A free programme to help teachers bring the computing curriculum to life in the classroom has already reached teachers at 64% of England primary schools*, according to new figures.
More than 54,000 teachers in schools across England have registered to use the Barefoot Computing programme, funded by BT in partnership with Computing at School. Launched in 2014, the lessons are available to all primary schools and aim to prepare pupils aged between five and 11 years old to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
BT is increasingly focused on tackling the UK’s critical digital skills shortage – which is already costing the UK economy £63bn a year. As part of this work, BT is engaging with schools, education and industry partners on programmes such as Barefoot to help improve digital skills for the future.
Barefoot has already delivered more than 3,000 workshops across primary schools in England. It provides classroom-ready resources, tailored to the National Curriculum, that can be delivered without the need for specialist knowledge or expensive kit.
Natasha Montaque, a teacher at Lozells Junior and Infant School and Nursery in Birmingham, said: “The children have had lots of well-structured computer science sessions within the class and I have been able to deliver whole school initiatives and projects such as Hour of Code, to further consolidate learning,” she said.
“Staff across the school are more confident in teaching and it has helped to offer an engaging and exciting element to the curriculum.”
Jane Wood, BT Group UK nations and regions director, wants Barefoot to reach even more pupils. “Increasingly,” she said, “our jobs rely on people having digital skills. By 2022 the UK will need an additional 500,000 workers in digital industries, which is three times the number of computer science graduates the UK has produced in the last 10 years. The Barefoot programme not only delivers tech skills – but also life skills.”
The Barefoot programme, which is now in its fifth year, recently partnered with the UK’s National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) to improve the reach and quality of computing teaching across England. Barefoot teaching resources are entirely free and in line with the curriculum, so teachers can download the lesson plans and use them in their classrooms immediately.
Teachers and parents can find more information and access the free resources at barefootcomputing.org
Notes to Editors
*BT Barefoot Regions Report 2019
Barefoot Programme reach across the UK:
- Two million children engaged so far
- 70,000 teachers already accessing free resources
- 60% of UK primary schools part of programme
- Launched by the Department for Education in 2014
- Built for teachers by teachers
- Created by Computing at School and funded by BT
- Supported by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Raspberry Pi Foundation
- The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) was established in November 2018. It aims to increase the number of pupils in schools and colleges who study computer science at GCSE, AS and A level, particularly girls and in disadvantaged areas, and ensure that there is a strong pipeline of digital skills
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