An introduction to
Switched on Computing

Miles Berry


26 February 2015

Once upon a time...

A ‘big society’ approach



A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

From the PoS







Switched on Computing


Networks and the Internet

Computational thinking

Communication and collaboration



David Brown HMI, 2014


Visible learning

The use of computers is more effective when:

  • There is a diversity of teaching strategies.
  • There is teacher pre-training in the use of computers as a teaching and learning tool.
  • There are multiple opportunities for learning.
  • The student, not the teacher, is in control of the learning.
  • Peer learning is optimised.
  • Feedback is optimised.

Hattie, 2009

Johann Sperl


Child centred?

“At the heart of the educational process lies the child.”

“One of the main educational tasks of the primary school is to build on and strengthen children's intrinsic interest in learning and lead them to learn for themselves.”



Learning as “building knowledge structures” through progressive internalization of actions... happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it’s a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe.

Papert, 1991

Why Programming?

the practical experience of programming, [is] almost certainly the best way for primary pupils to learn about

computer science





Growth mindset

While people with a fixed mindset see mistakes as a dismal failure — a sign that we aren’t talented enough for the task in question — those with a growth mindset see mistakes as an essential precursor of knowledge, the engine of education.


National Curriculum Review

[Levels] may actually inhibit the overall performance of our system and undermine learning…
[Using levels] actually has a significant effect of exacerbating social differentiation… pupils become more concerned for ‘what level they are’ than for the substance of what they know, can do and understand.

Gove’s response

In order to ensure that every child is expected to master this content, I have ... decided that the current system of levels and level descriptors should be removed and not replaced

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Evidence of attainment

It’s recommended that pupils build up some form of digital portfolio as pupils work through Switched on Computing, providing ample evidence of progression towards mastering the content of the programme of study. You could do this through individual pupil blogs, accounts on a shared class blog, using named folders on your school file server, or using tools that might be available in your learning platform (if you have one).

Berry, 2014

Badge criteria

Problem Solver 1

To earn this badge you will need to:

  • explain what an algorithm is
  • explain how algorithms are made into programs
  • explain how a program is a set of clear instructions

Problem Solver 2

To earn this badge you will need to:

  • plan a program to make something happen
  • write a program that makes something happen
  • spot and correct mistakes in a program so it does what you want it to do
  • simulate or control something real such as a toy car
  • solve a problem by breaking it down into small pieces

Professional development

Software in 60 seconds

Curriculum training

Training sessions

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