BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching
Computing At School offers a unique accreditation for teachers of Computing, which will give you professional recognition accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
“I learned a lot from developing my programming skills as I prepared for the certificate and it also gave me an insight into how students will need to prepare for the OCR Controlled Assessment.” (L. Rowe, Secondary teacher)
"Now I have completed the certificate I feel more confident in my Computing teaching and more involved with CAS. It's great to be able to have something to show for all the hard work I have put into giving a full and rounded Computing curriculum.” (Jo Bradshaw, Primary teacher)
What is involved if I wish to gain the Certificate?
This certification is perhaps different to other forms of accreditation you have come across. It is evidence-based and you complete it by putting together evidence of your classroom and subject-based skills to teach Computing in the classroom. This is professional recognition that is complementary to your other academic qualifications.
To be awarded the Certificate there are no lectures to attend, and no books to read. The Certificate is based round experiential learning, or learning by doing. It also recognises that every teacher is working in a different context and the evidence that they can present will be dependent on the environment in which they are teaching.
We have deliberately chosen not to accumulate all the evidence together into an e-portfolio as this can be daunting for teachers. Instead there are three parts to the Certificate which can be completed independently and in any order. They can be assessed in any order too. Ideally these should work with and support your day-to-day teaching.
The first part will involve you attending professional development events such as Master Teacher training, CAS Hubs, a CAS conference etc. Attending CPD in the form of training is important, but only one aspect of professional development. In addition, teachers need to feel confident that they can apply their computer science skills and also to demonstrate their pedagogical content knowledge, that is, the skills and knowledge needed to teach computer science in the classroom. Thus, to achieve the Certificate you will need to submit three types of evidence:
- Part 1: Demonstration of attendance at/participation in professional development activities
- Part 2: Demonstration of subject knowledge skills
- Part 3: Demonstration of an investigative approach to the pedagogy of computer science
Two versions of the Certificate are available:
- BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching (Secondary)
- BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching (Primary)
Two routes to the Certificate are available:
- Guided Route
- Independent Route
Who can enrol for the Certificate?
You are eligible to register for the BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching if you meet the following two criteria:
- You are a qualified and/or experienced teacher (or in the process of gaining a teaching qualification)
- You are currently teaching Computing
The teaching requirement reflects the fact that this is professional recognition of teachers who are currently in service. You do not have to be resident or teaching in the UK to register for this accreditation. If you do not meet these criteria, we will consider applications on an individual basis.
Two routes: Guided and Independent
Once enrolled every teacher will be given a login to the Certificate system, and guidance on how to assemble and present their evidence. Teachers will be allocated to an e-assessor for individualised feedback.
With this option (new for this academic year) you enrol for the Certificate but also attend online courses to guide you towards completing the work.
You attend one course for Part 2 (which is either in Scratch or Python) and one course for Part 3. The two courses fulfill your requirement for Part 1.
You then submit the projects worked on during the courses for your Part 2 and Part 3 projects, and write up your reflections on the courses for your Part 1.
You pay for the Certificate (300 pounds) + Part 2 online ( 100 pounds) and Part 3 online (60 pounds).
If you wish you may choose to take only one of the Part 2 and Part 3 courses if you feel confident in one of these areas.
With this route, you enrol for the Certificate, are allocated to an e-assessor, and use the resources on the VLE and your skills from other CPD that you have attended, to complete and submit your evidence for all three parts.
As you work towards the Certificate you will have assistance from your individually-assigned e-assessor, who will give you feedback on draft work you have completed and support you in developing your evidence. The Certificate is based around a model of formative assessment, whereby you are given feedback during the year to enable you to improve your work rather than at the end when you have reached the standard.
The learning is based on a model of experiential learning, in that you apply the knowledge you have gained through CPD to the actual development of a programming project and a pedagogical investigation. This helps you to realise the benefits of the CPD you have attended by putting it into practice.
"My assessor was brilliant and always on hand to answer any of my questions. She was also very good at marking/responding within a few days of me submitting my assignment." Nicola Hancock (Secondary Teacher)
The Certificate must be achieved within one year of registration.
Cost - independent route
Pay by credit card (save £25) - 275+VAT (330 pounds)
Pay by Invoice - 300 + 60 (360 pounds)
Cost - guided route
Pay by credit card (save £25) - 445+VAT (includes the Part 2 & Part 3 courses)
Pay by Invoice - 460 + VAT (includes the Part 2 and Part 3 courses)
Cost - individual courses (open to non-Certificate teachers too)
Programming in Python (secondary) or Scratch (primary) - 100 pounds + VAT (8-week online course)
Part 3 support - computer science pedagogy - 60 pounds + VAT (5-week online course)
Why might I want professional recognition?
There is now a considerable amount of CPD available to teachers through the Network of Excellence (Master Teachers and universities offering low-cost training) and other providers. This certification is a perfect complement to attending CAS Master Teacher sessions and CAS Hub Meetings. CAS believes that teachers benefit from professional recognition that they are competent teachers of the computer science elements of Computing; this certificate provides that.
Once you have gained the Certificate you will be able to add it to your CV as evidence that you have reached a certain standard in terms of your ability to teach Computing, as recognised by the leading industry body, BCS.
All teachers enrolling on the BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching will benefit from a year's free membership of the Codio platform. Read more here.
Need more information?
Follow these links for more information about the Certficate.
How do I enrol?
To register, go to the RegistrationPage
Up until 1st October 2015, you may start the Certificate at any time (roll-on, roll-off). After 1st October we will have bi-monthly start dates at the beginning of November, January, March, May, July and September.
For specific enquiries about the certificate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org