Introduction to Python for Computing Science teachers

Python is fast becoming a firm favourite for teaching and learning Computing Science. The language emphasises clean, elegant, clutter-free, easy to write code and syntax. It is available on Windows, Mac, Linux and even on microelectronic platforms like the Raspberry Pi. It is also completely free.

This one day course will introduce you to the Python language, writing simple Python applications and software choices for writing and editing Python.

This course is aimed at Computing Science teachers supporting pupils at all levels. Python can be used from Secondary 1 all the way up to Advanced Higher and beyond. Many teachers have made the choice of Python as the language they will use for all levels.

The topics and examples covered in this course will be of particular interest to those teaching National 5,Higher and Advanced Higher Computing Science but they are also relevant for teachers who want a better understanding of and skills in Python coding to support pupils at all levels.

Course aims

To develop teachers' knowledge of, practical skills and confidence in writing Python code and applications

To provide the opportunity for teachers to explore and discuss the use of Python in Computing Science courses at various levels

Who this course is for

This course if for you if…

  • You are a Computing Science teacher interested in learning the Python language
  • You have no prior knowledge of coding in Python
  • You have some prior knowledge of Python coding but want to update, refresh or consolidate your skills

What you need to know

This is an introductory course and requires no knowledge of Python however basic knowledge of coding terms and practices from another language will be very useful.

Basic skills with the computer are needed – using the keyboard, moving and pointing the mouse, creating and saving files and file and folder management

Basic computer skills and some knowledge of computer programming terms.

Knowledge and skills needed to undertake this course

This course is an introductory course and does not require and previous knowledge

Come along and start your journey in Python here

Content summary

Below is an overview of the topics covered in this course

  • IDE choices – software for writing and editing Python code
  • Language basics
  • Syntax and coding style
  • Variables and variable types
  • Program flow and looping structures
  • Running Python applications
  • Arithmetic and logical operators
  • Conditional and Comparisons
  • Functions
  • Modular programming
  • Relating Python language features and techniques to current Computing Science assessments and courses

Course content in detail

  • IDE choices – software for writing and editing Python code
    • Software you are likely to have – text editor, IDLE
    • Free and paid-for software titles
  • Language basics
    • Creating a new Python module
  • Syntax and coding style
    • Keywords, reserved words, capitalisation
    • Whitespace
    • Code suites
  • Variables and variable types
    • Numeric variable types
    • Strings
    • Sequence variable types – tuples, lists, dictionaries
  • Program flow and looping structures
    • Looping
    • range() function
    • for statements
    • iterating over sequence types
  • Running Python applications
    • command line
    • From within IDE
  • Arithmetic and logical operators
  • Conditional and Comparisons
    • if statements
    • comparison operators
  • Functions
    • defining functions
    • passing parameters
    • returning values
  • Modular programming
    • importing modules
    • writing modular applications
  • Relating Python language features and techniques to current Computing Science assessments and courses