Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter December 2017

CAS South West Newsletter December 2017
CAS South West Newsletter   December 2017
Dear CAS South West member,

Seasons Greetings!

As we prepare for the end of another successful term, the team at the CAS regional centre would like to wish you all a relaxed and joyful festive break.  This term has seen many successes in our region, from the regional conference, to new hubs and hub meetings along with new master teachers.  In this edition of the newsletter you will find:


Meet The Team

CAS South West in now on Twitter
We now have a regional twitter account.  Please follow us @crcSouthWest 

Regional Roundup

Good News Stories
This section is a standing item in our newsletter, where we celebrate success in our region.  Featured in this issue are:

Year 9 girls at Sturminster Newton High, Dorset - report by Gil Sweetenham (Computing Teacher)

Some of our Year 9 girls had an opportunity to listen to and discuss potential career paths and job roles involving technology with Beverly Clarke (Author, CAS South West Outreach Support, BCS – subject matter expert and education consultant).  It is an important time for Year 9 as they make their option choices and we were keen for our students to understanding that Computing is not just coding. Beverly shared her honest opinions on opportunities for females in the tech industry, diversity in the workplace and challenges that the students may face as a minority in the technology sector.

The students partook in multiple activities throughout the hour including discussing the job roles they were interested in and how Computing can support their future career paths. It was also a fantastic opportunity to discuss some of the students’ concerns and worries about university. In a world with so few female role models in technology, the hour was clearly a success allowing our students to easily relate to some of the experiences shared by Beverly.

Lending Library

The CAS South West Regional Centre has a number of resources which can be borrowed from the lending library.  Currently we have Netgadgeteer kits and BBC Microbits and a copy of the BCS Glossary.  Items are offered on a six week loan period. If you would like to loan items please email 

Enrichment - opportunities across the South West

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is the company that acquired the famous Goonhilly satellite station from BT in 2014. Founded by entrepreneur and satellite communications engineer, Ian Jones, with a vision to create a multi-faceted space hub, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is forging ahead in a number of commercial and scientific endeavours.
The site will be opening their doors for educational programmes for school groups this autumn. Students and teachers visiting Goonhilly Earth Station will benefit from:
•  Understanding of the historic significance of Goonhilly Earth Station
•   Knowledge of modern satellite technology
•   Sense of different purposes of satellite dishes
•   Terminology for Computing/Science and general cross curricular knowledge
Workshops are currently aimed at Keystage 2, with plans to extend provision for other Keystages.
The Earth station also, runs a Year 10 Work Experience week (March) and a Year 12 Summer School (July). 
For further information click here or contact


Big Bang Fair South West 2018.  This is a good way of promoting STEAM activity across school and combining Computing with other subjects.  The fair takes place on Wednesday, 27 Jun 2018  at UWE Bristol Exhibition and Conference Centre.  More details are available here.

Network of Excellence

The Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science (NoE) is both a network of professionals working together and a wide-reaching programme of professional development, including many more aspects than simple provision of training courses. The NoE is based on striving for quality in teaching through a community of practice that involves local, face-to-face, peer-to-peer delivery.
New CAS Master Teachers
Welcome and thank you to the new CAS Master teachers in our region.
  • Michelle Cowley, Haydon Wick Primary School, Swindon, Wiltshire
  • Nick Bury, Minehead Middle School, Minehead, Somerset
  • Leah Smith, Moredon Primary School, Swindon, Wiltshire
  • Richard Jarvis, St John's Marlborough, Wiltshire

Want to know more about life as a CAS Master teacher?  Below are biographies from serving CAS Master Teachers.

Nick Bury
I started out as a primary class teacher for five years and, from the beginning, I was always part of making sure children had access to computers and were allowed the chance to develop their basic skills, encouraging children and teachers to use the wonderful resources computers and technology can provide. I created new policies and drew up a whole new improvement plan for a school with very few and very dated computers, who now have a whole suite and laptops too. Whilst working in an international school in Vietnam, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to move into teaching computing to Years 1-6. Since then, I have worked in various schools in London and abroad, teaching computing to children from the age of 3-13, as well as teaching other teachers about how they can develop the use of technology in their classrooms. I am currently Computing Lead at a Middle School in Somerset.

Julia Briggs
The training, materials and advice I provide is based on a passionately held belief in planning for the development of computational thinking alongside creativity when implementing a computing curriculum.  As an education advisor in Somerset I work in a team to support primary and special schools. 
My pedagogy initially developed as a class teacher, establishing strategies to provide access to technology for large class sizes, and ensuring its use made a difference to the learning taking place.  More recently, as an outcome of my Master’s Degree in 2013, I developed a model of computational thinking that is used within the Barefoot resources.
I worked with teachers and colleagues to develop the Wessex planning that has been used nationally and internationally.  This has now been updated and extended within a new format as ‘New Wessex Planning’ to make it customisable for a school’s own context.

Siobhan Morgan
Siobhán Morgan is Head of Computer Science at Exeter Junior School and was previously Head of Computing at the West Somerset Acadmies Trust. She led teams to the national finals of the Kodu Kup each year it ran between 2013 and 2015, held at Microsoft Headquarters in Reading. In 2014, the team won the Primary category and in 2015, they won the Judges’ Choice and she led three of the schools in the Trust to gain ‘Kodu School’ status. Her main interests are in programming related to the visual programming language, Kodu and she has a website with her resources and help videos at as well as tweeting from @Koduclassroom. Siobhán has written articles for the TES’s Google hub and Lego hub related to engagement using technology and coding. She is also a ‘Subject Genius’ for the TES where she regularly contributes to their blog.

New CAS Hubs
Welcome and thank you to the following new hubs and hub leaders
  • South Devon Hub - Matthew Fairtlough
Matthew held his first hub in late November, the hub had a cross curricular focus and there were a few Maths teachers present in addition to Computing teachers.  Matthew teaches A-level and shared resources that he created with the hub and also via the CAS website.  Teachers also received supportive literature to help them at all key stages from other hub attendees.

Interested in being a CAS Hub leader?
Interested in being a CAS Hub leader?  Then we would like to hear from you!  You can also find out more information here



The YouTube channel from Computing At School.  Here you will find a variety of videos to support your CPD, such as those on BBC Microbit, Robotics, Assessment (Project Quantum), Python Programming , Gender and Computing and much more. For more info click here

Magazines - Hello World - a free magazine for educators


Hello World is a magazine about Computing and Digital Making that is written by educators for educators.  It consists of 100 pages of news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more.  The magazine is a collaboration between the Raspberry Pi foundation and Computing At School (CAS), with generous sponsorship from BT.  These partnerships allow Hello World to offer both the hardcopy and digital subscriptions of Hello World for FREE.  To subscribe to Hello World, click here.

Code Club

Click here to visit the Code Club website.

Forthcoming Events 

A flavour of upcoming events in the region.  

Wednesday 10th January, 1:30-5:30
Key-stage 1 and 2 Assessment Working group meeting
hosted by CAS East Devon & Exeter Primary Hub

Friday 2nd February, All Day
BBC Microbit project for Primary schools (Iron Man)
hosted by Plymouth University

Tuesday 30th January
Scratch Design Project
Across two venues - Taunton and Yeovil

For these and lots of other events please click here.

SAVE the DATE!  The regional conference will be back next year - Friday 2nd November 2018, All Day, Plymouth University.  FREE.  Lunch Provided.  For Early Years, Primary and Secondary practitioners. 
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

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