Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter July 2018

CAS South West Newsletter    July 2018
Dear CAS member,


Dear CAS South West members, summer is here!  Well done for another fantastic year.  Together we have achieved lots.  Our "Good news section" is filled with a few of our wonderful events.  Looking forward to the new academic year, please - Save the date - the South West Regional Conference will be back on Friday 2nd November 2018, with workshops for primary and secondary teachers, some of the featured workshops will be Networking, Arduino powered robotics, Online Safety/Digital literacy, coding at all levels, Wearables, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and much more.  The keynote is the Lord Mayor of Plymouth and our conference is free!  Please book here.


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.  

CAS Hub Leader Sanjeeva Karunaratne has recently setup the CAS Newent Hub which caters for a primary and secondary audience.  The hub also doubles as a “Cyber Hub”.  Cyber hubs provide primary and secondary teachers with resources which help to engage pupils with Cyber activity. Examples of Cyber activities that pupils complete are Learning about and creating secure passwords (primary) and creating and using Wi-Fi sniffers and securing networks (secondary).

To find out more about how a Cyber hub can support you please contact Sanjeeva via the CAS website or follow the school on twitter @newentcomputing

The Cyber Security story continues across the South West.  The roadshow visited, Trafalgar School (Wiltshire), Sturminster Newton High (Dorset) and Camborne Science and International Academy (Cornwall). 
CAS Master Teacher (Gil Sweetenham) reported the following from the Cyber Security visit to Sturminster Newton HIgh.

One of my favourite days at SNHS is Challenge Day. We are fortunate to fit in three a year, which give students an opportunity to experience a variety of different events and activities, adding a diversity to the curriculum. On the 20th June, The Cyber Roadshow visited SNHS, delivering a varied and technical programme to our Year 8 students.

The day consisted of two main labs; one delivered by the South West Police Cyber Crime Unit on the ethics of using technology, ensuring students develop an understanding of their responsibilities when using technology along with the Computer Misuse Act and the impacts of breaking this. Students interacted using tablets; voting on different scenarios before exploring them further.

The second lab was delivered by Beverly Clarke (Computing At Schools). Students looked at staying safe online when communicating with others. They started by using Binary Boxes to understand how binary is used to communicate and how encryption can be used to secure communication, looking in depth at the Caesar Cipher and the Enigma Code.

This was followed by two presentations. The first was by Martyn Case from Mott MacDonald Engineering, who explained how our students could transition from school to industry through different routes and what job roles and potential salaries might be possible. The second presentation was by Sturminster Newton’s own Town Councillor, Chris Spackman, who has a r
ich and varied experience from working with and in technology and who still has a close link with Southampton University Computing department as a mentor. Chris helped round up the day, explaining the diverse roles available to our students and the rich opportunities and experience they could have if they were to decide a career in tech is for them.

It was fantastic for the students to see that there are opportunities locally, nationally and internationally and that a considerable amount of tech jobs can be done from anywhere with a good internet connection. Throughout the day, the students made me proud, asking sensible and challenging questions and I was very impressed with their keenness to understand what option choices would enable them to progress into tech careers.


If you would like the South West Police Cyber Crime unit to attend your venue and run one of their fab sessions during a Cyber security themed day or activity in which there are multiple schools attending, please email - the police will also be in attendance at the regional conference.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are beginning to feature in the Computing education news more and more.  The AIinSchools programme ( ran a pilot featuring a six week scheme of work and a competition.  A few schools in the South West participated and Sturminster Newton High featured again.  Here is a report from Gil.

Over the past term, our students have been given a privileged opportunity to work with an All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence. Students from Years 7 to 10 were able to contribute their ideas on ‘How you think your town and city will look and operate in the next 10 years’, or ‘Consider what your future work day might look like’, whilst considering the impact of Artificial Intelligence.
We had a wide range of different entries, playing to our students’ various strengths, including collages, drawings, spider diagrams and written pieces. Once these ideas had been submitted, they were hosted by Big Innovations Centre and displayed in the Houses of Parliament, as well as on the web for the public to judge.

Niki Iliadis (Innovation and Policy Foresight Manager) stated that, ‘The submissions were much welcomed by our Chairs, Officers and the wider community of 800+ AI experts, regulators, business representatives and academics. We were delighted to see how the students envision their futures - filled with new technologies like AI.’

We have received two AI books; one that will be awarded to Abi and one for the school library. All the students who took part have been awarded a certificate of participation.

I was very proud of the responsible attitude our students demonstrated as they participated in this opportunity to look at AI, which has the potential to impact their futures.


                           To download the resources click here

The Crypt School in Gloucester collaborated with University of Gloucestershire to create a bespoke Design an App workshop for all year 7 students.  Here is what Susan Green (Science Teacher (Teaching School) and STEM Development Manager) reported from the day.

All students were off-timetable for the day. They spent the day researching, designing and presenting their app.

The aim of the workshop was to give students an insight into digital careers and an opportunity to work with graduate programmers. Jamie Stewart, who runs the undergraduate course at University of Gloucestershire, vetted each group and critiqued their ideas.

It was fascinating to see students engage with the process. They gained a lot from the day.

In addition, University of Gloucestershire student ambassadors filmed the Year 7 day. The Crypt school year 10 students had the opportunity to spend two days at the university editing the footage into a short documentary.  This was a joint day with University of Gloucestershire, Renishaw and the Crypt School Engineering department.

The University Outreach team, visits venues across the country, if you are interested in hosting a similar workshop, please contact Jordan Allison, Gloucestershire University Outreach,


CAS Cheltenham Primary Hub were the regional winners of the hub leaders award.  They received a certificate and VEX robotics kit.  Well done to Lindsay and Richard.

Increase your knowledge

The latest edition of Hello World magazine is out and features lots of inspirational articles. This edition focuses on engineering. 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.

Network of Excellence

CAS Hubs
Stay connected!  To ensure you are up to date with what is happening at your local hub, ensure that you are signed up to receiving updates.  To do this follow these steps:
  • Login to the CAS Community Website
  • Click “Profile” (top right) and <your name>
  • Then update your profile to show your are a member of your local hub
  • If you are not you will need to click the join your hub button - 

Enrichment and Assessment 

Looking for ideas for the new academic year?  How about the Bebras Challenge for all key-stages  in November? The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students.  Registration is now open.  To find out more about Bebras click here.


Thinking about how to assess in Computing?  Perhaps try Project Quantum.  This is a bank of multiple choice questions on a variety of topics and they are self marking. 

Forthcoming Events 

A flavour of upcoming events in the region.  
  • NCSC Cyber Schools hub and nuclear power (Gloucester) - 26th Sept
  • CAS Somerset South Primary Hub Meeting - 1st Oct
  • CAS Somerset North Primary Hub Meeting - 2nd Oct
  • CAS Somerset Central West Primary Hub Meeting - 3rd Oct
  • CAS Somerset Central East Primary Hub Meeting - 4th Oct

For these and other events in our region please go to the CAS website -
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

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