NI Educational bodies join forces to support digital skills development
CCEA, in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, have developed a new resource to support coding at Key Stage 3 (ages 11 - 14). CCEA have designed the resource to support the development of skills in the Python programming language.
The Python Year 10 Resource helps prepare learners to programme to GCSE and A-level programming.
The new resource is part of CCEA’s award winning ‘digital skills framework’, which aims to improve the computer coding skills of young people in Northern Ireland.
CCEA CEO Justin Edwards commented:
"The demand for people with digital skills will continue to grow. At CCEA, we want young people to leave school with the skills to create things with digital devices. We want them to be able to code and interact with software in a way that adds value.
We are delighted to have had opportunity to work in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast on this coding resource for 11 to 14 year olds. This resource is part of suite of curriculum and qualifications support that will help young people prepare for future employment."
Dr Philp Hanna, QUB - Director of Education - School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, commented:
"Computer Science at Queen’s is delighted to be able to support teachers to use Python within the classroom. By working together we can help ensure that students have an opportunity to develop the coding and computational thinking skills needed now and, increasingly, in the future."
From left to right - Claire Davidson, Data Scientist, Kainos; Dr Philip Hanna, Director of Education, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queen's University Belfast; Tommy O’Reilly, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Department of Education; and Justin Edwards, Chief Executive, CCEA.
Digital Skills Framework
CCEA has engaged with stakeholders to ensure this pathway is accessible to all students. In recent years, we have collaborated with our stakeholders to provide the following opportunities for teacher upskilling:
- training workshops on computational thinking and coding with Scratch in the primary classroom;
- CCEA primary coding tasks using Logo, Hopscotch, Scratch, ScratchJr and floor robots;
- problem solving in Key Stage 3 using computational thinking and the fundamental building blocks of programming sing Snap;
- transitioning from block-based coding to using Python to teach computational thinking and the theory and foundations of programming throughout Key Stage 3;
- introduction to the C2k Computer Programming Environment;
- C# and Python training to support the delivery of GCSE Digital Technology (Programming); and
- Object Oriented Programming training to support the delivery of GCE Software Systems Development.
The Python Year 10 Resource includes lesson plans, classroom activities, practical instructions, and PowerPoint presentations to support teaching and sample code.
The resource pack provides schools with a resource that helps Year 10 students to develop their current skills whilst encouraging them to continue with their Digital Technology studies at GCSE.