The handbook

The intricacies of leading an outstanding computing & ICT department is finally here! 

I honestly feel like this is everything you need  to cover in a department handbook for any school that covering the ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’.
This handbook gives those aspiring to be outstanding to take into consideration all T&L aspects with a detailed overview of policies that are specific that a school organization. Creating a department handbook from scratch can seem like a daunting task and this one was not different in the end. But, having one is essential to creating transparency and consistency across your team and provided me smooth understanding and effective lines of communication thereafter. 

Here are eight reasons you should have one:

  1. Introduces an expectation to your standards, your culture, mission and values. Perhaps the most important aspect of the handbook is the introduction of new T&L strategies that for a wider school approach and how the subject thinking can fit and mould for others. 
  2. The introduction section of a handbook will answer the questions to let teachers know what sets this department/school apart, the background of the department on how it was established and what the organization is passionate about.
  3. It tells new team members whom to go to if they have questions about any of the specific policies in the handbook, questions on assessments, reporting, feedback, etc.
  4. Guidance for other middle managers can refer to the handbook when answering questions or making decisions regarding your policies and ensure their answers and actions are consistent with school policies and their best practices.
  5. Your handbook not only communicates these various embedded systems or familiar obligatory routines that don’t usually get communicated after a while, so it is useful in demonstrating that your department can strive in secondary school.
  6. A thorough department handbook will help ‘show-off’ all the good practice that is taking place in your department.
  7. It is a worthwhile exercise to show you care by taking the time to think about all stakeholders concerned and the impact made for a fluid partnership to succeed together. 
  8. You should have one – it is your job too 😉!
When was the last time you reviewed your policies and updated your department handbook? (this is my attempt at an sales pitch now!)

I would like to welcome you to my Computing & ICT department handbook that encompasses several years in the making to produce a comprehensive guide for outstanding practitioners. 

The purpose of the handbook outlines the main responsibities of each team member, the topics to teach KS3 Computing & ICT developed with vertical alignment in mind from IB CS & IB ITGS course transitions. It breakdown the full breadth of content and structure with other major highlights including: 

  • Over 200 pages in length (fully comprehensive)
  • Full KS3,4 & IB Curriculum
  • Department Overview
  • Assessment & Reporting
  • Teaching & Learning for Computer Science
  • Policies and department policies
  • Department resources
  • Documents for students
  • External Examination Results
  • How to format Onenote pages
  • Computing Department Logo ($15)

While this handbook aims to make it easier for Heads of Department to gain familiarity with the School’s procedures and practices, your first point of contact for additional questions and information should be your line manager who has extensive knowledge of your school as every school is unique.

I encourage your team to refer to this handbook on a periodic basis to learn more about the intricacies of running a successful department which holds all team members accountable alongside the meeting expectations established by school policies and procedures. 

If you have questions regarding this handbook or have suggestions for the addition of items to this handbook, together with any other improvements, are very welcome to contact me. In the end, it was a mission I wanted to accomplish to lead my team and school community to educate all students to thrive in an ever-changing world.

If you want to grab this resource, it is available in two formats below:  

Link to department handbook (PDF / DOCX).

Link to department handbook (OneNote version)

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