Donna Rawling is an IT coordinator and teacher of Computing in a medium-sized Primary school in Greater Manchester. With a real passion for enthusing children with the Computing curriculum, Donna runs Code Club and Drama /Digital Media Clubs, is a CAS master teacher and Raspberry Pi certified educator.
Recent initiatives have been the setting up of a Digital Leader scheme and the encouragement of girls into code via a new Wearables Club, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at girls. A belief in showing children as many possibilities as possible, allowing an informed choice where computing is concerned along with a passion for inclusion for all is her main driving force.
A while ago, in the 2016/17 edition of the IMS Guide (both this and the new edition are available here!), I wrote of my approach to getting children interested in Coding / Computer Science, beyond the usual hour a week lesson which most schools timetable for. My approach was very much focused around encouraging children’s existing hobbies and talents, and finding ways to incorporate Computing into those interests.
I have recently implemented a Digital Leader programme within the Primary School where I work, requiring children to complete a written application, attend interviews and complete practical challenges. I’ve tried to encourage those children who need support with social skills or behavioural issues to apply and get involved. One thing that I have long since noticed is that many of the children who gravitate to the often more solitary activities, such as Computing, are those that need this support.