Naace, 17th March 2010
•Why it matters
• What it is
• How it can be used
In many schools today, the phrase "computer-
aided instruction" means making the computer
teach the child. One might say the computer is
being used to program the child. In my vision,
the child programs the computer and, in doing
so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a
piece of the most modern and powerful
technology and establishes an intimate contact
with some of the deepest ideas from science,
from mathematics, and from the art of
intellectual model building.
Seymour Papert, 1980
Compared to 2004, in 2007 around 25%
fewer students were entered for A-level
ICT, with the decrease comprising boys
and girls equally.
Over the same period, the decline in A-
level computer studies was more severe
with a 32% drop in entries (45% drop in
• Standards in using spreadsheets, databases and
programming remained low
• Higher-attaining pupils and students were insufﬁciently
challenged, often spending time consolidating what they
could already do rather than acquiring higher-level skills
• Too much emphasis is sometimes placed on pupils using
ICT to present their work well, at the expense of developing
their skills in handling information, programming and
• [In the best lessons] pupils were given the opportunity to
collaborate and critically review their own work and that of
others; as a result, they were able to demonstrate ICT
capability at a higher level.
• Common weaknesses in the ineffective lessons included: ...
little opportunity for independent learning and creative
“An urban primary school had good provision for developing pupilsʼ
programming skills. Two Year 6 pupils attending provision for gifted and talented
pupils at their local secondary school were introduced to a freeware application
which enabled them to design and program a two- dimensional computer game.
Their enthusiasm prompted their class teacher to download the software and to
introduce a new unit of work for the whole class based around it.
Pupils were asked to design the graphics, layout and functionality of their own
computer game and to write the program to implement their ideas for its design.
Over a series of lessons, pupils used a ʻpaintʼ application to design their game
backgrounds and sprites. Having completed the graphical elements, pupils wrote
scripts to control movement and interaction in their games. This required them to
learn to use sophisticated programming constructs such as ʻrepeat… untilʼ and
ʻif… thenʼ in capturing keyboard input, managing variables and testing whether
particular conditions had been met.
The choice of task and software motivated pupils who were therefore able to
make good progress. Most were able to write a series of executable instructions
to implement the features of their game design. One autistic pupil excelled at
this task and made better progress than his peers. He made
outstanding use of loops, conditional jumps and incremental counters
in his program. His skills exceeded those of his teacher, to whom he
had to explain the principles of what he had done. “
The Rose Review
• The touchstone of an excellent curriculum is that it
instils in children a love of learning for its own
• Strengthen the teaching and learning of
information and communication technology (ICT)
to enable children to be independent and
conﬁdent users of technology by the end of
• Ensure that technology is not used superﬁcially –
for instance, that it is not used only to assist with
the presentation of work, rather than for
researching, analysing and problem solving.
The Rose Review
• E9: "to give instructions to make things
happen using programmable devices"
• M9: "to reﬁne sequences of instructions to
control events or make things happen using
• L7: "to make controllable systems or models
devising and reﬁning (including the use of
conditional statements, procedures and
subroutines) sequences of instructions taking
into account users, purposes and needs"
• High ceiling
• Wide walls
CC by-sa Jon Hanson
It is said that the best way to
learn something is to teach it.
Perhaps writing a teaching
program is better still in its
insistence on forcing one to
consider all possible
• “Games are ﬁendishly,
• “Get kids learning
without realizing that
• “Itʼs not what youʼre
thinking about… itʼs the
way youʼre thinking that
Goal oriented Interactivity Feedback
Computing at School