What are London teachers’ needs for the new Computing curricula? We have a survey…

Teaching London Computing is a project that is run jointly from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and King’s College London (KCL). We’re funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education to provide support to teachers in London who are delivering the new Computing curricula (GCSE and A-level).

This includes computing subject knowledge and pedagogical support through a range of continuing professional development courses, free workshops (with fun unplugged-style activities) and free printable resources for use in the classroom.

***London Computing teachers*** – please fill in our short survey
We would like to understand more about the training needs that Computing teachers in London have and we’ve developed a short survey to help us find out more. If you are a Computing teacher based in London your participation will be very helpful. There’s an opportunity to sign up for class sets of free booklets once you’ve completed the survey which should take no more than five minutes to complete.

Please visit http://bit.ly/TLCsurvey2015a to take part in our survey and pass this link on to colleagues.

About us
The Teaching London project developed from cs4fn (Computer Science for Fun, a popular outreach project from QMUL to enthuse schoolchildren about computer science) and, in partnership with the Education department at KCL, we are providing resources for teachers who are introducing programming concepts and computational thinking into the classroom. We aim to nurture an inspiring Computing education for pupils across London.

Next courses
We’ve two new courses starting in the New Year.

We’ve published a number of research articles about computer science education, selected examples below.

Black J, Brodie J, Curzon P, Myketiak C, McOwan PW and Meagher LR (2013). Making computing interesting to school students: teachers’ perspectives. Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer
Science Education (ITiCSE 2013), 255–260. New York: ACM.

Myketiak C, Curzon P, Black J, McOwan PW and Meagher LR (2012) cs4fn: a flexible model for computer science outreach. In Proceedings of ITiCSE ’12 Proceedings of the 17th ACM annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education, Pages 297-302, ACM New York. DOI: 10.1145/2325296.2325366

Bell T, Curzon P, Cutts Q et al. (2011) . Introducing Students to Computer Science With Programmes That Don’t Emphasise Programming. Proceedings of ITiCSE 2011, The 16th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education ACM SIGCSE. 391-391.










Website: http://teachinglondoncomputing.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/TeachingLDNComp

*New course date* Computer Science Education: Theory & Practice (Spring 2015) @ King’s

Teaching London Computing has a new course for Computing teachers, at King’s College London. The short course is a standalone module on an MA course in Education, and is suitable for those who will be teaching Computing up to A-level.

For more details and to apply for a place please visit the course information page.



Course start date – 17 January 2015
Course duration – 11 weeks part time
Course type – Online course
Course times – Saturdays 10am-4pm on campus and online Tuesdays 7-8pm
Course recurrence – Saturday then five Tuesday evenings online, another Saturday and five more Tuesday evenings online.
Location – Waterloo Campus
Entry requirements – Qualified Teacher Status in ICT or experience of teaching ICT in a secondary school.
Credit value – 30 credits at Master’s level
Academic Lead – Sue Sentance


Saturday 1: Curriculum and Computing

Seminar 1 – Communications Unplugged
Seminar 2 – Gender and Computing
Seminar 3 – Teaching early Programming
Seminar 4 – Programming Teaching Methods
Seminar 5 – Teaching by Modelling

Saturday 2: Hardware and Assignment Workshop

Seminar 6 – Flow and Learning through Games
Seminar 7 – Motivation, Uptake and Careers in Computing
Seminar 8 – Collaboration and Group Work in Computing
Seminar 9 – Programming and Mathematics, Computational Thinking
Seminar 10 – Assignment Plans and Feedback

The course is aimed at experienced ICT teachers and new PGCE graduates who do not have a computing background but would like to develop the capacity for teaching Computing/Computer Science up to A level.

Students on this course have access to online materials to enhance their subject knowledge and learn programming (Python 3). They can also attend workshops on the Subject Knowledge Enhancement course in order to improve their knowledge of the course content of current GCSE and A level specifications.

Module teaching includes two Saturday workshops one at the beginning and one in the middle of the module together with weekly tasks, readings and discussions in ten on-line sessions. A task related to the week’s theme usually including the study of a specific aspect of programming or computing education with each student posting their reactions, comments and reflections to an on-line asynchronous discussion board for others to view and respond. Online synchronous (chat) seminars in small groups to discuss the week’s theme. These happen on the same evening (Tuesday) each week.

The 30 credits from this Short Course could be transferred in to an MA Education programme.

We hope that course participants will be interested in the MA Computing in Education

The intended outcomes are that students will develop a critical understanding of the Pedagogy of Computer Science at secondary level enabling them to make critical, informed judgements in

  • managing the introduction of computing to the curriculum from years 7 to 13
  • developing strategies for selecting appropriate public examinations for their students, at KS4&5
  • writing schemes of work and devising assessment in line with research into the learning of computer science and programming
  • selecting and designing and developing their own resources and teaching materials to enhance the understanding of key concepts

for the teaching of computer science, including programming from 11-18.

This course is offered BOTH as a 30 credit module on the Modular Education MA and here as a standalone Short Course. Students successfully completing this course will gain 30 credits towards an Education Masters.

Trained and practising teachers of secondary ICT who wish to teach Computer Science.

Guide to Teaching Computer Science: an Activity-Based Approach by Lapidot and Ragonis (available from FWB library in hard copy and electronic versions).

GCSE and A level text books for Computing and Computer Science.
Specifications for current GCSE and A level examinations (available online on Exam Board websites).

This course is partly funded through the Teaching London Computing project run by Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with King’s College London.
A number of teachers in London schools will benefit by receiving a 50% discount on the cost of the course through funding received by the TLC project from the London Schools Excellence Fund.
Course cost £1000, less discount £500 (for London Teachers), net cost £500.

Saturdays 10am-4pm on campus and online Tuesdays 7-8pm


For more details and to apply for a place please visit the course information page.

Free Computing workshop with Paul Curzon – Unplugged programming / algorithms, Wed 29 Oct 1.30-5pm

Eventbrite - Free Computing workshop with Paul Curzon - Unplugged computing / algorithms at QMUL for this event on 29 October 2014, 1.30pm to 5pm.

On Wednesday 29 October 2014 Prof Paul Curzon will be doing a 3 hour workshop session at Queen Mary University of London on unplugged programming and algorithms. Previous sessions have proved extremely popular so we recommend booking early.

The workshop will start at 1.30 and continue until 5pm with a half hour break for tea and networking in the middle. These workshops are free for Computing teachers.

You can register for a free place using the orange Eventbrite button above or at the end of the page, or visit the Eventbrite page.

When: Wednesday 29 October 2014, 1.30pm to 5pm
Where: QMUL (Queen Mary University of London)
For whom: Computing teachers
What: Two workshops (click on the links below to find out more and download free class activity sheets)
Invisible palming! Intelligent paper? So what is an algorithm?
Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers
Cost: FREE!

Although these workshops are aimed at those who’ll be teaching the Computing Science curriculum we have made a few spaces (also free) available to ‘interested persons’ – ie anyone who is interested in finding out how aspects of the computing curriculum can be introduced into the classroom.

1. Invisible palming! Intelligent paper? So what is an algorithm?

A core idea in the computing curriculum is that of algorithms and algorithmic thinking. But what is an algorithm? We will demonstrate a series of fun and intriguing ways to introduce the core ideas about algorithms. You will pit your wits against my intelligent piece of paper looking not only what an algorithm is but whether machines can ever be intelligent. You will also learn how really simple magic tricks that anyone can do, can illustrate what an algorithm is in a much more fun way than making a cup of tea (!) and you will learn the magic too!

This session will cover:

  • What is an algorithm?
  • Can machines be intelligent?
  • Computational thinking: algorithmic thinking, abstraction

2. Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers

It’s easy to assume that programming is something you have to learn at a computer but if you want your students to deeply understand programming concepts, rather than blindly getting programs to work then unplugged techniques can work really well to get students started. We will see how to program a robot face that is made of students, look at a simple way to give a deep understanding of how variables work by making them physical, and see how to compile programs onto your class instead of onto a computer.

Session material This session will cover:

  • Inspiring ways to introduce programming away from computers.
  • What is a variable?
  • How does assignment work?
  • Programming simple objects
  • Introducing flow of control and if statements

Activities are suitable for all age groups and can be adapted to fit your teaching needs.


Paul Curzon is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London. He runs the cs4fn ‘Computer Science for Fun’ (cs4fn) project, www.cs4fn.org. It aims to inspire school students about computer science through a series of free magazines, website and school shows. He regularly gives such shows around the UK as well as continuous professional development talks to teachers about the cs4fn approach to teaching. He is Director of the Teaching London Computing Project. He was made a UK National Teaching Fellow in 2010 in recognition of his excellence in teaching and outreach, was a finalist in the 2009 Times Higher Education Innovative Teacher of the year award and has twice won the student nominated Queen Mary award for excellence in teaching.

Eventbrite - Free Computing workshop with Paul Curzon - Unplugged computing / algorithms at QMUL for the event on 29 October 2014.

New dates: GCSE & A-level Computing CPD courses for London teachers from @TeachingLDNComp #LondonEd

We’ll be running two 10-week CPD courses for London Computing teachers. Thanks to funding from the Mayor of London and Department for Education we are able to offer each course at the reduced price of £150 for London teachers (£300 for teachers at schools outside London).

The GCSE CPD courses will run on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday 7 October, at KCL (King’s College University) and the A-level CPD courses will be held on Wednesday evenings, starting Wednesday 8 October, at QMUL (Queen Mary University of London in the ITL building*).

We’re also looking at dates for more of our popular (and free!) unplugged-style workshops.

Please note: one of the things we’ll be asking for when you sign up for a course is your school’s ‘URN’, which you can copy from Edubase.

Next GCSE CPD course will run on the following TUESDAYS
7 October -2014 (Week 1)
14 October (Wk2)
21 October (Wk3)
28 October (Wk4)
4 November (Wk5)
11 November (Wk6)
18 November (Wk7)
25 November (Wk8)
2 December (Wk9)
9 December (Wk10) – note that we will run the course through half-term.

Booking details will be added to the GCSE Course page soon.

Next A-level CPD course will run on the following WEDNESDAYS
8 October 2014 (Week 1)
15 October (Wk2)
22 October (Wk3)
29 October (Wk4)
5 November (Wk5)
12 November (Wk6)
19 November (Wk7)
26 November (Wk8)
3 Decmember (Wk9)
10 December (Wk10) – note that we will run the course through half-term.

Booking details will be added to the A-level Course page soon.

*In the ITL or Informatics Teaching Laboratory which is in Godward Square at QMUL. Nearest tube stations are Stepney Green (a short walk) and Mile End (slightly longer walk) and the 25 and 205 buses will drop you off very close to the entrance to the square. We’ll have tea / coffee and biscuits but more substantial fare is available from a Co-op just by Stepney Green or a small Sainsburys very close to Godward Square.




Teaching London Computing’s new CPD A-level Computing course features on the #LondonEd website, via @LLSinfo

Teaching London Computing is one of several projects funded by the Mayor of London’s ‘London Schools Excellence Fund’ (LSEF). You can find out more about the funded projects on the LondonEd website (which is part of the London Leadership Strategy @LLSinfo) on their blog.

London Ed

The Logo for the LondonEd website

This is also a site where the projects can share their learning with each other, and everyone else, and there’s some good advice in their ‘Sharing our learning‘ document (PDF) for anyone who has a message they want to share with others.

Their post on the Teaching London Computing project – CPD for Teachers of A-Level Computing – highlights our new course for teachers of A-level Computing (which will run from 18-22 August 2014) and also mentions our free booklet (also available to download as a PDF) on human factors in computing: Searching to Speak.

If you would like to find out more about our A-level course please visit the course page, and you are welcome to sign up to our mailing list to hear more about our future courses, free resources and workshops.




Free computing workshop, Goldsmiths 8-9 July, for KS2 & Y7 teachers, w Paul Curzon

How to use Scratch and unplugged activities to teach programming concepts


Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 13.11.05
The text below is taken from the accompanying PDF flyer:  8-9July ScratchWorkshopNew

The National Curriculum for Computing involves a large amount of new content, namely programming that will be particularly challenging for KS2 –KS4 teachers. It is acknowledged that teachers will need support to acquire the necessary subject knowledge and skills to deliver this discipline.

This workshop aims to equip you with a good understanding of programming concepts and computational thinking, offering practical ways to teach the related KS2 programmes of study. It is suitable for teachers new to Scratch.

The workshop is part of the ‘Programming 4 Teachers’ project, funded by the Mayor’s Office to trial a CPD model for teaching KS1-3 teachers computer programming concepts, knowledge and skills as well as the trial of teaching resources and pedagogy. Zali Collymore-Hussein is one of the lead trainers on the project.

The ‘Programming 4 Teachers’ resource pack will be available free to delegates attending the workshop.

Complete the attached booking form and email to: TEACHERSCENTRE@GOLD.AC.UK


The workshop will take place at Goldsmiths University of London, Education Building, New Cross, London SE14 6NW
Map details: http://www.gold.ac.uk/find-us/

Course Outline

8th July 2014

•  Teaching Computing Unplugged to Young Children – Professor Paul Curzon
Computational thinking is a fundamental skill set that students learn by studying computing. We will demonstrate a range of activities that show how core ideas and concepts can be introduced using fun unplugged activities, games and magic tricks. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer. Supporting resources are available at www.teachinglondoncomputing.org.

Introducing programming fundamentals through interactive games made in Scratch – Zali Collymore-Hussein
Suitable for years 4-5. Create programs that implement algorithms to achieve given goals that contains loops, comparative operators, randomized values, variables and if selections. Makey Makey can be used to interact with a game to add a mix of fun and science.

9th July 2014

• Deepen understanding of programming concepts through interactive quizzes made in Scratch – Zali Collymore-Hussein
Suitable for years 5-6. Create programs using procedural abstraction, post tested loops, multiple variables, arithmetic operators and ‘if, else’ selections.

• Tackling Control Projects using Scratch and Raspberry Pi – Zali Collymore-Hussein

Paul Curzon’s biography
Paul Curzon is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. He runs cs4fn / Computer Science for Fun (www.cs4fn.org) through which he has been enthusing school students about interdisciplinary computer science worldwide for over 10 years. He is also co-Director of ‘Teaching London Computing’ (www.teachinglondoncomputing.org) developing inspiring activities for computing teachers to use in class. He is a UK National Teaching Fellow in recognition of his excellence in teaching and outreach. He also leads research in the area of human computer interaction and verification focussing on making medical devices safer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 13.43.28



FREE workshops next week at QMUL, for GCSE Computing teachers

TLC robot fauxgo title and URL

Prof Paul Curzon will be delivering four FREE workshops during half-term next week at QMUL (Queen Mary University of London) on Monday . These are fun, inspiring ‘unplugged’-style sessions which look at some creative ways of getting students to think about computing and programming concepts, without relying on computers, and are aimed at GCSE Computing teachers who’ll be delivering the new Computing curriculum.

Each session is accompanied by lots of free classroom resources and activity sheets to download, and of course an opportunity to share ideas with other workshop attendees.

We’ve arranged things so that there’s an hour between the morning and afternoon sessions (to make it easier for those who’d like to attend two in a day) but you’re welcome to come to as many of the workshops as you like.

The workshops are

A. Computational thinking: Searching to Speak (Website) (Eventbrite tickets)
Tuesday 27 May, 11.30am to 1pm

B. Computational Thinking: it’s about people too (Website) (Eventbrite tickets)
Tuesday 27 May, 2pm-3.30pm

C. Invisible palming! Intelligent paper? So what is an algorithm? (Website) (Eventbrite tickets)
Wednesday 28 May, 11.30am to 1pm

D. Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers (Website) (Eventbrite tickets)
Wednesday 28 May, 2pm-3.30pm

Cover of the Searching to Speak A5 booklet, click to open the PDF← Download a free copy of our latest booklet ‘Searching to Speak’ (which accompanies the first workshop in the series, on Tuesday morning) – click to open the PDF or right-click / save as to save a copy.


The admin bit:
All the workshops are free and will take place in Room 1.02 in the Law Building on Mile End Road. For those attending both morning and afternoon sessions (there’s an hour between the workshops) there are lunch options on campus (Mucci or Curve as well as snack shops) and plenty of food places on Mile End Road including a Sainsbury’s. You can attend as many workshops as you like.

Please contact me (Jo, j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk) if you have any queries.

Follow us on @TeachingLDNComp


New free workshop for Computing teachers – ‘Searching to Speak’ 22 May 2014, London

Cover of the Searching to Speak A5 booklet, click to open the PDF
Prof Paul Curzon will be running his FREE ‘Computational thinking: Searching to Speak‘ workshop for GCSE Computing teachers next Thursday afternoon at a school in London.

Eventbrite - Computational thinking: searching to speak - free workshop for teachers
When: Thursday 22 May 2014, 4pm-5.30pm
Where: Stormont House School, Downs Park Road, London, E5 8NP
Audience: GCSE Computing teachers
Cost: FREE

More info: Contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk) and see our workshop page for more details and downloadable resources.

Printed copies of the booklet, and other magazines from cs4fn (Computer Science For Fun) will be available for each delegate and you can sign up to receive free copies of our future magazines at the cs4fn website, and hear about our new courses and workshops.

Dates for your diary: Paul Curzon will also be delivering all four of his free workshops for GCSE Computing teachers on 27 and 28 May, at QMUL. More to follow…

One of the worst medical conditions I can imagine is locked-in syndrome. It leaves you totally paralyzed except perhaps for the blink of an eye. Your intelligent mind is locked inside a useless body, able to sense everything but unable to communicate. How could a computer scientist help? We will use this problem to illustrate a way to introduce computational thinking skills, as well as core computing topics such as search algorithms and how to compare them. More generally we will demonstrate how computational thinking ideas can be introduced in an integrated way using cs4fn ‘unplugged’ activities, games and magic tricks, getting students out of their seats and away from their computers.

Session material
This session will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • How do computers find things? Search algorithms.
  • How do we tell which algorithm is best? Efficiency Analysis.
  • An introduction to using magic tricks to teach computing concepts

Activities are suitable for all age groups and can be adapted to fit your teaching needs.


From around the web: #Eastbourne teachers: Introduction to Creative Computing Fri 9 May 1-4pm £30

From Connective Culture: Tech Resort & Towner Gallery via @aidandelaney

Eastbourne Pier

Friday 9 May 2014, 1pm – 4pm, £30, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne.

Introduction to Creative Computing
If you’re an Eastbourne based teacher, we want you to attend a half-day computing training to achieve two goals:
1. develop your technical skills in programming, and
2. give you some insight into the requirements in the new computer science curriculum.
We will provide a half-day supply cover and computing subject knowledge training for a small commitment fee of £30.

This is a joint project between the ArtsWork funded Creative Computing project, Eastbourne’s own TechResort and the Computing School at the University of Brighton.

We’re delivering training on the 9th of May at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne on developing web and mobile applications using the JavaScript programming language. This will introduce the basics of JavaScript and creative problem solving.”

More information, and tickets: Introduction to Creative Computing

Please note: this is not a Teaching London Computing event, we just like sharing what other people are up to 🙂