Category: Computing Science

22 March,16:00 – 17:00, Computing Science – Tackling unconscious bias and gender stereotypes

You will require a glow login for this webinar.

This session is designed to provide an introduction to the theory of unconscious bias and gender stereotypes and to challenge thinking and practice. We will look at how biases form and their effects on our own behaviours, on pupils and on the learning environment. There will be chance for people to reflect on their own practice and consider specific barriers for girls accessing computing science and possible strategies to mitigate this.

This session focuses on the groundwork into recognising and challenging our own biases and those of others as well as the stereotypes that deter children from exploring all opportunities. We will look into the science of biases, how they form and the reasons we should be looking to challenge them. There will be an opportunity to explore possible activities to take back to your own setting, and you will be invited to return and share what worked and engage in collaboration with practitioners from various settings.

04 March 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 Create, Design, Build and Test with Barefoot – Programming Workshop

A glow login is required for this webinar Book Here  

Before you attend the Programming workshop, you will need to make sure you have registered for a Barefoot and a Scratch account, this will be needed as part of the training.

Take your knowledge to the next level with this interactive professional learning workshop led by an experienced primary teacher. Get to grips with Scratch programming and the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of Scratch activities, this workshop is best placed for beginner to intermediate Scratch users. In keeping with the rest of what Barefoot offers, it’s fun, interactive and free! There are limited spaces available, so be quick to avoid disappointment.

02 February, 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 Create, Design, Build and Test with Barefoot – Programming Workshop

A glow login is required for this webinar  Book Here  

Before you attend the Programming workshop, you will need to make sure you have registered for a Barefoot and a Scratch account, this will be needed as part of the training.

Take your knowledge to the next level with this interactive professional learning workshop led by an experienced primary teacher. Get to grips with Scratch programming and the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of Scratch activities, this workshop is best placed for beginner to intermediate Scratch users. In keeping with the rest of what Barefoot offers, it’s fun, interactive and free! There are limited spaces available, so be quick to avoid disappointment.

25 January 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 Create, Design Build and Test with Barefoot- Programming Workshop

A glow login is required for this webinar Book Here  

Before you attend the Programming workshop, you will need to make sure you have registered for a Barefoot and a Scratch account, this will be needed as part of the training.

Take your knowledge to the next level with this interactive professional learning workshop led by an experienced primary teacher. Get to grips with Scratch programming and the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of Scratch activities, this workshop is best placed for beginner to intermediate Scratch users. In keeping with the rest of what Barefoot offers, it’s fun, interactive and free! There are limited spaces available, so be quick to avoid disappointment.

2nd December 2020. Drop in session. Early Level Computing Science.

Early level computing science drop-in discussion opportunity.

2nd December at 4pm via Teams withing Glow.  No sign up required.

As a follow-up session from the first two early level computing science webinars, we would like to invite you to join an informal drop-in session to chat about how you are embedding computing science experiences through play in your settings.  This session will also provide an opportunity to ask any questions and connect with other practitioners who are interested in developing computing science at early level.

You do not need to have attended the previous webinars but if you would like to catch up on the first two webinars of this series please click on the webinar recordings below.

Webinar 1: an introduction to early level computing science

Webinar 2: unplugged and outdoors

Click here to join the meeting(Glow login required)

16 March 2021 – Confidence, creativity, and curiosity in early level computing science: programmable devices and online resources.

This webinar will be delivered twice with AM and PM options.

This is the third webinar of the early level computing science sessions. This webinar will focus on how we can provide experiences that allow children to tinker, create, debug, collaborate and persevere with porgrammable devices and online coding resources, at the early level through play and where we can access a wealth of free learning and teaching resources to embed computing science at early level through play.

This session is for practitioners working with learners in ELC or Primary School AND all other practitioners who work with learners at any level, with an interest in creatively embedding computing science.

Please note the date for these sessions has changed from Thursday 18th February to Tuesday 16th March. 

Morning webinar 10am via Google Meet

Gmail login required.

Please sign up via Eventbrite here.

 

Afternoon webinar 4pm via Microsoft Teams 

Glow login IS NOT required.

Please sign up via Eventbrite here.

 

If you would like to catch up on the first two webinars of this series please click on the webinar recordings below.

Webinar 1: an introduction to early level computing science

Webinar 2: unplugged and outdoors

Confidence, creativity, and curiosity in early level computing science: unplugged and outdoors.

This webinar focussed on how we create experiences and spaces that allows computing science to be embedded at the early level through play and where we can access a wealth of free learning and teaching resources to embed unplugged computing science at the early level. It explored a range of unplugged activity ideas and the concepts, approaches and key vocabulary of computational thinking.

This session welcomed practitioners working with learners in ELC or Primary School AND all other practitioners who work with learners at any level, with an interest in creatively embedding computing science their learning environment.

There will be another follow-up session in January exploring programmable devices and online coding resources, followed by drop-in discussion sessions to ask questions and share practice.  Please look for the webinar sign up information at the Upcoming Webinars section of this blog. All webinar information for early level practitioners is also available here via this Sway

Bebras Computing Challenge at Portlethen Academy

post by Ian Simpson (@familysimpson), Faculty Head of ICT at Portlethen Academy (@portyacad)

What is the Bebras Computing Challenge?

The Bebras Computing Challenge is a long-running international competition which promotes the importance of computational thinking and problem solving skills in a wider world context. It is organised in over 50 countries and designed to get students aged 6 to 18 from all over the world excited about computing.

Students have to employ a variety of problem-solving strategies in order to complete up to 18 challenges in the allotted time. High scoring students may be lucky enough to qualify for a celebration event which, in previous years, has taken place at Hertford College, Oxford.

Why we entered the competition

At Portlethen Academy all S1-3 students take part in the competition, with those in senior phase given the chance to participate as part of their Computing Science or Mathematics classes. Every individual who takes part receives a digital certificate from the University of Oxford which can be printed out in school or at home and those who achieve scores in the top 25% of the cohort are invited to take part in the TCSOCC Challenge in February as recognition of their strong computational thinking skills and to increase their exposure to computer programming problems.

Faculty Head of ICT Ian Simpson has coached groups of students to take part in the Bebras Computing Challenge since 2013. “To get the best out of the groups it shouldn’t be an add on or break from ‘normal lessons’, it is in the school’s best interest to embed teaching of computational thinking skills and prepare for the challenge using the practice challenges or the Perfect Day app.”

What pupils learnt from it

Seven students from S1 and 2 scored highly enough in the 2019 challenge to receive an invitation to the celebration event at Hertford College in January 2020. Thanks to support from contacts at Total and Aberdeenshire DYW six were able to travel to Oxford to take part in the final round, experience Computing Science sample lectures and find out more about life as a student at the University of Oxford. Ian Simpson added “This was the first time that such a high number of students from a state school in Aberdeenshire had qualified for the final round. It was a surprise in some ways but testament to the hard work the students put in preparing for the challenge.”

As well as giving students the chance to think creatively and apply their knowledge from across a variety of subject areas the Bebras Computing Challenge helps build student resilience. These skills have increasing demand in further and higher education and will serve them well in the workplace of the future. Taking part in the final round also gave the students increased confidence in their own abilities and, on the drive back to Heathrow, many were sharing strategies they had learned from other participants to improve on their scores next year.

Sign up for Bebras here.

 

Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards, Grove Academy

iDEA Awards, Grove Academy

Gavin Pyott, PT Computing Science

I became aware of the iDEA awards by chance when it was first launched 3 years ago. I can’t explain how glad I am that I did. The programme is so well written and produced that all learners are drawn into the modules and are keen to do more. Due to the positive impact iDEA had with classes in my department l began promoting the awards and encouraging others to use it within their schools. As a result of this l was awarded the title of Teacher Ambassador from iDEA.  

The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, is an international programme that helps students develop and demonstrate digital, enterprise and employability skills.

Since its launch, iDEA has established itself as the digital equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award. The iDEA awards are recognised by universities and employers so are a great addition to any student’s CV.

The iDEA awards allow students to map their knowledge and understanding of the digital world through a series of modules (badges).

The badges have been designed to unlock new opportunities and raise awareness of the diverse range of careers in our digital world, all the while allowing students to gain an industry recognised award to help them stand out from the crowd.

To achieve a Bronze Award, students need to earn a minimum of 250 points, including at least 40 points in each of the core categories of the curriculum: Citizen, Worker, Maker and Entrepreneur.

CITIZEN BADGES cover digital awareness, safety and ethics.

WORKER BADGES introduce tools and techniques which are useful in the digital workplace.

MAKER BADGES cover digital creativity and building and making in the digital world.

ENTREPRENEUR BADGES explain how to originate ideas and bring them to life.

GAMER BADGES investigate gamification techniques and help people learn how to make games.

These badges are all very informative and explain complex concepts in a straightforward, easy to understand, way. All badges are designed to be interactive, allowing pupils to answer questions as they go, building up their knowledge step-by-step.

To help track student progress iDEA have launched ‘organiser codes’ and the organiser area. This allows you to provide pupils with a simple code to add to their iDEA profiles. This will then pull the progress charts for each pupil together into a handy, easy to use spreadsheet.

After completing the Bronze award, many pupils volunteer to move on to the Silver. Unlike Bronze, the Silver award has been written as a series of topics. Each topic is story-based with students being guided through a real-life scenario as they discover the skills required to progress.

Due to the amazing quality and excellent writing in the badges in the programme the target audience range has really been opened up. I have successfully delivered the iDEA award in S1, S2 and S3. We now have pupils is S4-6 who are also tapping into the programme as it has caught their attention. iDEA also works great in an upper primary setting. My own daughter liked the look of the badges and had a go herself. She successfully completed the Bronze award in Primary 6 and completed her Silver when in Primary 7. Not wanting to stop there she completed a total of 50 Bronze badges to become ‘Badge Champion’ and completed the remaining Silver topic to become a

‘Silver Star’. This determination to complete the modules has been replicated by students in my classes who applied the Pokemon ‘got to get them all’ approach to the badges and awards. I have to admit, I have done this too! The iDEA badges are so interesting and informative I found I couldn’t stop either! As an introduction to a new concept (block chain) or to brush up existing skills the iDEA Award is great CLPL for staff too.

Mr Pyott has created a Sway which will give you a full introduction to the work and process involved in using iDEA and his top tips. To view click here.

To see more from Mr Pyott you can visit his Twitter feed on @MrPyott

To see more from Grove Academy, please visit their Twitter feed on @Grove_Academy

You can find out more on iDEA Awards via https://idea.org.uk/ 

Race for the Line Event by Liz Dighton at Boroughmuir High School

On a rather cold, but thankfully dry, Wednesday all 220 of our S1 pupils were involved in an inter-disciplinary project which was part of the National BBC micro:bit Model Rocket Car Challenge called Race for the Line.  Over 400 schools from all over the UK are participating in the competition.  The inspiration behind the national project is the Bloodhound car which is attempting to beat the 1000mph world land speed record and also inspire the next generation of engineers to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.  #STEM 

In Design and Technology classes leading up to the Race Day, pupils worked together in teams of 4 to make a foam rocket car creating a design folio which showed how they had considered aerodynamics, friction etc.  In Computing classes the pupils programmed the Micro:bits which were used to carry out the timing mechanism on the race track and in Science they explored the forces which would be applied to the cars. 

On Race Day we were joined in school by a team from the Royal Navy who are based at Rosyth and are members of the crew of the new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.  The Navy team equipped each car with a solid fuel rocket and setup the Race Track in the playground.  Each class took turns to race their cars and the times were recorded for each car.  The Navy had brought along one of their PT instructors so to keep warm pupils carried out a fitness test with a couple of our S1’s managing to reach the fitness standard for the Royal Navy while wearing their school shoes!!!  After racing the cars the pupils then used our new Dual teaching space on the 3rd floor to create some posters to summarise their learning in this project.  Some of these are now on display in the classrooms around the school. 

The top 3 car teams went forward to the Regional Final on the 3rd of May when they competeagainst all of the teams from other school in East Central Scotland @ the Royal Navy facility at Rosyth and 3 also qualified for the Scottish Final at the Barracks at Redford.