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

TLC Newsletter – Nov / Dec 2018

An early merry Christmas from Teaching London Computing (TLC) with our second newsletter (previous newsletters can be found here). There are more details of the free Christmas talk taking place on Wednesday 5 December 2018 and plenty of festive resources for your classroom.

Table of Contents

  1. Free Christmas evening lecture on Game AI for schools and families
  2. New issue of CS4FN – out now!
  3. Christmas classroom resources
  4. E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code, new from TLC / CAS London Master Teachers – an online course
  5. NCCE – National Centre for Computing Education
  6. Free course from CAS and Microsoft on Creative Computing
  7. iDEA – the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award – online learning supported by the Duke of York
  8. Rocket Fund – £5,000 match funding available for projects starting after 2 Dec 2018

1. FREE schools talk – Game AI Unleashed! IET / QMUL Christmas talk – 5 Dec

Next Wednesday (5 December 2018) we have a free family-friendly twilight talk on Game AI, aimed at secondary-aged kids but all welcome. There will be free mince pies afterwards too. The talk will be held at QMUL in the People’s Palace’s Great Hall (this building is next to the main Queen’s Building, on Mile End Road). Nearest tube station is Stepney Green (buses 25/205), talk starts at 5.30pm. Bring your class!
[Register for free tickets][Full details][Flyer]

2. CS4FN issue 25 on wearable computing is here

The magazines have been printed and subscribers should be receiving copies this week so keep an eye out for them. You can also download free PDF copies (and sign up to be on the mailing list) here. We are grateful to the Institute of Coding and to King’s College London for their support for this issue. Let us know the articles you like most and share some pics with us on Twitter @cs4fn / #cs4fn

3. TLC Christmas classroom resources – download and print, and adapt for your classroom

We have Christmas pixel puzzles, Doodle art algorithms to draw a Christmas tree, or get your class to edit a Christmas greeting program in Python. We also have some computing-themed cracker mottos and are always on the lookout for more… have a look at our ‘at a glance’ Christmas computing for more.

4. E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code – free on Teaching London Computing

CAS London Master Teachers have created E4L2C (Exercises for Learning to Code) a range of free exercises to help people gain skills and confidence in using Python. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced exercises – Beginner exercises (Sequence, Selection, Iteration), Intermediate exercises (Arrays, Functions, File Handling), Advanced exercises (Databases). All are free to access but in order to get feedback and find out how people are using them we are asking people to contact Trevor Bragg for a password.

5. New NCCE website – National Centre for Computing Education

https://teachcomputing.org/ – scroll down the page to find out how you can sign up to hear more and get involved.

“The Centre will start working with schools across England later this year, improving teaching and driving up participation in computer science at GCSE and A-Level.

The Centre will operate virtually through a national network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs to provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, and an intensive training programme for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science.” [Press release]

6. Creative Computing for KS3 – courses in London and elsewhere

Computing At School, in association with Microsoft UK, is delighted to announce a two-day funded* course which will enable new and aspiring Heads of Computing in secondary schools to develop the skills and techniques to build a creative and innovative curriculum accessible for all and to lead a thriving subject in their school.

*Teachers in Category 5 and Category 6 opportunity areas qualify for FREE places, including cover.  To apply for one of these places please use the registration form here. Funding is only available for state-funded schools. For teachers applying from outside these areas the cost will be £200 (plus booking fee) for both days of the course.

The London course starts on Friday 11 January 2019 and takes place at BCS offices in Southampton Street.

A little more detail is at the end of this email [full details on CAS website]

7. iDEA – Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award

https://idea.org.uk/  – the free scheme, supported by the Duke of York, helps people enhance their chances in the job market with digital and enterprise skills. Online challenges are split into four main categories, each with its own series of badges to be won – citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur and gamer.

8. Rocket Fund – £5,000 available for IT projects launched this half-term

A match funding pot is available from Rocket Fund for ICT related projects this term – with 20x £250 boost available.

Rocket Fund is a free fundraising platform for schools. So far they have helped 250 schools raise over £200,000. They have just launched a new campaign with 20x £250 boosts available for tech projects launched after 3rd December. Is there any tech you’d like to buy? See Rocket Fund’s website for more details.

More detail on the Creative Computing courses

“We all want our pupils to experience an aspirational curriculum for computing that develops their knowledge, their skills and above all their interest in the subject but this can be hard when we’re struggling to keep abreast of the subject ourselves! This two-day course will help to plug some of those gaps and will help teachers who are in the early days of establishing the subject in their school to encounter engaging lessons and how they can be integrated into an inspirational scheme of work.

The course will be delivered across two days (the first in the early Spring term; the second in the Summer term) in a number of locations in England.”

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