KS3 computing (module 2): creative curriculum content, sequencing and pedagogy (remote) CP458

Develop a knowledge-based curriculum for excellent in KS3, supported by the most effective teaching approaches.


The second in a series of linked CPD, this course instructs participants through building the core of a curriculum to achieve the stated intent. You’ll draw upon solid evidence as you consider the order in which concepts should be taught, how interleaving can improve long-term recall of knowledge, and how student knowledge can be developed at pace while managing cognitive load. In the context of computing you’ll integrate practices including retrieval practice, peer instruction and other proven strategies to braid assessment through the curriculum - leading to both improved learning, and confidence in teacher assessment of progress.

To complement the knowledge structure of your curriculum you’ll consider effective pedagogy including direct instruction and semantic waves, applied to the subject of computing; you’ll consider the importance of high-quality questions in the computing classroom and make use of lots of simple, free and time-saving techniques to improve curriculum teaching among you and your colleagues. You’ll also take a deeper dive into the pedagogy of teaching programming, ensuring that students finish the key stage prepared for the demands of GCSE Computer Science.

Throughout the CPD you’ll further develop a goal-focused action plan, incorporating monitoring and evaluation approaches that ensure you make efficient use of your time and that of your colleagues. You’ll give and receive feedback with peers, supported by an expert Professional Development Leader. 

You are advised to participate in module 1 prior to joining this CPD, either face-to-face or remotely.

Do you prefer to learn in a classroom? If so, take a look at: KS3 computing (module 2): Creative curriculum content, sequencing and pedagogy

Who is it for?

Subject leaders of computing and teachers with responsibility for the KS3 computing curriculum. The course is free for teachers in English state schools who have completed the CS Accelerator certificate of GCSE subject knowledge. 

What topics are covered?

  • Sequencing – determining the body of knowledge that students need to know is one thing; teaching it in a sequenced order which allows them to build their knowledge and apply it across different areas of the computing curriculum is the next, vital step. We’ll look at the long-term and medium-term planning of the curriculum, linking topics to build flexible knowledge.
  • Assessment in the curriculum – a broad view of assessment techniques that support knowledge development as well as progress monitoring. You’ll apply evidence in the effective use of retrieval practice and peer-supported learning to make learning stick, and consider how formative and summative assessment can support the learning journey of all students. You’ll make use of free, quality-assured assessment tools to save you time and reduce workload.
  • Effective pedagogy – building on your developing curriculum plan, you’ll discuss how pedagogical methods can be applied in a considered way to achieve learning goals. You’ll learn how semantic waves can support learners when they encounter new concepts, and how direct instruction can build knowledge and avoid misconceptions taking hold. You’ll also align a suite of questioning techniques to lesson content, resulting in engaging lessons that stretch all students and develop higher-level thinking skills.
  • Teaching programming – the importance of developing programming knowledge and skill throughout KS3 is clear; as a means to fulfil the expectations of the National Curriculum and to give students a head-start in GCSE Computer Science. You’ll receive a speedy introduction to a range of evidence-based approaches for teaching programming, contributing to a teaching toolkit beneficial across the KS3 curriculum and way beyond.

How long is this course?

The duration of the course is 1 day, or its equivalent if spread across a longer period. This includes both PDL-led and independent participant-led sessions


By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Plan a sequenced curriculum to support student progression throughout KS3
  • Make use of formal and informal assessment approaches to build confidence and knowledge
  • Apply powerful pedagogy at appropriate points in the curriculum journey, at a consistently high standard.
  • Plan for students to move from blocks to text based programming in a managed way
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