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Primary school teachers 'to develop computing skills'

05/12/2013 Joanna
Primary school teachers are to undergo a computing readiness programme to prepare them for a new curriculum.

The government has targeted significant improvements in computing and so the new system of learning, which has been praised by both Facebook and Google, will be rolled out from September 2014.

In order to make sure people in primary school teaching positions are capable and well informed, £1.1 million in funding is being made available to the British Computer Society (BCS) to help educators with no prior experience of computer science.

Under the new curriculum, kids will learn how to design and write computer programs. From the age of five, youngsters will be taught about basic algorithms and how to use digital devices. Following on from this, seven-year-olds are to be introduced to the internet and how computer networks operate. 

Education minister Elizabeth Truss said: "We want children to be enthused by the possibilities of computing - writing programs for computer games or designing apps for smartphones. The new curriculum will do that and this funding will mean that primary school teachers - even those with little or no experience in teaching computing - will be able to deliver it."

The project is to start immediately and means teachers will attend in-school workshops, take part in support groups and carry out various outreach activities. 

This builds on a project being run by BCS - thanks to £2 million in funding from the Department for Education (DfE) - that will see a network of 400 'master teachers' created by 2015. These people will be tasked with leading professional development in their local areas. 

According to the DfE, the computing readiness programme is designed to be self-sustaining, as teachers will be expected to pass on their knowledge to others at their schools to boost overall skill levels. 

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801669172-ADNFCR
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