The Education Space Welcomes a New Computing Curriculum Lead

Hello! My name is Luke Craig and I have been a teacher at Britannia Village Primary School in Newham for the past 10 years. I went to primary school in Newham myself (St Luke’s in Canning Town) and I love living and working in this borough. I am a big West Ham fan and excited that you can see the West Ham stadium from The Education Space’s new offices in Stratford!

I became Computing Lead around 2014, just as the government brought in the new Computing Curriculum. This was the first time I had learnt about coding, programming, computational thinking, and Scratch, there was a lot to take in! I remember finding NPW’s curriculum leader meetings very helpful at the time.

Like many schools, we had difficulties with hardware, old laptops, trolleys that didn’t charge, temperamental internet, and staff who were understandably not very confident to teach this new subject. As well as worrying about the new curriculum content, the Computing Lead was often the person called upon to de-jam the printers, fix display issues, reset passwords, sort out network/wifi problems, to de-tangle charging wires, and just generally go around turning things off and on. I secretly hoped to dump this role onto someone else, so I applied for the maths job… But I didn’t get the maths job.

So then I started looking around at how other schools were making the most of technology. We visited another local school that used Chromebooks and decided to invest in these devices for our students. We trained our staff in Google for Education and started saving all our resources in the cloud. Over time, lots of the hardware issues were resolved and we finally had the tools to provide a high-quality computing curriculum to our students.

There are so many amazing resources out there that can help students learn about technology and allow them to be creative. We use a range of online resources to deliver our Computing curriculum including Scratch, CS First, iMovie, Garageband, Adobe, Bookcreator, Busy Things, and J2E. We also use physical devices such as Beebots, Probots, Micro:bits, Lego Spike Prime, Ohbots and more.

In hindsight, I am delighted I didn’t get that maths job in 2016 because the computing curriculum is the most exciting subject to lead with so many fun, engaging and useful resources coming out all the time.

In my new role with The Education Space I am really looking forward to supporting schools across London. As a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer, I will initially be focussing on  supporting schools in Newham with teacher training and providing curriculum support to computing subject leads. Have a look through the new training page to see some of the support on offer including Google Certification training and Scratch training days.

There is so much scope for students to demonstrate their creativity using technology and I want to help other teachers and Computing Leads discover their passion for the subject and to inspire their students. I look forward to meeting you all at our first curriculum network meeting later this term.