Bath hosts kick-off event set to revolutionise school IT

An event hosted at the University is set to change the way children learn about computing at school.

Computing is one of the most exciting subjects to study, yet the current arrangements for teaching it in schools leaves many of the country’s brightest students feeling that the subject is irrelevant and uninteresting.

This autumn sees the launch of a national Network of Excellence, run by the organisation Computing at School in collaboration with BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) and with the support of the Department for Education, Universities, OCR, CPHC, Microsoft and Google.

The network aims to improve the curriculum and train computing teachers with the ultimate goal of including a greater level of computer science study in the classroom.

Professor James Davenport from the Department of Computer Science is supporting the initiative. He said: “Hosting the kick-off event in Bath is our way of showing our total support for this extremely important campaign.

“School computing lessons are mechanistic and don’t prepare students for the study of any computer-based course further down the line.

“Moving away from current IT lessons to computer science focused lessons will benefit all school pupils, not just those who are interested in a career in computing. Computer science is primarily about problem solving, and is a useful core skill.

“At Bath we’re very keen to work with Computing at School to provide training and support for teachers, to lobby government over the syllabus, and to support schools in introducing new programmes of study.”

Bill Mitchell, Director of BCS Academy of Computing, said: “There is a great deal of interest in teaching computer science, but a shortage of teachers with the expert knowledge to do so. The Network of Teaching Excellence aims to address this by partnering schools with local universities which will provide teachers with the relevant training they need in order to offer computer science.”

The network will now begin offering a programme of training to teachers. Schools can register online to take part in the Network of Excellence.

For more information about the programme at Bath click here.

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