Barefoot boost for tech literacy in Manchester primary schools
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan, today launched a new BT programme to help Manchester primary school teachers bring computer science to life in the classroom. The Lord Mayor visited his old school, Crumpsall Lane Primary School, to see a Barefoot workshop in action and meet some of the team involved in delivering the programme.
The Barefoot Computing Programme was established with the original aim of helping primary school teachers in England get ready for the computer science element of a new computing curriculum. It was originally funded by the Department of Education and run by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) in partnership with BT and Computing at School (CAS).
BT took over the lead and funding for the programme with the continued support of BCS and CAS, and has been working to enable the resources and workshops to be available to all primary school teachers throughout the UK.
In the North West, BT has delivered 207 workshops to date, reaching 3,933 teachers and 103,044 pupils.
The company aims to deliver Barefoot workshops to more than 1,000 teachers in total in Manchester to reach 25,000 pupils by the end of this academic year.
The free, downloadable resources and lesson plans are designed to help teachers – who may not have specialist computing knowledge – better understand ideas and concepts such as algorithms, abstraction, programming and data structures and how they can be taught to children in a simple yet fun way.
Speaking at the launch of Barefoot Computing at Crumpsall Lane Primary School, Crumpsall, Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan said: “I am pleased to launch the Barefoot Computing programme here in Manchester at the very school that I attended when I was a child. Things have changed so much since I was a pupil here and now learning how to use a computer is as important as using a pen to equip this generation for their future world of studies and work.”
Kieran Charleson, BT’s North West regional partnership director added: “The Barefoot Computing programme provides step by step resources and workshops to give teachers of all tech abilities the confidence to teach these skills to their classes.
“This resource is part of BT’s long-term commitment to help build a culture of tech literacy and to use the power of communications to make a better world. As its first goal, BT aims to reach five million children by 2020. We are looking forward to seeing the programme take shape in Manchester and the North West and having a real impact in our primary schools.”
Crumpsall Lane Primary School teacher, Jon Chippindall whose pupils have been benefiting from the programme, added: “Barefoot Computing is an excellent resource that our teachers are currently using to teach computer science to our young pupils in a way that is exciting and interactive.
“Not only do pupils learn vital computer skills as well as computational thinking from a young age but the resources are also excellent in helping our teachers to understand computer science and to have the confidence to educate our pupils in this increasingly vital subject.”
The Barefoot Computing programme has also tailored resources for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland primary schools, supporting their specific curriculum requirements.
The free, simple-to-use resources and lesson plans can be easily shown to teachers in a workshop hosted in school and delivered by a Barefoot volunteer, including specially trained BT volunteers. To download resources and request a workshop, teachers can register athttp://barefootcas.org.uk/
For further information about this news release please contact Janet Hare in the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre
Notes to editors
There are three main aspects of the Barefoot Computing Programme:
- Exemplar teaching activities:Created by a team of practising computing teachers, these high quality, cross-curricular activities help primary teachers to deliver the computing curriculum in engaging and practical ways.
- Teach yourself concepts: These resources help primary teachers on their journey towards becoming excellent computing teachers by improving their subject knowledge and understanding. Giving clear definitions, examples and progression across all primary school age and ability ranges, the resources help teachers deepen their own understanding of computational thinking and computer science topics.
- Barefoot Workshops: The aim is to enable the resources and workshops to be available throughout the UK. These free CPD sessions are run by volunteer experts and introduce teachers to the Barefoot computing resources. Teachers can arrange for a Barefoot Workshop to be help at their school and benefit from great resources and support.
Barefoot Computing Programme is part of BT’s long-term commitment to help build a culture of tech literacy and use the power of communications to make a better world. As its first goal, BT aims to reach five million children by 2020. Find out more atwww.bt.com/techliteracy
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT - Making IT Good for Society
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