Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter January 2018

CAS South West Newsletter - January 2018
CAS South West Newsletter    January 2018
Dear CAS member,


Dear CAS South West members, we do hope 2018 has started well.  This edition of our regional newsletter will give you a feel for what is going on across the region and ideas that you can incorporate into your own practise.


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 is:

Sixth Form Inspiration Event, Bristol Grammar School
(report by CAS South West Outreach Support - Beverly Clarke)

In November, Bristol grammar school held a sixth form inspiration event for students from local sixth forms.  The event was organised by CAS Hub Leader – Ian Jones.  At the event, students listened to a variety of speakers and took part in Q&A sessions with the speakers, who included: 

Professor Tom Crick, MBE, CEng, CSci, FBCS, Vice-President at BCS - the Chartered institute for IT and Professor of Computer Science & Public Policy at Cardiff Metropolitan University, spoke about thinking computationally and how data allows us to investigate and make informed decisions.

Aisling Ann O’Kane, Lecturer, University of Bristol - Human Computer Interaction in Healthcare – explained how personal health devices are used and hacked in the wild, along with testing complex design and interactivity before coding apps.

David Pierce, a teacher and examiner spoke to students about examination preparation, students were guided in exam techniques (dos and don’ts), illustrations of good and bad ways to answer questions, UCAS applications and managing the clearing process.

Tamsin Hodge, STEM Ambassador, Women’s Tech Hub, UK Hydrographic Office explained how computers are used in the marine world and how marine data is used to create products and services.  Students learnt how data is used from satellite imagery, real time info and static info to inform decision making. The UK Hydrographic office helps people and organisations such as the Royal Navy to make informed decisions on where to take their ships.

Eriol Fox – visual designer, UI & UX specialist, Women’s Tech Hub (Bristol).  Eriol spoke about her journey from a degree in Fine Art to a career in Tech.  Students also learnt about “What is Design as an Industry”, such as in-house, freelance or through an agency.

Dr Sam Aaron (Sonic Pi – Live Coding), students learnt about live coding in the Ruby programming language to produce musical compositions.  Concepts such as concurrency were all demonstrated through music.

Thank you Ian.  To find out more about events from the day check out #CSIBGS
Increase your knowledge

The latest edition of Hello World magazine is out and features one of our South West teachers - Charlotte Rubringer, Well done Charlotte!  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.

Artificial Intelligence
Interested in teaching about Artificial Intelligence at key-stage 3?  CAS Master Teacher Beverly Clarke has partnered with NVIDIA and Amazon Web Services to produce a six week scheme of work.  To register your interest in taking part in the pilot please email - 

The Data Protection Act is changing to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - On the 25th May 2018 there will be new elements and significant enhancements to the Data Protection Act.
One of the new introductions is a requirement of ALL organisations to report certain types of data breaches to Information Commissioners Office (ICO)  - so if a pupil hacks into and breaches a school network which results in damage to reputation, financial loss, loss of confidentiality or any other significant economic or social disadvantage the ICO must be told.  Please be aware of this and inform safeguarding leads in your schools, also be aware when teaching about legislation.  To find out more about GDPR, visit -

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.

Welcome and thank you to new CAS Master Teacher - Amy Brittan - Somerset County Council.

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

Michelle Cowley

I've been a primary school teacher for over 20 years, working all over the world.  For the last 4 years I have been back in the UK as a Year 3 teacher and Computing coordinator.  I love teaching computing  and as coordinator I get to take Year 6 computing lessons too.  The school just achieved their 360  online safety mark.

Allen Bailey

I was first introduced to the wonders of computing through devices like the RML 380Z, BBC Micro and Amstrad CPC 464. Whilst most of my peers were seduced by the 16 bit glory of  platforms like the Amiga and Atari I went in a different direction and soon acquired my first PC. Equipped with a mighty 8086 processor, 4 colour CGA graphics and a whopping 20Mb hard drive it sealed my fate. I’ve been working with Computers, both commercially and within education , ever since and have enjoyed almost every minute of it.  My degree is in Computer Science and Software Engineering and I’ve been teaching it in schools since the year 2000. I currently teach 11-18 at Clyst Vale Community College and work predominantly with Python 3. My Computing interests include older hardware, Internet Of Things (IOT), SOCS including Arduino and  Raspberry Pi. I am happy to collaborate with or support colleagues in any aspect of KS3-KS5 Computing.

James Summerson

James Summerson is a Specialist Leader of Education in Computer Science and Online Safety, having originally been the ICT - Coordinator at Drove Primary School Swindon. James Summerson is currently the Computer Science lead teacher for the White Horse Federation. He is working on delivering improvement to both computing and Online Safety with over 10 primary schools in the South West. James has experience of supporting schools with the following:

  • Delivering improvements using the National Curriculum program of study
  • Helping schools select a bespoke curriculum for their school
  • Integrating e-safety into the curriculum and developing an safety culture
  • Delivering coding, multimedia and digital literacy content to staff and pupils
  • Developing assessment systems to measure attainment and progress in Computing

James is also an enthusiastic supporter of working in partnership with the community. He has developed strong links with local community radio station Swindon 105.5, and has helped children to become the youngest nationally to achieve a level one NCFE certificate in radio production.


The Royal Signals museum in Dorset runs a variety of workshops which you can book either to take a school trip to the museum or have them come out to visit you.  Some of the workshops are VEX Robot programming, Blindfold Communication, Field Telephone Network, Code Breaking and many more.  Visit the CAS website and read their full booklet -

Code Club
Click here to visit the Code Club website.


Forthcoming Events 

A flavour of upcoming events in the region.  

Iron Man Workshop - Friday 2nd February - this project aims to create a programme of support for primary schools focusing on a cross-curricular scheme of work which embeds the development of pupil’s computational thinking skills and which uses the micro bit with the aim of enhancing learning and motivation in KS2 pupils. The resource pack includes a cross-curricular SOW focused on the Iron Man story and involves the pupils building their own Iron Man model (D&T) and a micro bit controlled buggy (CS) and using their creation to retell an aspect of the Iron Man story (IT).  Book here -

Cyber Security Roadshow (February and March) - across the region we have partnered with South West Police Cyber Crime Unit, Cyber Security Challenge and local STEM links to run a series of pilot roadshows.  Alongside this we are also running teacher CPD sessions. Follow events on the roadshow on #CyberRoadShowSW.  We will be tweeting from mid February.

For these and other events in our region please go to the CAS website -

  The regional conference will be back this 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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