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Switched on Computing vs iCompute

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by clarisarris, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. clarisarris

    clarisarris New commenter


    I'm looking for some advice about these 2 Computing schemes of work.

    We want to invest in a good scheme for our large primary school. The range of staff knowledge/confidence of Computing is vast, so we need a structured, simple to follow scheme. After some research I have narrowed it down to two:

    Rising Stars - Switched on Computing

    Any recommendations? Pros/Cons?
    Would all be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.
  2. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Don't waste your money. Bought SoW are never suitable for your school - you will spend more time changing them to suit than if you just wrote them from scratch. Join CAS and download an outline of a suitable SoW for your age groups and then download and adapt units of work, ideas etc. Ask questions in the forum. Set up work to your teachers' strengths.
    Stiltskin likes this.
  3. clarisarris

    clarisarris New commenter

    Hi thank you for your reply, and I do see your point. However, headteacher has specifically asked for a scheme.
    Many thanks.
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I would concur with what BinaryHex said. I wonder if you're headteacher would suggest buying a SoW for Maths/English? I'm guessing it's the thought that it's a hard subject to understand, however once you get under the surface it's quite simple (certainly no harder than understanding how to teach any other foundation subject). I would go back to the headteacher and give them a couple of options:

    1) Don't buy a scheme of work this year. Use the money to help upskill those teachers who are not confident in teaching the subject and improving your resources (considering the cost of the SoWs you could buy about 100 sets of microbits which could be used in DT, Maths and Science as well). Sign up to Barefoot computing and get them to come in and do a free training session for your teachers. Contact your local CAS hub - they'll help you with the training as well be able to provide you with free resources. If there's not improvement over the year then you can always buy in a SoW.

    2) Buy the Rising Stars SoW - slightly better. Written by Miles Berry (from CAS) who knows his stuff.

    Option 1 will save you money and there's a better chance your teachers will understand the subject better and be able to incorporate some the Computing attainment targets alongside other subjects, thus giving more flexibility in your teaching and curriculum.

    Option 2 may give more confidence more quickly to your less confident teachers, however the subject will be quite isolated unless you reform the rest of your curriculum around the topics in the SoW and the more confident teachers may resent having to teach from a script.

    At the end of the day, if you're the lead for Computing you need to convince the headteacher what you think is right for the children's learning in the long term.
    clarisarris likes this.

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