In our current dynamic world of digital technology, and in light of the government’s commitment to promoting technology, The OAKS computing course is designed to offer postgraduate education trainees an approach which incorporates both the ‘legacy’ ICT courses with newer, dynamic, cutting-edge computing courses and also satisfies the current national curriculum requirements for the subject. This enables you (the teachers of the future) to motivate, engage and inform pupils in school.

If you have a burning desire to shape the minds of the children of the future in a meaningful way, contributing to their development as thinking individuals, then this course is for you.

Our studies are structured around Computing in the National Curriculum and consider the needs of teachers, the needs of pupils in schools and colleges, school requirements, and the requirements of commerce and industry. Attention is also given to requirements for 16-plus examinations.

  • Our aim: to help trainees to achieve all the standards required for the award of qualified teacher status using a hands-on approach.
  • Our focus: enabling trainee teachers to develop teaching practices which will give their pupils the confidence, enthusiasm and independence to solve problems in a structured manner.

The computing course content (delivered electronically) includes the following:

  • The understanding and application of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and of computational thinking, including abstraction; decomposition; critical thinking; logical reasoning; algorithms and data representation.
  • The analysis of problems in computational terms, through the practical experience of solving such problems – including designing, writing, and debugging computer programs.
  • Gaining knowledge of a variety of software applications and programming languages, using a practical approach. Typical languages range might be Java, C, Visual Basic, Scratch, Python, ASP, Pascal, Logo, and development tools would include Access, App makers, Visual Studio, Macromedia Studio, and Movie Maker, dependent on your placement schools.
  • The understanding of how to harness the power of modern technology and think creatively, analytically, critically and logically, in order to devise novel solutions to problems: modern problem solution = critical thinking + computing power.
  • The understanding of the components that make up the different types of digital system and how they communicate with each other and with other systems.
  • The understanding of the impact of technology, relative to both the individual and also to wider society.
  • The application of mathematical skills relative to the computer science e.g. binary number system.

The course also considers the following pedagogical aspects:

Exam technique: looking in some detail at how we prepare our students for their exams and practical tasks, how pupils are assessed, and how to manage and record assessments efficiently. As a computer expert, you will be encouraged to develop your own expertise in the use of digital technologies.

You will be encouraged to create a dynamic and creative atmosphere within your classroom, given insight into how to work well in a practical environment and how to make use of other qualified adults such as classroom assistants. To help create such an environment, you need to be both enthusiastic and well organised!

Lessons need thorough planned and must be appropriately targeted, taking into consideration the variety of abilities and attitudes of your pupils. Classroom management will be discussed along with ways to enhance pupil learning and understanding. You will also be encouraged to use a reflective and analytical approach to your teaching.

The course has a large element of in-school, hands-on teaching. The OAKS has excellent working relationships with colleagues at both our lead schools and all other partnership schools, that will contribute to your continuing professional development.

The OAKS support

The OAKS support includes support from subject experts, professional tutors, and OAKS staff. All schools have enthusiastic and highly qualified subject mentors, who have been trained by us and who are responsible for your learning and development when on placement.

You will have discrete computing subject sessions during which you will develop your knowledge and the ability to transmit it effectively to pupils. Your subject expert, who delivers the subject-specific content to you, will also support you with resources, help and encouragement prior to and during your school placements.


Course participants are assessed through written academic assignments and portfolios of evidence. Throughout your placements, you will be assessed against the National Teacher Standards. Your final award will be either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, the outcome being determined by your performance in your formal academic assignments.

There is no requirement for a participant to have an ICT, or computing-specific degree, although clearly, candidates from these areas will have an initial advantage in terms of subject knowledge. Subject enhancement courses are currently available to applicants who require it.

Computing trainee teachers are eligible for tax-free training scholarships and bursaries. Click here for further details on funding.