Oct 27 2020
Will it make the Boat Go Faster? Out-learning, not out-working…
I wanted to motivate my Year 11s in my new school after a difficult Year 10. I have been listening to the BBC podcast “Don’t Tell Me The Score” for a couple of years now, where Simon Mundie asks “What can sport teach us about life and how best to live it?”. The story behind many of the podcasts are inspirational, and I was going to use several – including “Facing Fear” by Gareth Thomas – in assemblies.
However, I wanted to introduce my Year 11s to Growth Mindset, and give them a framework to show that they should believe in working hard (performance) and not worry about exam results. So I chose Clarity by Ben Hunt-Davis, broadcast during lockdown on 16 Apr 2020. In the interview, Ben tells how he and his rowing team chose to work smarter and with a very clear and precise goal to get better at what they were doing. In their case rowing to win a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics… hence the question – Will it make the Boat Go Faster?
I was rewarded at the recent sixth form options evening having one of my Y11s clearly explain to her Mum that her objective was to work hard and get better at learning rather than aim for a particular grade next year…
You can listen to the podcast here, with highlighted sections below; the video of the Olympics final here; and buy the book here.
19.40 We thought that resilience was going to be really important.
20.15 The goal became far, far more focussed. We became pretty ruthless about making sure everything we did was helping take us in that direction. But we couldn’t control whether we won or not. We have no control over how fast The Aussies, Germans, Americans, Dutch, anyone else in the world were going to go. All we could do do is control how fast we went, our boat speed.
22.55 We started doing things differently in October 98. Rowing like most sports is about rhythm and timing. Our first regatta was in Belgium in May, a World Cup regatta and we hadn’t done any work on starts, or race sharpness. We just wanted to generate the right rhythm for the middle of the race. Our goal was 1800m at this rhythm. We finished and people were shouting at us and we didn’t know what we had done wrong. We had come second! We realised then that concentrating on the performance stuff could work.
24.40 We worked incredibly hard on learning. We worked really hard on a learning culture. We were not going to out-work people, but we needed to out-learn people every day.
Dec 16 2020
Making Computer Science career pathways explicit at KS3 – and boosting
This is a Year 9 curriculum with a unique introductory careers unit “wrapping” around units from the NCCE and PGOnline. I am doing several talks in 2020 with Abbie Smy (Stem Ambassador Engagement Officer) and sharing the resources with colleagues – see here for details.
Has anyone thought yet about Year 9 options evening this year? I do – frequently – as I know that it is the key event of the year when I can influence the views of students and parents about options at KS4. During the last few years I used to think we had it covered with a presentation and a video for all classes in the week before Options Evening in March. Then talks on the evening with research data from the current year 11, and everything would be sorted. And it worked OK, with a decent take up each year for Computer Science in Year 10.
And a few years ago I was asked to curate a set of Computing Careers resources for the National Stem Centre – and nearly a hundred curated links are now available here. Seeing the range and calibre of resources out “there” got me thinking that a computing department should be explicit about the potential career pathways available, and the strategic approach should be to make these explicit throughout Year 9, and probably even earlier.
A recent post from *Dave Gibbs “Why waste years? Let’s inspire careers!” makes the point that “Computing for 11-14 year olds is important in its own right” but also that it is needed “to support recruitment to 14-16 qualifications for all learners…”.
The introductory unit highlights that the majority of emerging jobs in the next 5 years are to do with computing. It then goes through seven of the featured career pathways, with interesting video clips and activities, with students then researching and creating posters of the ones they find most interesting. We then give feedback on the posters and put them on the wall.
In addition, we also have access to first rate KS3 resources from the NCCE and the RPF. Here is our outline KS3 scheme of learning.
So, as a department, I have set out this year (2021-22) to embed careers into Year 9, starting with introductory lessons to make explicit the following career pathways:
We then pick out various units through the year to exemplify the knowledge, skills and understanding involved with each.
9_1 Computing Careers.
9_2 Software Engineer NCCE Y9 Python Half a term seeing prowess with Python s(et up on trinket.io) or code.org.
9_3 Artificial Intelligence x6 leading up to options eve for inspiration. Mixture of PGOnline Unit then 3 lessons buggies (include sensors)
9_4 Data Scientist (x5? L1 used in intro – adjust depending on )
9_5 Cybersecurity – Networks x2 Hardware / then Cybersecurity (inc L5 Risks, Defence applied to school network)
9_6 Games developer x6 NCC Mobile App Development
** 27/9/20 – I have just added a two lesson Y8 version with a list of extension videos:
***29/6/21 Further development for teaching 21-22.
*“Why waste years? Let’s inspire careers!” Dave Gibbs 21 September 2020
By Chris Sharples • Careers, Posts, Teaching •