A weekly Coding Club for P5s and coding sessions within the curriculum for P6s/P7s are run at a local primary school.
A teacher from George Watson's College visits Broomhouse Primary School, along with support from 3 Advanced Higher Computer Science pupils.
Pupils at Broomhouse do not otherwise currently have much in the way of coding input due to lack of confidence amongst the teaching staff. It is a school serving an area of high deprivation and the focus has been on literacy and numeracy and a suite of other opportunities within the school and at the school's free after-school club.
The aims of this partnership are to:
- Give pupils coding skills, increase their knowledge, confidence and understanding, and encourage a sense of enthusiasm for further learning.
- Work with classroom teachers to increase their knowledge of coding and confidence for future delivery to pupils.
- Give Advanced Higher pupils from George Watson's College the opportunity to support sessions, increasing their own confidence and their understanding of different school contexts.
An initial discusssion was had with the headteacher and deputy headteacher of the school to talk about collaboration between Broomhouse and Watson's and how this could manifest itself. It was clear from these discussions that coding was a something Broomhouse wanted to work on and there was capacity within Watson's to support the school in addressing this.
The Coding Club began in January 2019 and curriculum sessions began in May 2019. Discussions are currently under-way for provision during 2019-20.
The knowledge and enthusiasm of the teacher is central to the success of this partnership. She has developed brilliant relationships with the pupils in a short time and is effective in tackling all the inevitable issues related to technology available at the partner school. The teacher is also a primary specialist who is developing computing across the Junior School at George Watson's College, hence has good knowledge of coding but also of suppoting other teachers and teaching pupils of this age group.
The headteacher at Broomhouse is very positive about the experience of pupils. Some of the Coding Club pupils participated in a Digital Leaders event in June at Watson's and were every bit as knowledgeable as pupils from other schools who attended (who were also a year or two older).
15 P5 pupils are part of the Coding Club and there is a rotation of curriculum sessions for P6s and P7s, encompassing around 100 pupils.
The intention is to run this for another year, during 2019-20, and then to play more of a supporting role as classroom teachers at the school increase in confidence and knowledge to deliver sessions themselves, enabling sustainability.
We are discussing this model with another primary school in similar circumstances and the intention is to also begin working with them on a similar model this academic year.