School of Computer Science

Module 30208 (2019)

Module description - Teaching Computer Science in Schools

The Module Description is a strict subset of the Syllabus Page.

Module Title Teaching Computer Science in Schools
School School of Computer Science
Module Code 06-30208
Level 3/H
Member of Staff Achim Jung
Semester Semester 2 - 20 credits

Students will be working alongside a teacher in a local secondary school. There will be introductory sessions and ongoing tutorial support. University contact hours will be 8.

Contact Hours: University contact hours will be 8, plus additional support outlined above.


The module is the implementation of the national Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme (UAS) by the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. Its design follows closely the recommendations and guidelines of the UAS. The module will reward students with course credit for working as a student-tutor with teachers in local schools and help them develop some valuable transferable skills of benefit to them in employment and in life, specifically:

  • Organisational and interpersonal skills,
  • Addressing the needs of individuals,
  • Time management skills,
  • Working in a challenging and unpredictable environment,
  • Staff responsibilities and conduct,
  • The ability to improvise,
  • Giving (and taking) feedback,
  • Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations,
  • Public speaking and communication skills,
  • Team-working,
  • Standard teaching methods,
  • Working in a professional educational environment

Students will learn about the key issues affecting school education today. They will have the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the education of pupils of all ages and the chance to act as a role model for your subject. It is a chance to put something back into the community by sharing knowledge and helping to motivate young people and raise their aspirations towards computer science. They will develop confidence in answering questions about their own subject and in devising appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept. They will develop communication skills and gain a better understanding of their own level of expertise. For those of who are interested in teaching as a profession, this will be an opportunity to explore whether it is a path they want to pursue. They will learn to devise and develop computer science projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the relevant age group. The module will involve:

  • Attendance at a one day Training Session giving students an introduction to the fundamentals of working with children and conduct in the school environment,
  • Undergoing a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check prior to entering the classroom,
  • Being paired with a specific teacher at a local school who will work with students to identify their aims and objectives for the term,
  • Spending half a day a week in school for 10 weeks, developing a role within the classroom,
  • Completion of a Special Project (agreed with the teacher)

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the needs of individual learners in a computer science classroom
  2. use standard teaching techniques
  3. develop interpersonal skills, appreciate staff responsibilities and demonstrate communication skills
  4. prepare lesson plans and teaching materials at an appropriate level
  5. gain a deeper insight into a particular area of computer science education by working on an individual project

Sessional: continuous assessment (log book) (20%), continuous assessment (report of 2000 words) (30%), continuous assessment (presentation) (30%), continuous assessment (assessment by Teacher and moderated by Module Coordinator) (20%)

Supplementary (where allowed): Not permitted