Computer science programme used by almost 70% of Scots primary teachers

A programme to help teach computer science in the classroom has reached nearly 70% of Scotland’s primary schools, according to new figures.

Latest numbers show 69% of teachers – more than 6,700 – have registered to use the Barefoot Computing scheme.

Launched in 2017 in Scotland, the lesson resources are available to all primary schools and aim to help pupils aged between five and 11 years old to develop basic computing skills and computational thinking across all subjects.

Carol Farquhar, principal teacher at Houston Primary School in Renfrewshire, said: “It’s been a great way to get the pupils further excited and inspired about computing and developing their digital skills.

“Technology and digital skills are an important part of the Curriculum for Excellence and bringing these ideas into our teaching has really helped to engage the children.”

The BT-sponsored free downloadable material has been tailored to the Scottish curriculum and been backed by the Scottish Government.

The resources, available in English and Gaelic, promote problem-solving, creativity and collaboration among pupils.

Barefoot volunteers have now delivered more than 500 free workshops for teachers across Scotland to introduce them to the resources.

Alan Armstrong, strategic director at Education Scotland, said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in the BT tech literacy programme for working with us on this journey as we raise standards in our transformational curriculum.

“Digital skills are at the heart of our Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, because it’s crucial our learners have the tools and capabilities they need to thrive in an increasingly digital world.”

Jane Wood, BT Group UK nations and regions director, added: “I’m incredibly proud of how many teachers and children have been involved in the Barefoot programme and benefited from the fantastic resources available.”

Alongside the release of these figures, a new Barefoot website has also been launched which provides even more materials for teachers.

Typical support consists of tasks designed to improve pupils’ understanding of concepts like algorithms in a way that improves their ability to think logically and sequentially but creatively.

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