Case study:

Co-think is a three-year Erasmus+ KA2 project exploring inclusive practices in teaching computational thinking to primary school children. As part of the project Danish, Swedish, Finnish, British and Dutch children take part in simultaneous learnathons and their teachers share practice and co-deliver computer science lessons across the five countries.


What did we do?

So far we’ve had several exchanges, visiting each other’s schools and education centres, as well as our first international learnathon. Pupils and teachers from all the partner countries are invited to complete a challenge based on ideas explored during exchange visits. The children collaborate with their foreign peers through an online blog, giving praise and feedback and discussing their understanding of computational thinking concepts.

In the first Learnathon the children choreographed dance routines using code of their own devising, before passing it on to a partner country to interpret, who then filmed and shared the results. Through this process, children learned about the importance of specificity and clarity in algorithms while the practical, collaborative nature of the challenge meant that all children felt included.

We have also accompanied teachers on a Netherlands visit to learn more about how technology is used in Dutch schools, including programming an educational robot who could watch, speak, listen and even dance Gangnam style! A visit to Tampere revealed that Finnish schools focus on problem solving, developing logical skills and digital competence within what they call ‘transversal competencies’ as part of every subject. They have adopted a blend of teaching computational thinking through both a cross-curricular and a single subject approach linking specifically to maths.

What difference is it making?

In the first learnathon it was particularly exciting to see a high level of engagement from girls in an activity that combined two subjects which, according to the 2017 girlguiding survey, are perceived as the least female orientated: PE and computer science. It is the aim of the Co-think project to help promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups in computer science and to show students that the cultural expectations they’ve grown up with don’t have to limit their choices in this exciting subject.

Find out more

Read blogposts about Co-Think:

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Upcoming CPD

Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning

Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning in the classroom, whether in school, remote or blended.

- 17:00
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1

This programme is designed for primary teachers who have recently taken on responsibilities and leadership for technology and computing. It will cover curriculum planning, tools and resources, methods for supporting colleagues and progression and assessment. Colleagues will be expected to attend all three sessions. The third session will be held in a school and will include classroom visits.

Further details for sessions 2 and 3 to follow:

Session 2: 9.30-11.30am Thursday 27 January (virtual)

Session 3: TBC (in person)

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

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