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Computing Masterclasses

The Computing department offers a specialist teacher with help from Sixth Form students on Friday afternoons. The lessons take place in our computer labs at St Albans School and are geared towards pupils in Years 5 and 6. The pupils look at topics such as programming using graphical languages, communication and cryptography, as well as other aspects of the National Curriculum for Computing.

Aims

To develop a mutually beneficial partnership between the two schools with a particular focus on Computing. Sixth Form student helpers have the opportunity to develop their teaching skills and act as role models. Primary School children have the opportunity to experience sessions run by specialist teachers from the Computing Department in well-resourced computer labs. Primary teachers can develop their knowledge of the Computing curriculum and will be given the teaching materials to take back with them for use in their schools. They will also be given all the assessments used in each unit so that they can record pupil progress.

Background

The Computing Department at St Albans School have offered this programme for several years. They are keen to share their specialist Computing skills with partner schools and support them in developing their own Computing curriculum. They are happy to tailor sessions to a school’s requirements.

Resources

The Head of Partnership coordinates the programme that is run by a specialist teacher in the Computing Department who is timetabled for this Partnership activity every Friday afternoon. The school provides a computer room and workstations for all pupils as well as Sixth Form assistants.

Impact

The Sixth Formers complete a feedback form about their experience at the end of each year that we use to assess the benefits of the program. We also ask for regular feedback from the Primary Schools who are involved in the program.

This is recent feedback from one of the schools:

'Since forming a partnership with St Albans School, our pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to work with a specialist Computing teacher, who has provided the children with a range of activities to develop their computing skills, using programmes that are new to them.

Learning alongside a specialist teacher, exposes the pupils to a wider range of computing knowledge and skills, for example using spreadsheets, and learning about new innovations within the computing world. Each week, the Year 5 class look forward to their visit to St Albans School, where they are able to interact with sixth form pupils who are good role models for the younger cohort.

Being in a secondary school environment reinforces aspects of the PHSE curriculum such as showing respect towards others. The teaching and learning that happens on a Friday afternoon is fantastic and the children benefit hugely from this experience. '

Pupil Involvement

Every Friday afternoon the Partnership Primary school attends Computing sessions. It involves a class of Year 5 or 6 children. A St Albans School teacher and a group of Sixth Form Science students lead the sessions.

Frequency

Ongoing project, every Friday afternoon during term time.