they can be done on a computer (or tablet) or done with pen and paper – or even with a pack of cards. (We do have printable stuff too but not everyone has a printer at home).

We’re creating a new short email newsletter for families so that we can share our free resources with them. We’re already in touch with lots of teachers (our printed magazines alone go to 2,300 subscribing UK schools) but not so much with other parents and carers… yet. Can you help us to reach them?* Thanks! (Here’s a Tweet you could share too)

This is the link for the sign-up form and it’s embedded below. If you want to read the newsletters but don’t want to sign up we’ll add them here so please bookmark this page.

*But please don’t sign up friends without getting their permission first – thank you!

To start you off here are some Home Learning activities for Primary and Secondary.


List of computing resources (for parents & teachers) #HomeLearning / #ComputingAtHome ^JB

Jane Waite has collected together an amazing list of things that will be useful for parents and teachers supporting kids at home during lockdown. She’s kindly given me permission to share it on this blog, the original is here at Computing At School [CAS] (but you’ll need to register to be able to see it – it’s free to do so. It’s a site for computer science teachers in the UK).

Because CAS is aimed at  computing teachers (who are probably already members and may have seen Jane’s post) I’ve re-ordered the information to lead with the things that parents might find most useful.


Websites with collections of links on home learning

Twitter #


The rest below is aimed more at teachers

There seem to be three main approaches being suggested for running classes for pupils who are at home under an Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) context.

  1. Asynchronous -material can be accessed at any time, e.g. videos, workbooks
  2. Synchronous – real-time e.g. online classes – “VIRI is defined as a teaching and learning experience that is led by an instructor, that takes place in the online space (over the internet), where all students participate in the experience at the same time, and where the experience involves two-way communication between student and student or student and instructor” (Francescucci & Foster, 2013, p.82)
  3. A combination of the two.

Perhaps consider the following

Guidance on running online learning activities

CPD for teachers on home learning

Websites/ blogs with case studies, school experiences


  • If you are recording a teaching and learning video for your students – show your face!

Resources for teaching computing online (some are normally subscription)

  • Fabulous thread on twitter from @chinmay. Click on SHOW THREAD. of a list of methods for peer collaboration and conversation in online learning. Brilliant.

A very comprehensive list of ideas and resources for teaching remotely thank you @TorreyTrust

  • Some time ago, UCL led the creation of the ABC learning design method for developing blended learning courses in universities. The resources include a method for reviewing current face to face lessons and converting to online. They have a toolkit which includes a brilliant set of cards which map “conventional” to digital activities. These are behind a username/password but its free. We could adapt these for a primary/secondary and subject-specific context. We could add software ideas and examples. Feels like a simple and easy way to help teachers tackle conversion.
  • Teaching online with care. Crowdsourcing at its best, international group of teachers crowdsourcing, support, resources and ideas.
  • STEM have suggested project learning at home Has anyone adapted these for home use?
  • There’s everything you need for GCSE CS to learn online free until September or the end of the school closures, whichever is later. Just fill in the form at the top of the page at Free online GCSE CS Textbook, animated presentations for each specification point for OCR, AQA and most of Edexcel, activities, examples, links to videos, exam-style questions. All in a simple format to upload to a VLE or extranet.
  • Crowdsourced pages of resources for teaching online Teaching in the context of Covid-19 (mainly US university contributions) Stockpiling for COVID-19 teaching resources (mainly twitter links again US uni focused)