Spring Update 2019

17 November 2019

This is the first of our new quarterly updates on the CS in Schools programme. It’s been a terrific, busy, impactful three months. A few highlights:

  • We’re almost finished with our recruiting for the 2020 programme and we are about to match nearly 50 volunteer computing professionals to nearly 60 teachers for next year’s programme; for most teachers and volunteers, the programme begins in the classroom in February
  • We’re running our two-day workshop on 31 November and 1 December for the 100+ new volunteers and teachers who are joining the 2020 programme
  • We had a terrific awards night to celebrate the 2019 programme. The picture below shows Stella Ramos, a teacher from Greensborough College, receiving her award from Kristy Kendall
  • Every school and teacher in the 2019 pilot is returning for 2020. Most of the teachers will be part of the pilot testing of our new Year 8 programme
Justin Isard (right) receiving her award for completing the CS in Schools programme from co-founder Kristy Kendall. Justine is a teacher at McClelland College.

Our successful 2019 programme is drawing to a close. We helped 10 teachers develop their skills in teaching coding and, through those teachers, we supported 8 schools and taught roughly 1,000 students to code. We couldn’t have done that without the support of 14 volunteer computing professionals, their supportive companies, RMIT University, and the school executives we’ve worked with. In particular, we couldn’t have done it without the philanthropic support of Leigh Jasper, Martin Hosking, and Adam Lewis. Thank you to everyone who made our first year a success.

In 2020, we will be developing the skills of between 55 to 70 teachers, with the support of around 50 volunteers. There will be at least 20 schools in the programme, including at least 10 government, 10 independent, and 2 Catholic schools. We estimate almost 4,000 students will have the opportunity to learn to code through the programme in 2020 and, because we’re building teacher and school capability, this impact can continue in 2021 and beyond.

Carsales have the lead in the volunteer stakes with 15 software engineers volunteering for 2020, followed by SEEK with 12, MessageMedia with 7, and 4 each from Xplor and CultureAmp. Thank you to all the companies that generously donate the time of their employees to the programme. In particular, thank you volunteers — if there’s no volunteers, there’s no programme, so you make it happen!

We have a world-class Year 7 programme ready for 2020. After testing for four terms in the classroom, we’ve made it simpler and shorter, and we’ve focused on creating new supplementary materials that make the programme more flexible. We’ll be spending much of our workshop explaining the programme and its materials to our new teachers and volunteers.

We’re starting work on a new Year 8 programme, which will be piloted by all of the schools and most of the teachers who were in the programme this year. We will roll out Year 8 at scale in 2021.

Thank you to those of you who’ve been part of CS in Schools in 2019, and helped give the awesome teachers in our programme support to teach their students to code. This will change Australia for the better. Cheers, Hugh (on behalf of Selina and Kristy and the whole team).