Tag: professionallearning


PRIMM is an approach that can help teachers structure lessons in programming. PRIMM stands for Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make, representing different stages of a lesson, or series of lessons. PRIMM promotes discussion between learners about how programs work, and the use of starter programs to encourage the reading of code before writing.


Quick Read: Using PRIMM to structure programming lessons (teachcomputing.org)


The Data Lab aims to showcase some of the ways in which data science is changing people’s lives for the better and to help busy Secondary teachers by providing resources that will help them to learn more about data science and improve their background understanding of how to communicate to children about data science. They also provide resources that can be used in lessons, and also a wide array of videos, real life case studies and interactive activities that students can explore.


The Data Lab resources



abertay cyber security course


In today’s world I am sure I don’t need to point out how important cyber security is and it will be even more central in the future. Understanding how to protect both your financial and personal data is vital for all pupils and not just those interested in a career in computing. As a Computing Science teacher it is therefore my duty to ensure I do all I can to have the next generation as prepared as possible. 

So that I can give the skills needed for all levels, I realised I needed to have a good understanding of language and skills around cyber security as well as having up to date course material. This would then allow me to both develop a curriculum to suit all BGE pupils as well those interested in Cyber Security as a career. 

I have been attempting to introduce the National Progression Award in Cyber Security to senior pupils over the last couple of years. I attended various SQA courses and seminars, I read all the material and I did some online courses from other providers. This all gave me some confidence but I still never quite felt able to have real discussions or importantly problem solve when inevitably things go wrong. I still spent most of my time responding to pupils with “let me go find out” and start asking colleagues and web searching.  

When I was offered the chance to do the Ethical Hacking Module with Abertay University I jumped at the chance.  

For the first couple of weeks I felt completely out of my depth but I re-watched lectures, re-attempted the practical work and in the weeks following I was feeling confident in at least discussing topics with the NPA students using the industry language and giving them anecdotes that I wouldn’t have previously. 

The course was clearly designed to align with the NPA and this meant that the same issues I  came across are likely to be those that  the pupils might also find challenging. Although I am far from being a cyber security expert, I now have much more confidence and the increased skills needed to support pupils who will go on to specialise. I have been able to bring to BGE classes a new ethical hacking and data security topic added to S2.  

If you are a Computing Science teacher, whether presenting pupils to NPA Cyber Security or not, I would recommend taking the chance to do this course if offered.


Shona McAlpine (@MsSMcAlpine)

Computing Science Teacher, Stirling High School (SHS Computing (@SHS_CompSci)


Teach Computing Research Programme – Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC)

The Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC) research programme is an amazing opportunity to find out what works to encourage girls to develop an interest during their primary and secondary school years, and increase the number of young women who choose to study Computer Science at GCSE and A level.

Sign up here


Have you been involved in GBIC? Share your experience with our community and inspire someone!


Jonathan Henderson, Lasswade Primary School, Midlothian, @MrHenderson321
Emma Hedges, Victoria Primary School, Falkirk, @MissHedgesVPS

We are delighted to be part of the first cohort of a new program of CLPL aimed at up-levelling primary teachers’ skills in delivering the Technologies curriculum. This online program leverages some of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)’s existing courses for cross-qualifying existing secondary teachers into Computer Science but provides primary teachers with the expertise necessary to deliver the computing curriculum up to SCQF Level 3. This course has been designed and supported by the British Computer Society, Microsoft, Education Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Currently, we are in Week 4 of the first 12 week module on Databases and Computer Systems, with a second module planned to start in September which will focus on Coding and Web Technologies. So far we have learned about Software, Hardware, Numbering Systems and Logic Gates, and we will soon be moving onto learning about databases and SQL. The work for each week is split up into sections which has contributed to making the course manageable to fit in around a full time teaching job. Each week has involved gaining new knowledge via videos and Sways. There have also been interactive elements such as mini quizzes and using what we have learned to complete tasks such as calculations involving binary numbers. There has been a feeling of satisfaction when we have been able to use our new found knowledge, or from learning from our mistakes, to complete these tasks.

We have also been given the opportunity to complete an additional entry-level Cisco course about Linux which many participants have signed up to complete.

So far, it has been fascinating to go further into subjects which are beyond the normal scope of the primary curriculum and refresh and update our understanding of computing. Through being provided with this opportunity we are once again in the role of the learner. This has been an interesting experience and has made us consider the different ways in which we can share what we are learning to the wide range of needs of our learners, as well as with our colleagues.

We are also enjoying the opportunity to network with colleagues from across Scotland as well as across primary and secondary education. It has been interesting to learn about the different backgrounds of our colleagues who are also enrolled on the course and to be able to interact with them online either on the UHI learning space or on Twitter. With the submission date of our first assessment approaching, we’re very much focussed on doing our best in order to get the most out of the course both for ourselves and for our pupils.

Find out more about the qualification here


Computing Science (CS) is a creative, enjoyable and exciting part of our curriculum. All learners can enjoy the challenge of solving problems with coding, developing their understanding of how systems work or discovering how the world uses the vast amounts of data we now generate digitally. That’s why we have compiled these resources to help you ensure every child can engage with CS.