A national programme to help Scottish primary school teachers bring computer science to life has been launched by John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
The Barefoot Computing Programme was developed by BT and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, working with Education Scotland. It aims to help teachers inspire and excite pupils aged from five about the world of computing.
‘Free, downloadable resources’
The Cabinet Secretary visited the Community School of Auchterarder to see a Barefoot workshop in action and unveiled the new online resources for teachers which have been tailored to the Scottish curriculum, with key content translated into Gaelic. “The launch is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland,” he said.
The free, downloadable resources and lesson plans are designed to help primary school teachers across Scotland, some of whom may not have specialist computing knowledge. The programme resources are aimed at improving teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence in the subject.
The resources focus on concepts such as algorithms, abstraction, programming and data structures and provide ideas on how they can be used in the learning environment. They are now live on the Barefoot website.
Barefoot helps young people ‘get’ tech concepts
Brendan Dick, Director of BT Scotland, said: “Our children grow up surrounded by technology, but too many have no idea how it all works – nor do they fully appreciate how it will shape their futures. They may look like savvy digital natives, but their knowledge is only screen-deep.
“BT’s tech literacy programme is designed to inspire young people to ‘get’ tech concepts and to find them exciting and relevant, but we’re also aware that teachers need to feel confident to support young people.
“That’s where the Barefoot Computing Programme comes in, and we’re looking forward to seeing it take shape in Scotland and having a real impact in our primary schools.”
Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at BCS, added: “Digital technology underpins not just how children go about their daily lives, but what they are capable of achieving as they grow up. That’s why this programme is so important.”