Banavie Primary school in Fort William have been doing some exciting Computing Science work during National Digital Learning week. Below is a brief report from Leah Burns from Banavie.
P1-6 have taken part in an hour of code and between us we have been coding for over 100 hours, the children loved using their computational thinking skills and working in partners to navigate their way through the levels.
In Primary 1 they had to write algorithms for the baker’s business in Fairyland, he has been really busy and has just had to employ Little Miss Muffet, Little Bo Peep and Little Jack Horner however they are useless! Primary 1 had to create a simple algorithm for them to follow to make sure they decorate the gingerbread men properly.
In Primary 3/4 they have been learning about algorithms and have been creating lots of real life examples for their peers to follow.
In Primary 4/5 we looked briefly at how technology has evolved and came up with our own fantasy digital creations, there were lots of good ideas but I particularly liked a house that could shrink and move around with you so you never had to pack your suitcase or book a hotel again!
In Primary 5/6 they have been carrying out market research on what the younger children like and are using this information to make new BeeBot games. They will be making lots of games based on Fairy Tales and Castles and Knights, the primary ones and twos can’t wait to play them.
It has been a very busy week but lots of fun and everyone has learnt something new, including the teachers!
Inverness Area – Tuesday 23rd May, Inverness High School, Room 57
Led by Darren Brown (Computing Science Teacher)
Computing Science is a major part of STEM and the DYW agenda with job projections in a wide variety of fields projected to grow into the tens of thousands for the next generation. There are challenge questions in HGIOS 4 asking about how all schools are covering Computational Thinking, Computer Science and Digital Literacy. As well as Benchmarks Computing Science and Digital Literacy have completely revamped Es and Os.
This CPD will be a very hands-on session to have a go at various materials and systems that are fun, simple and creative for any practitioner teaching any age of pupil Computing Science. You will need to setup a few online accounts with passwords on the day. We will be looking at materials and systems such as Code.org, Barefoot Computing, Weebly Web development, AppShed App Development, Scratch Programming, Lego Mindstorms, micro:bits… also hoping to run sessions in Wick and Fort William.
Staff can sign up for the CPD on the Highland CPD website here.
Last week we were lucky enough to have Leigh Craig from Google Education UK and Louise Jones from Cairngorm Futures visit Wick High School to judge this year’s cohort of Apps for Good teams to decide which teams were put through to the Apps for Good Scotland event in Edinburgh yesterday.
During the morning of our Dragon’s Den event (they weren’t exactly Dragons), teams pitched their ideas to them. All of this was live streamed in immersive 360 degrees on YouTube for parents, teachers and other pupils to view. All of our teams were incredibly professional in their approach and worked really hard on their ideas, business plans and coded solutions using Thunkable, a drag and drop app development language for Android (and soon to be iOS).
The teams chosen to attend Apps for Good Scotland were:
Runners up were:
After taking the 10 hour journey to Edinburgh on Tuesday, after a good rest we were all ready to pitch at Surgeon’s Hall on Wednesday.
Our teams did Caithness proud with how professional they were in the Marketplace, pitching to other entrants and industry experts. They all showed great teamwork, creativity and technical skills. I personally think our use of Thunkable really set us apart compared to other schools. Our teams were using Google Maps and Firebase cloud database APIs to share data between apps and update each other in real time. Kevin McDonagh from Novoda, an international app development company said that they use Firebase in their apps. How cool is that?! Not to mention that Hayley, who has only been coding for three weeks managed to create an AMAZING prototype that worked beautifully on the day. I would seriously recommend looking into using Thunkable, even if you’re not confident, there’s plenty of resources out there to use.
All attendees were given the choice to vote for their favourite team in a “People’s Choice” award and our very own Midge Forecast won second place. All of our teams were delighted to be taking part and will most definitely be using their makertplace experience to their advantage, should they make it to the UK Apps for Good finals.
Thanks to Chris Aitken, Computing Science teacher, at Wick High School for the above report. If any schools are interested in running the Apps for Good course Chris is happy to give you some advice on getting started. You will find his email in the global address book.
Some further information around the course and a case study from Wick High School is available below and also on the National Improvement Hub here.
Schools in Highland are doing brilliant work with our learners across primary and secondary. We have schools pushing boundaries and using technology to enhance the learner experience and inspire our children and young people. I would urge teachers, parents, carers, pupils, managers, partners to nominate your school for a Scottish Education Award. There are many categories and one of these is 'Learning through technology award'.
Nominations close Wednesday 15th February.
'The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.
They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.
The Scottish Education Awards were first launched in November 2001 by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Daily Record, with the specific aims of celebrating the successes and recognising the achievements taking place within Scottish education.
Entry to the Awards is open to all publicly funded schools, including secondary, primary, nursery and special schools. There is a wide variety of categories to enter which are linked to the Curriculum for Excellence Programme and that also recognise the dedication and commitment of teaching staff and education supporters.
The winners of the school categories will receive a trophy, a certificate and a £400 prize. Runner-up schools will receive a certificate and £200.
The winners of the individual categories will receive a trophy, a certificate and £400 for their school. Runners up will receive a certificate and £200 for their school.'
Click here to nominate a school.
Huge congratulations to Lundavra Primary School in Fort William in recognition of their work on Digital Learning and Computing Science.
Lundavra PS is a relatively new school and has 1:1 Chromebooks for P5-P7. Having access to digital technology has allowed them to enhance learning and teaching and push forward a digital culture within the school.
Digital Schools Awards Scotland is a new national awards programme which aims to promote, recognise and encourage a whole school approach to the use of digital technology in primary schools.
Schools that successfully complete the programme will receive a nationally recognised Digital Schools Award accredited by Education Scotland. Register your school here or find out more about becoming a digital school.
Lundavra PS has also recently been involved with the Education Scotland Practice Pipeline. The Practice Pipeline pulls together a wide mix of examples which highlight the various ways digital technology can be used in learning and teaching.
This case study features the success they have had exploring Computing Science. In this video the teachers and pupils tell their story about how Barefoot Computing has made a positive impact on the whole school right from first level.
The Digital Learning Team will add news or examples of good practice on here so keep checking back for up to date info.