CS For Schools

A collection of Computing Science and programming resources for Schools

Free Resource Packs

Exploring CS:

Exploring Computer Science is a yearlong course consisting of 6 units, approximately 6 weeks each. The course units draw on the curricular framework listed in Levels II and III of the ACM’s A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science (2003). Assignments and instruction are contextualized to be socially relevant and meaningful for diverse students. Units utilize a variety of tools/platforms

Aimed at upper primary/lower secondary school, topics covered are: Human/Computer Interaction, Problem Solving, Web-Design, Programming, Computing & Data Analysis, and Robotics. A lot of thought has gone into this very substantial resource, with a strong introduction emphasising the curricular approach and underpinning pedagogy.

Raspberry Pi Education Manual: Not just for Raspberry Pi owners… covers introductory programming with Scratch and Python (and eventually Greenfoot). Some RPi specific material, but only in a couple of sections. A useful resource, or self-teaching guide for the more confident and motivated students.

RSE Computing Science: Three sets of resources each comprising a set of student notes, teacher notes and supplementary files. The sets are:

  • Level 3, Introduction to Computer Science. Uses Scratch to teach programming and computer science concepts
  • Level 3/4, Intermediate Computer Science. Uses the BYOB variant of Scratch (which introduces Blocks, which allow students to develop their own procedures and functions) to focus more on abstraction, modularity and hierarchy. (The latest version of BYOB is now called Snap! but I believe this resource should work without need for changes)
  • Levl 4, Mobile App Development. Uses App Inventor (so perhaps a bit more work to set up in the classroom) to enable app development on Android. More inter-disciplinary links (e.g. design).

Beauty and Joy of Computing: This resource aims to provide a firm introduction to Computer Science for High School students, with some strong theoretical underpinnings to the programming. From the developers of BYOB/Snap. Resources are available in a range of formats – including a Moodle archive that makes it simple to install into your own (should you have one!) school Moodle.

I haven’t worked my way through all the different resource packs, but this might be the only one for high-school students to include considerable material on recursion, Lamba (anonymous) functions, Higher-Order Functions, and distributed functions. Any student who masters this before starting university is likely to be in a very strong position when it comes to (re-)learning these and related concepts later.

CS Unplugged: I really like the look of these materials – activities for children and teacher and student books. The key idea of CS Unplugged is activities to teach aspects of Computer Science without using computers… so binary numbers are taught using cards with dots on them – one dot on the first card, two on the next, four on the next and so on. Activity worksheets detail how to run the lesson with some amount of detail, and videos, photos and submitted extension exercises round out each activity. With open source materials and packs translated into a wide range of languages. Loads and loads of material here ready for classroom use.

OCR Resources for Raspberry Pi. Tutorials, recipe cards, classroom challenges and links to more resources. One of the more interesting exercises allows you to control a LED via Twitter – which is a good introduction for remote control of home devices via the internet.

Online communities

Computing at School: Probably the largest network of IT and CS teachers for the UK. Also has a number of active members in Higher Education. Lots of active resource creation and sharing

CompEdNet: A Scottish network for IT and Computing teachers.

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