Computing 11-16

Why become a teacher of computing?

Choosing to become a computing teacher involves taking on a significant role in shaping the digital future. In the realm of coding, algorithms, and technology, you serve as a guide, helping students harness technical skills and fostering a generation that understands the power of computation. Your classroom becomes a hub of innovation where the language of computers is not just learned but used for creative expression and logical thinking. It’s a journey where you inspire students to not only use technology but also become proficient architects of it. The satisfaction comes from witnessing the moment when a complex coding challenge is conquered, contributing to a future where technology is not just a tool but a language spoken with confidence and creativity.


What does being a teacher of computing mean?

The national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, they will develop their ideas using technology, and create a range of digital content. Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.


What are the key concepts that underpin our approach to the teaching of computing?

In September 2014, computing replaced ICT as a national curriculum subject at all key stages. Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, how to apply computational thinking, and how to make best use of information technology. It aims to give pupils a broad education that encourages creativity and equips them with the knowledge and skills to understand and change the world.

The three main strands within computing have been identified as Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy:

  • Computer Science is the scientific and practical study of computation: what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.
  • Information Technology is concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work, and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.
  • Digital Literacy is the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.

The expert guidance that I received on the course was invaluable. My computing Subject Specialist was always on hand to support and was a great help in supporting me to link theory with practice. Being immersed in thinking about the unique contributions that computing makes to the school curriculum and the specific ways in which pupils learn it was one of the many highlights of the course.

How is our computing course constructed?

This course is built on an extensive research base in teaching computing and it is closely interwoven with our Central Curriculum Sessions as part of our overall Integrated Curriculum approach. Each year we review all aspects of our courses to ensure that they cover the most relevant components of the subject as well as introducing you to the most commonly taught ideas and concepts. Mentors and specialist teachers in our partnership schools also play a crucial role in reviewing the programme to ensure that it gives the very best preparation for becoming a great computing teacher.

Our carefully designed curriculum is structured so that you will have approximately one Subject Curriculum Session a week across the 2024-25 academic year. Alongside this, subject specificity is carefully woven throughout all aspects of the course, including the ongoing assessment process and the optional PGCE assignments, so that all content is relevant to you and your teaching. Subject Curriculum Sessions will develop on the ideas and theory raised in your general Central Curriculum Sessions so that you have expert guidance on how best to deliver strategies and techniques in your specific subject area. 

Our Computing course prepares you to teach across the 11-16 age range, and you will be formally assessed in those key stages. In addition you will also have the opportunity to observe and teach KS5/ A level teaching in at least one of your placements and your Subject Curriculum Sessions will include training that prepares you to teach KS5/ A level.

The links below will provide you with information about the curriculum and programmes of study that schools are expected to deliver, these shape the content that your Subject Curriculum Sessions will cover, to ensure that you are able and confident to teach across the full range of topic areas included. 

Professional Subject Association

As well as introducing you to a wealth of relevant books, articles and research papers you will also benefit from free access to the National Centre for Computing Education, an organisation funded by the Department for Education and supporting partners which marks a significant investment in improving the provision of computing education in England.

Your Subject Specialist will guide you on how best to use the resources, professional learning community and events from the association to support your subject development and the lessons that you will prepare and deliver.