School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Miss Jane Waite


Teaching Fellow & Public Engagement, Outreach and Teacher CPD Co-ordinator

Room Number: Peter Landin, CS 300


Communicating and Teaching Computing: the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (Undergraduate)

Students will typically begin by observing the teacher's handling of the class and progress from this classroom assistant stage through small teaching tasks to at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, possibly for a short part of a lesson. They will represent and promote computing and related subjects more generally as a potential university choice. Students will undertake and evaluate a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher. This may involve a specific in-class teaching problem or an extra-curricular project such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will keep a journal of their own progress in working in the classroom environment, and they will be asked to submit a reflective written report on the special project and other relevant aspects of the school placement experience. This format is standard within the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (


Research Interests:

My research interests are based around Education, Computational Thinking and Programming. I am particularly interested in understanding what 'abstraction' means, how we already teach it, how this might change to improve young children's skills in this area and what progression looks like.
I am also very interested in how we teach pupils to program and the role of tinkering to support understanding of programming constructs and how this then tips into purposeful programming. Also how pupils create their design/algorithm and how they abstract to create that design/algorithm. This then leads to debugging and what the difference might be between strategies for debugging projects with a design and those without, i.e that evolved from tinkering.

Girls and computing is another area I am particularly keen to look at. In 2015, only 456 girls in the UK took A level computing, with 5000 boys taking the subject. We have had a huge rise in pupils taking GCSE with 33,000 sitting the exam in 2015, but the % of girls is around 15%. There are similar problems across the STEM subjects. What can we do to address this imbalance? Real current role models, less gaming projects, collaborative and 'female friendly' environments.... ideas welcome.

My first publication is a poster  paper accepted by WiPSCE here is the link on ACM Digital Library 

Waite, J. et al., 2016. Abstraction and common classroom activities. In Proceedings of the 11th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education. ACM, pp. 112?113.

The poster for the paper is linked here.