Summer 2020 Update

02 April 2020

We had a terrific first term at CS in Schools, and we’re ready for the coronavirus imposed challenge of delivering our coding programmes mostly online in term two. If you’re a school or teacher that’s struggling to put together a digital technology programme for your school for the next term, drop us a line and we’ll figure out how to help. Our programmes are entirely free and open, so there’s no catch.

In term one, we helped almost 60 teachers from across Victoria teach coding to their Year 7 and 8 students. Around 45 volunteers supported the teachers in their classrooms, and well over 1,000 students learnt how to code in the first few months of the year. We’re now getting ready for term two, and working hard to build more resources to help teachers successfully deliver the programme remotely to their students. We’ll have more to announce on that front in the next couple of weeks.

Teachers and volunteers at our pre-term workshop at Toorak College

Before term one kicked off, we had a terrific workshop at the beautiful Toorak College. We brought together most of the teachers and many of the volunteers for a weekend of learning. The teachers focused on learning about our materials, computing careers, and practiced coding. The volunteers learnt about schools, teachers, classrooms, and working with students. Our favourite teacher feedback was “Absolutely fantastic 2 days, I was hating on the fact that this was over the weekend, but I was totally blown away”. If you’re keen to learn more about the workshop, it has its own page and you can also sneak a peak at the slides and video here.

We released version 3 of our Year 7 materials just before the year began. We learnt from feedback in 2019 that we’d been too ambitious in what we covered, and we simplified our materials and built in more structure and support. If you’ve not seen our materials, start with the simple quick start guide or just dive into the lessons themselves. There’s six core lessons, two lessons to work on a text adventure assignment, and a library of six supplementary lessons to optionally weave into the programme. If you’re interested in how the materials map to what’s required nationally in the curriculum for Year 7s, this page helps you learn more.

We are currently testing a new Year 8 programme with a few schools. So far, it’s been going well, with a few teething challenges around using robots in the classroom. If you’re interested in a sneak peak, the quick start guide for the Year 8 programme is here. We will be opening up the Year 8 programme to all schools in 2021.

I’ll be back soon with an Autumn update and a few announcements too.

Cheers, Hugh (on behalf of Selina, Kristy, Toan, Zach, and Jacqui)