Category: Platforms

Sign up for CyberFirst Girls Development Days!

This year’s CyberFirst Girls Competition was a great success with over 6,000 entries from across the UK! And we’re not stopping there – girls that entered the 2020/2021 competition are now eligible to attend free Development Days and continue their CyberFirst journey.


The CyberFirst Girls Development Day initiative is inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ to encourage understanding of the different specialisms within cyber security and equip the girls with practical, in-demand skills.


On the day, the girls will be role-playing as cyber security experts working for a fictitious app company, Sirius Cyberworks. Unfortunately, disaster has struck and there has been a serious breach of the company network – a new flagship app has been leaked.


The girls’ role is to work through four different parts of the company, uncovering how the leak happened whilst learning new cyber skills along the way.


The development days are running throughout October and:

  • are open to girls now in S2/S3 in Scotland
  • consist of a series of fun, interactive one day face-to-face courses; or two half-day virtual sessions (depending on the preferred delivery model)
  • feature guest speakers and videos from trailblazing women leaders working in the cyber industry


Places fill up fast, so make sure you secure yours as soon as possible. Reserve your place today with your priority booking voucher code: CFSCOT2021


Click here to find out more and reserve your place or share with any friends or family who may be interested.


EduBlocks is an online coding platform for Python. There are projects and learning resources to help you get started and then you can start coding Python with blocks before transitioning to text-based coding. Being able to see the Python text on the blocks is useful when introducing the new language to learners. Once you’ve built your script with blocks this can then be viewed and edited as text, just like the real thing.


EduBlocks Learning Portal

scratch coding


Scratch is a free online block-based coding editor and community. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. It is designed, developed, and moderated by the Scratch Foundation, a non-profit organization.

There is also a Scratch Jr app that is free and designed for younger learners.

Getting started with Scratch by Code Club


digital xtra fund port ellen

RESILIENT ROBOTICS TEACHING – THE NEXT GENERATION: HOW TO CODE AT PORT ELLEN PRIMARY SCHOOL    A robotics club from Port Ellen Primary School (@portellenps) on… Read more

scratch webinar 27may

The Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland (YESC) programme supports learners aged 3-18 and their teachers with a range of innovative STEM projects, such as… Read more

CS First CS First is a free computer science curriculum from Google that makes coding easy to teach and fun to learn. Their site has… Read more

sphero robot


Sphero (@SpheroEdu) is a range of programmable robots, often spherical in shape, that can be remote controlled or programmed with code.
Programmable devices can be an excellent way to engage learners with a hands-on experience of coding, which is an abstract concept.

Here is an example of a Sphero in action:

The learners in this video were challenged to make the Sphero follow a ‘fairway’ route on a golf course floormat. They had to measure the distance of each straight, the angle of any turns and then create an algorithm for the Sphero to follow the path and reach the ‘hole’. There was lots of trial and error involved in getting the right speed and duration for the Sphero movement blocks but they all got there in the end – even if some were over-par! This learning involved an application of maths skills and understanding, along with some new computational thinking and programming ones.



The Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge is a great resource to develop your learners to the pattern spotting and problem solving skills required for maths (and it also lends itself to cyber security education too!) The questions are in the form of engaging puzzles that start off relatively easy – so every student can have a go and should get something out of the competition.

Try out previous year’s challenges here.

Here is how Portlethen Academy engaged with the challenges.

The Bebras Challenge was actually the starting point for the Scottish Cyber Champions, the Greenwood Challengers – find out all about their journey here:


Microsoft MakeCode for micro:bit

This site from Microsoft offers projects to get you started with your micro:bit computer – it also has an online micro:bit emulator so you can test your code even if you don’t have micro:bits. The micro:bit is an affordale micro computer with lots of input and output options that make it interactive and very adaptable, so it can be used in lots of STEM learning too.

Visit the MakeCode site

CODE.ORG believes that every learners should have the opportunity to learn computing science. Their site has learning courses for educators to improve their own knowledge and games, projects and activities to engage learners in computing science. The games use block-based coding challenges to promote problem solving and start from their Pre-reader Express that uses arrows for directions and progresses to more challenging coding puzzles that require knowledge of angles.



There is so much maths in computing and that presents excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Why not plan to introduce directional language through these engaging… Read more