GCSE Computer Science - developing outstanding teaching - face to face CP205

This course helps teachers of GCSE to develop their classroom practice and deliver outstanding teaching of GCSE computer science


Outstanding teaching of GCSE computer science results from strong subject knowledge, and a detailed grasp of effective pedagogy. This evidence-based CPD helps teachers of GCSE to develop their classroom practice on a number of fronts, equipping them to get the best from their students.

Over four days you’ll go deep into teaching and learning. You’ll learn effective ways to teach and track attainment in programming using Python, as well as approaches that help students learn subject-specific, knowledge-rich content. You’ll develop deep conceptual understanding to pass on through your teaching, helping you to engage with the highest performing students with confidence.

Improving the diversity of the subject is a challenge, and you’ll consider how to recruit more girls to GCSE and ways to positively influence the future study choices of students. To help all learners to succeed in the subject you’ll find out how to enrich teaching with hands-on activities; how to build resilience and independence; and how to maximise the learning opportunities provided by your access to technology.

Between each day you’ll be supported to implement your learning back in your own classroom, reflecting on its impact on your students and colleagues.

This course is delivered as part of the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who is it for?

This course is for secondary teachers of GCSE Computer Science. This course is free for all teachers who have successfully completed the Computer Science Accelerator programme. Teachers in priority secondary schools are entitled to free places and a bursary.

What topics are covered?

  • 01 | Programming Pedagogy – explore how programming frameworks such as PRIMM (predict, run, investigate, modify & make) can be used in the classroom to help students turn models into programs.
  • 02 | How to build resilience, self-regulating and independence – explore why students lack resilience in computing and have the opportunity to evaluate a variety of strategies that can help build resilience, self-regulation and independence in the classroom.
  • 03 | Encouraging girls into computer science – explore the issues surrounding the uptake of GCSE Computer Science by girls and the strategies that can be adopted to increase recruitment at Key Stage 4.
  • 04 | Building deeper student understanding – learn the importance of turning mental models into notional machines and how understanding threshold concepts can impact the progress of students.
  • 05 | Hands-on learning – explore a wide variety of hands on learning activities that can be used in the classroom to help engagement of GCSE Computer Science students.
  • 06 | Classroom systems for programming success – gain practical experience of pedagogy, systems and approaches that are positively indicated in research and evidence to increase success of programming amongst students.
  • 07 | Classroom teaching for GCSE theory content – explore effective strategies that can easily be adopted in the classroom when teaching GCSE theory including strategies around AFL, questioning, assessment, modelling and collaborative learning.   
  • 08 | Effective homework strategies – explore how digital technologies can be used to support homework and how these can be embedded within your teaching practice.
  • 09 | Technology for teaching computer science – learn the importance of using technology whilst teaching Computer Science, learn ways in which technology can be used effectively and examine examples of best practice in the classroom.
  • 10 | Enriching the GCSE curriculum – Develop an awareness of how to enrich your computing curriculum to engage a wide variety of students.
  • 11 | Stretch and challenge – Explore how to effectively stretch and challenge your students in programming using Object Orientated Programming and how to support the transition from GCSE to A Level.

How will you learn?

Active learning in groups including direct instruction, hands-on activities and challenge-based learning. Programming practice with guidance linked to the specific requirements of the main awarding bodies. The course will model teaching approaches that can be taken back to the classroom.

How long is this course?

This course is a split across four-days each involving 5 hours of learning. There is a mandatory gap task of 2-4 hours duration.  


  • Layer excellent pedagogy on top of your subject knowledge, helping you support improved student outcomes.
  • Consider the many ways in which computer science teaching can be improved, and plan to overcome barriers to improvement.
  • Develop your own conceptual understanding of computer science principles, and how your students can build their own mental models.
  • Make your GCSE offer more accessible to a wider group of students, and attract more girls to the subject.


By booking on this course you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the National Centre for Computing Education. These can be found here https://teachcomputing.org/privacy.html

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