CCSE in Schools

  • PhD students will shortly be working with groups of teachers on collaborative projects, involving the development of effective pedagogy for teaching CS at primary school level, and on the importance of spatial skills to learning in CS at primary and secondary levels.
  • The CCSE is a lead architect of the Scottish school curriculum for computing science, for 3-15 year olds.  This curriculum draws on experience of working with pupils and teachers, on leading curricula from around the world, and from a deep analysis of the broad skills and understanding required of a computer scientist or engineer.  Two guides to the curriculum, one specifically for primary teachers and the other aimed at Secondary teachers, can be found at
  • Professor Cutts sits on the academic board of the National Centre for Computing Education, to provide advice on its development and operation.  This is a UK Government-funded £84M initiative to learning resources and professional development for teachers.  He is a member of the UK Government’s digital skills working group and has an adjunct position with the University of Oslo, working with colleagues to enhance computing education in Norwegian schools.
  • Mr Donaldson is the Higher Education representative on the Scottish Qualifications Authority National Qualifications Support Team for Computing Science and Sector panel for Computing.  He is also a member of the CAMAU project research team for the Science and Technology Area of Learning and Experience, providing policy and research based guidance on learning progression to Welsh Pioneers shaping the new Curriculum for Wales. Mr Donaldson and Dr Singer are currently leading a CCSE project funded by the DataLab to create a FutureLearn MOOC that introduces basic Data Science to educators of all backgrounds.
  • Previously, Professor Cutts and Mr Donaldson led the Professional Learning and Networking in Computing project, funded by the Scottish Government, to provide professional learning for Scottish computing teachers.  A network of 25 teacher hubs was set up around the country and a sequence of professional development activities created, particularly exploring a range of novel research-led CS pedagogy. Most of the local hub support materials and example exercises can be found in the CPD Resources for pedagogical content knowledge (PLANC) resource on the Computing At School Community site.
  • CCSE staff advised on the new national school Computing Science qualifications, in particular recommending the importance of program comprehension.  This led to further work on how to fairly assess program comprehension, and the development of a reference language, jovially referred to as Haggis, for use in national examinations in Scotland. An online implementation of National 5 and Higher versions of the language can be found at