CAS visit to Hungary - UK regarded as pioneer in teaching computing

27 March 2018

Computing At School (CAS) continues to attract interest from around the world - with Hungary being the latest country to find out how teachers are teaching other teachers to deliver computing in England’s classroom.

Children learning about computing

Yvonne Walker, Lincoln-based Regional CAS Hub Coordinator, has just returned from Hungary where she gave presentations to government officials, representatives from universities and school teachers about CAS - which is part of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Yvonne explains: “CAS is a unique organisation which helps teachers to teach computing to children in the UK. England introduced a new computing curriculum in 2014 and now children as young as five are now learning about the things that affect all of our lives nowadays; algorithms and computational thinking; the approach that allows us to take a complex problem, understand what that problem is, and develop possible solutions. Other countries are in the process of reviewing how computing is taught in schools, and are looking to the UK as a model for this change. CAS is attracting worldwide attention and is seen by many around the world as an exemplar when it comes to teaching computing. We’ve recently hosted a delegation from South Korea, a country I’d previously visited, where, like Hungary, there is also a great deal of interest in adopting the UK model.”

Yvonne continues, “I previously visited Hungary last October to talk about BBC Microbits and spoke at a conference about changing the computing curriculum. Delegates were interested in the changes we had made here in the UK and how CAS developed. I also facilitated some workshops and discussions with officials from the British embassy in Budapest.

“This latest trip in March, was organised by the British Embassy, and this time I spoke about

how the CAS community works and how CAS and BCS are supporting international partnerships. I talked about how a CAS style regional centre could be set up at Universities - and how the Universities could work with teachers to form a community. I outlined how CAS/BCS works in UK - and advised the Hungarian representatives to take the idea and put it in to their own local context. The Hungarians are very interested in the CAS community of practice and the support it provides for teachers to help them cope with the up-coming changes.”

“I also ran a session in Budapest (at the Elte University) and had 3 sessions with teachers and trainee teachers - explaining how we run teacher training through CAS networks. Teaching in Hungary can be traditional and I showed 120 teachers how I use the micro:bit in computer science, STEM and the arts teaching, to bring lessons to life.

“I ran a number of tutorials - talked about how this supports teaching and learning. Everyone who attended said they enjoyed it very much - they were fantastic. They spoke good English, and asked lots of questions. They were lovely and enthusiastic and there is global interest in this topic and people from different countries are approaching us for this type of support. We have a good reputation in other countries.”

Yvonne concludes “The response wherever I went was extremely enthusiastic - and the contacts I made in Hungary want to build partnerships with BCS and CAS. They are also interested in the BCS Certificate of Computer Science Teaching. They don’t want to reinvent the wheel and feel that anything that has ‘BCS stamp of approval’ on it will give their teacher accreditation process more kudos.

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