Free remote training and support for Computing teachers

The National Centre for Computing Education was established in November 2018 to help train, support and equip teachers of Computing and to promote the subject as a creative, challenging and rewarding pathway for any interested student in any school.

Teach Computing

Initially, face to face training courses were very well received by teachers who were able to travel to take part. Generous bursary funding helped make it a little easier to request cover to miss lessons for Continuous Professional Development but it’s not always easy to get time out of school for training, even if it’s really worthwhile.

Then, COVID19 reared it’s ugly head and lockdown put a stop to face to face CPD courses in March 2020. Whilst COVID secure venues are beginning to open up again for some courses, one positive outcome of the pandemic has been a shift to deliver online courses with new and improved resources for remote learning.

These remote courses benefit from a blend of live video tuition, online support forums and guided personal learning. In many ways, I think the remote courses are better than the initial face to face courses as they can be done as twilight sessions after school (so you don’t have to miss lessons) and the lack of need to travel means there are loads of start dates / times to choose from.

Over 1,000 teachers have now completed the NCCE CS Accelerator scheme.

Each school receives between £920 and £1,800 when you graduate from the scheme.

That’s a huge increase boost to your department budget to spend on resources or further CPD.

Did you know?

There are loads of great courses that you can sign up for for free (if you’re a teacher at a state school in England) but the booking pages don’t say who’s leading each course.

Here’s the dates and details for courses I’m running this term in case you want to join in (or avoid them and find a different one!):

You can see a full list of all courses (online, remote and face to face) at teachcomputing.org, where you can also find out more about CS Accelerator accreditation and bursary funding details.

Do make the most of the CPD, resources and funding whilst it’s available.

If you haven’t yet got involved in a CAS Community, I’d really recommend it. When the NCCE funding runs out, it’ll be the grassroots communities of like minded teachers sharing resources and supporting each other who are left.

Hope to see some of you soon,

Pete

Free interactive python challenges for GCSE Computer Science

Keyword games for Topic 6 Programming

Here’s a collection of free interactive python challenges for GCSE Computer Science. They’re designed to follow the Edexcel GCSE (first teaching 2020).

This page is a work in progress and I hope to add more activities over time. You’ll see progress bars for each topic. Click on these for interactive, self marking python challenges. As you complete each challenge, your score will update on the progress bars. You can enter your name and generate a certificate for each activity:

Example certificate
Example PDF certificate (I’m sure you can get a better score!)

Variables, Constants and Assignment

6.3.2: be able to write programs that make appropriate use of variables and constants

Learning Objective 6.3.2

Input and Output

6.2.1: understand the function of and be able to identify the structural components of programs (…, input/output)

Learning Objective 6.2.1

Sequence and Selection

6.2.2: be able to write programs that make appropriate use of sequencing, selection…

Learning Objective 6.2.2

Using create.withcode.uk to embed python code in an external website

Create.withcode.uk lets you write, run, debug and share python code in your browser. It’s designed for use in the classroom as a free online resource for teachers to help students grow in confidence, independence and resilience when writing python code.

Create.withcode.uk uses a subset of the python language which runs in your web browser. This allows you to safely run python code on almost any web-enabled device.

This is guide is for developers who have an educational tool which contains / generates python code, who want to allow users to view / edit / run that code with all the features that create.withcode.uk supports (e.g. microbit / pygame zero / gpiozero / tkinter emulation).

If you’re just looking to embed code that you’ve written in create.withcode.uk you don’t need this facility: just save your code (or Ctrl + S) and press the share button (or Alt + Shift + S) and you’ll find a link to easily link to or embed your code in your website or blog. If you use wordpress, this plugin is designed to simplify embedding python code: https://wordpress.org/plugins/create-with-code/

Embed python code in an external website with create.withcode.uk

API

This service is currently provided for free for all for educational use.

If you use this service, the URL and IP address of the computer posting python code is logged to track usage.

Usage may have to be limited if this service is abused. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Please note

All you need to do is post the python code to https://create.withcode.uk via HTTP with the following parameters:

Parameter: py_files:

The code you want to display or run

This can be the contents of one python code e.g.

for i in range(10,0,-1):
print(i)
print("Blast off")

or it can be a JSON collection of multiple files e.g.

{
"program.py":"with open('readme.txt') as f: \n\t print(f.read())",
"readme.txt":"You can read from and write to files with create.withcode.uk"
}

Parameter: mode:

The way you want the code to be displayed.

Values:

normal: (default) load the code in a normal window with full toolbar and ads

embed: load the code in an editor window ideal for embedding in another site (no ads, {+} button pops out into a new window)

run: displays the result of the code running rather than the code itself

Try it:

URL: https://create.withcode.uk

HTTP method: post

Result: