Knowledge Organisers for Computer Science 9-1 (Edexcel)

I’ve created these to go with the Edexcel GCSE Computer Science course, but they can be adapted to fit other board’s material easily. The Edexcel Pseudocode is very different to OCR/AQA as it is based on Haggis, but otherwise it should be easy to “port”.

Hat tip to Chris Whitworth, whose KOs (available free on TES) I used as a basis for these, so much of the work is his, thanks Chris. I’ve rearranged, changed a few things and added lots of images, but the commentary section is still his.

I’ve included samples of Python, so if you use another language that’s another thing to change. Anyway I hope it is useful. Feedback welcome in the comments or on my Twitter.

Sorry WordPress doesn’t support zip files, so I’ll upload to CAS soon as a zip.

The Quizlet resources referred to are also available for free on my Quizlet account here.









New Resource – Paper 2 Mock

Edit 16 April. I’ve tidied up the paper and now uploaded the solution / mark scheme. 

There are precious few mock papers out there for the new smock1pec Paper 2, so I’ve written one. It’s on CAS here
CAS Resouce 5573 – my Paper 2 Mock   and also attached to WordPress at the link below. In both cases shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licence – feel free to use non-commercially. Enjoy!

Linked documents below:

Computing Edexcel GCSE Paper 2 PPE AH

Computing Edexcel GCSE Paper 2 PPE AH Mark Scheme

Paired Programming Begins!

I’m all set. Tomorrow I pair up my Year 10s for programming. I’ve asked them who they want to work with, giving me several options each. I’ve then paired similar abilities (following advice from @teknoteacher), and created a booklet of challenges from absolute beginner to fairly advanced GCSE coder.

I’ve given points for each, and we’ll be doing this all week (3 hours) with me hovering around helping when they get stuck, but mostly facilitating them in getting unstuck themselves. I’ll report back later on how this works. But if you want the resource, it is attached…pair1

GCSE Coding Workbook 1 AJH

Loyalty Card for positive behaviour management

I took this idea from my teaching coach, and I’ve started trying it this week. Basically they get a stamp for a good lesson. Targets are on the form, all three must be met for a stamp. Lesson 1 today saw around one-third of the class get a stamp, but they all wanted one, so maybe lesson 2 will be different! Feel free to adapt and share onwards with no restrictions.  Download link is below. NB the headphones mentioned are from Poundland, don’t tell the kids! 🙂 loyaltycardimage

loyalty card v1

Ubiquitous classroom display post

This is not just showing off, I thought this display might be of use to other Computing teachers. The process of designing an algorithm and the ability to transform algorithms from flowchart to pseudocode to program code is vital, so I put it on my wall. Attached is the Word Doc (yes, I knoalgowallw, hardly hi-tech but it works), and the finished picture. Enjoy.


flowchart display


Learn names and Smile!

It occurs to me that a lot of what has become reasonably automatic for me in the last two years (PGCE and NQT years) might not be everyone’s experience. So here are a few tips for new teachers based on my own experience.

  1. Save everything, preferably digitally. I use OneNote as my school has an Office365 account, and everything I find useful goes in there. I take notes at meetings, save ideas on the fly, capture stuff from Twitter and other online sources. You never know when it will come in handy. Good digital notebooks include Evernote and Google Keep too.
  2. Learn names. This was hard for me but nothing kills your confidence than getting students’ names wrong, or not knowing them. I had one class last year with two Niamhs and a Neve, which doesn’t help. But once I knew the names – and better still, knew something about them – I was much more in control and confident. Take a class photo if you can, or print one off from SIMS if possible, and revise at home. Do some activities early in the year such as “
  3. alliteration” (the kids have to come up with an alliterative nickname eg. Dancing Dean, Singing Sophie etc.) and learn those names!
  4. Smile. This might be hard if you’re under pressure. But kids will relacasperx and enjoy your lessons if you look like you’re enjoying them. So in return you get better behaviour. It’s tricky but rewarding. Don’t feel you have to compromise on behaviour, just smile while being firm! Be warm but strict… more here.
  5. Capture the kids. By this I mean save data on them, we’re not talking the Choky from Matilda. I use Excel, like almost everyone else. I download the marksheet from SIMS at the start of the year, format nicely and then add columns. These are the columns I add:
    • Quality of book notes (2 cols: grade A/B/C and notes) twice every half term
    • Formative assessment grade twice every half term
    • Summative assessment once every half term
    • Teaching and Learning notes: support needed etc.
    • “About me”: what they like, aspire to etc. (from first lesson captured by Edmodo)
  6. Remember why you’re doing this. Read “Teach Like a Pirate” and write down your passions, and keep them close. Put your favourite inspirational quotes up on the wall and share them with your students. You’ll forget, once in a while. Why not feign exasperation and ask the kids “why do I do this?” and see who replies “because we’re the future, Sir, you’re training us to clean up your mess, innit!” – guaranteed to bring that smile back.

Yes, that is my dog, Casper, in the picture. Be like Casper. With less tongue, perhaps.