Part 1 - Reflection of professional development
You need to show evidence of at least 20 hours of eligible CPD. To be eligible, CPD should have been undertaken within two years of the time of submission for the Certificate. Delivering CPD and attending CPD are both acceptable. The CPD should be one or more of the following types:
- Training courses, for example with a CAS Master Teacher or at your local university
- CAS Hub meetings with a taught focus
- CAS conferences at which you attended specific workshops
- MOOC or self-study (but not for more than half the total hours, and must be clearly evidenced)
For other types of CPD, you will need to check with the BCS Certificate team to confirm eligibility for consideration towards the Certificate.
Your CPD is evidenced in the form of a professional development log. You can add to this at any time. When complete, it can be submitted to your e-assessor. Before submitting, you must ensure that you have included:
- Your reflections on how each aspect in your log was useful
- Your reflection on your ongoing learning needs
- The total number of hours of CPD undertaken
- Any certificates or records of attendance from courses attended
- Evidence of what you have done (if claiming self-study or a MOOC)
Part 2 - Programming Project
There is a range of different CPD courses available which will help you develop your Computing subject-knowledge skills - including your programming skills. It is important to spend many hours practising and developing these, which in turn will help you troubleshoot students’ difficulties when they are learning.
Often, Computing teachers write little snippets of code to demonstrate programming features to students. Therefore, for your Part 2 project, you will need to develop and submit a functional, working program fully demonstrating a range of programming techniques.
Before enrolling on the Certificate, you should think carefully about the programming project you might work on, and how you could build it into your teaching during the academic year. Your allocated e-assessor will be able to give you feedback on your choice.
You can use any language, any platform and any programming environment.
When you submit your program, you will be asked to indicate which features you have included. The general criteria to bear in mind when choosing a programming project are these:
- Your project should be relevant and useful to you in your work as a teacher, either because it is a working example to which you could directly refer in your teaching, or because it can be used in your work with students (e.g. for assessment, administration or pastoral work)
- Your project should work and be robust (you will be asked to provide some appropriate test data)
- Your project should exemplify a range of programming techniques. These will be different depending on whether you are working towards the Primary or Secondary Certificate
The focus will be on demonstrating your technical skills, and therefore you won’t need to supply copious amounts of documentation with your project, but your proposal should include the following information:
- The title of your programming project
- The intended user/s
- The programming language and environment
- The programming techniques demonstrated
- Areas of subject knowledge demonstrated
In addition, for your final, completed program, the following details should be provided:
- A brief description of its function
- A description of how to run it, so that it can be tested
- Test data it should be run with (add a file of tests if appropriate)
- Bugs (if any)
- Improvements that could be made
Examples of programming projects previously developed are:
- An online traffic-lights tool to support students needing help in class
- A tool to help KS2 pupils remember their homework tasks
- A quiz about computer hardware
- A vending-machine demonstration
- A tool for emotional-awareness use in tutor groups
- A Caesar-cipher encryption demonstration
If you can evidence either of the following two criteria, you can discuss with your e-assessor whether you need undertake Part 2:
- You have a recent Computer Science-related degree with a final project including programming
- You have passed the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Certification in Software Development Fundamentals
Part 3 - Classroom (pedagogy) investigation
It is a key part of any teacher’s professional development that they reflect on the effectiveness of different approaches to teaching their subject - especially so in Computing, where our pedagogical content knowledge for Computer Science continues to grow.
Ideas and strategies for teaching Computing will be covered in some of the CPD you attended and reflected upon in Part 1 and, for Part 3, you will need to show that you have investigated some aspect of the pedagogy. You should decide on the approach you want to use, how you want to introduce it with your class/es and, subsequently, write up your evaluation of how successful it was. This is not a full-blown research project but has the intention of acquainting you with the spirit of introducing classroom investigations into your teaching.
Please note that, if you wish to collect some data to evaluate your investigation, you should ensure you follow your school’s ethical procedures, ask for appropriate permissions and ensure that everything you submit to us for assessment is completely anonymized.
When considering a topic for your own investigation, you might like to select something that you may be teaching for the first time, or something that you would like to teach using a new approach - perhaps something which your learners have had difficulty picking up in the past. Here are some suggestions
- How can students’ progress from visual to textual programming?
- Do unplugged approaches help secure understanding of the topic?
- Does pair programming help students get better at debugging their programs?
- Does programming with devices (e.g. Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Gadgeteer) increase pupils’ motivation to learn?
- What strategies for teaching Scratch work best to develop understanding of selection, variables or loops?
- What strategies for teaching Scratch work best with a wide range of abilities?
- Do activities involving the tracing and labelling of code enhance debugging skills?
- Is this a good strategy for developing my students’ troubleshooting skills?
- In terms of learning to program, what benefits are there to copying code and getting it to work?
When you enrol for the Certificate, there will be more information about carrying out your investigation, as well as links to a range of useful resources and some examples of investigations already conducted.