Aims and benefits

Aims of the Local Hubs

The emphasis of PLAN C is on computing teachers working together with lead teachers in their local area to help develop long lasting Computational Thinking skills in their pupils using more effective and engaging pedagogies rather than solely focusing on particular technologies that soon change and fall out of favour.

 Lead Teachers were trained by the project officers in Lead Teacher Hubs and then set up Local Hubs with computing teachers in their own areas. The Lead Teachers would then deliver the material in Local Hub sessions spread over the academic year giving the teachers the opportunity to implement the strategies and pedagogies with their own students between meetings.  

Teachers were encouraged to share teaching materials and experiences and the hub meetings were supported online with materials, forums and sharing opportunities.

Benefits of Taking Part

  • Certification by the BCS Academy of Computing for attending over 75% of the local hub sessions. This can also be used as evidence to meet GTCS professional update requirements that came into force in August 2014.
  • Development of a much deeper understanding of what makes some Computing concepts difficult for novices to understand based on the most up to date research in this area and crucially what we can do to improve the situation.
  • Being part of a tightly knit community that is able to discuss and continue to develop effective pedagogy for teaching Computing concepts with access to a rich set of links in HE, FE and industry.
  • Access to a range of example N4, 5 and Higher Computing Science activities that you can immediately use or adapt for your own classroom.

Local Hub Experience

Participating in a PLAN C local hub involves a mixture of

  • Reflecting on our existing experience of pupil difficulties and misconceptions.
  • Exploring new types of activities and techniques that can make a significant difference to a pupil’s level of understanding in CS.
  • Applying the techniques in the classroom using some of the N4, 5 and Higher specific activities with pupils.
  • Discussing and building on the experience and how pupils have responded.
  • Supporting each other by sharing pedagogy, wisdom and materials.

Main Themes 

  • Why do novices struggle? Fundamental threshold concepts for CS success.
  • Developing understanding of computational constructs with the TRACS tracing method.
  • More effective worked examples with sub-goal labelling.
  • Fixing faulty understanding with peer instruction.
  • Developmental stages and necessary foundational skills for Computing novices.
  • Using pupil mistakes and misconceptions to create more powerful questions.
  • Pooling the wisdom of teaching CS concepts to foster effective teaching.
  • Improving code comprehension with cooperative code review.
  • Supporting code writing with patterns and variable roles.

Click here to find a PLAN C Local Hub near you