Computing At School: CAS East Newsletter October 2016

CAS East Newsletter October 2016
CAS East Newsletter    October 2016

In This Issue

  • Introduction to new team
  • News
  • Competitions & challenges
  • Resources
  • Events

Upcoming Events


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Dear CAS member,



Welcome to the first CAS Eastern region newsletter for 2016-17 school year.  Your new CAS Eastern region team continues to be based at the University of Hertfordshire.  We are looking forward to your workshops, events, hub sessions and other activities across the region. Please do let us know of ways that we can support you or events that you are running, and your suggestions for how we can further build the Eastern region network.
Email us at with your suggestions.
Most of you will know that Mike Platt and Rebecca de Cruz have moved on from the University of Hertfordshire.  We wish them well and thank them for their contribution to the CAS network.

Best wishes
Sue Sissling – Director of Centre for STEM Education and project lead
Sonia Meneses – Regional Liaison


Other CAS Regional Centre East of England news

Have you considered being a CAS Master Teacher? We’re always looking to recruit teachers with an interest in promoting the subject, helping train others and developing their own knowledge. Not everyone is a subject expert when they start, so if you have a passion for computing and wish to enhance your career, please get in touch by contacting Further details of what it means to be a Master Teacher can be found here -
Running an event? Delivering CPD? Please let us know by emailing, which will enable us to have an accurate picture of activities going on in our region. CPD includes activities such as sharing best practice with colleagues; working with teachers from another school to examine the latest software; classroom support; leading department or staff meetings; and advising and supporting colleagues in your school or other schools.
We’re updating our CAS Regional Centre website -  Please let us know what you would like us to include and send us case studies about successful practice across the region.

Computing competitions and challenges

Race for the line: micro:bit model car competition (KS2, KS3, KS4)
Last year, the BBC micro:bit was given to schools to distribute to Y7 pupils and, since then, the devices have been made available to buy for around £13 from a range of resellers.
The BLOODHOUND Project, which is currently developing a vehicle in an attempt to break the land speed record, has teamed up with Microsoft to make 25,000 foam model rocket car kits available to schools. The kits, which will be modified by pupils and combined with the micro:bit, will allow children to take part in a nationwide rocket car race. Successful teams from both primary and secondary schools will be invited to regional and national finals, with the overall champions winning an all-inclusive trip to South Africa to spend a week with the BLOODHOUND Race team.
Schools must register by 31st October 2016. More information can be found here -
Animation ’17 (KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5)
Now in its tenth year, the University of Manchester’s Computer Animation Competition enables groups or individuals to showcase their creativity by making a one-minute animated film. Pupils can use a range of software, including Scratch, to develop their work. The animation can be on any topic, although the British Computer Society also sponsors a special e-safety category.
Registration is open now and entries need to be submitted by 31st March 2017. Winners receive Amazon voucher and all entrants can download a certificate of participation. Further details and example of previous winning entries can be found here -
Announcing the first ever European Astro Pi challenge (KS2, KS3, KS4)
Last year, Tim Peake took two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station. The devices contained programs produced by UK pupils and this year, thanks to the European Space Agency and Raspberry Pi, children from all over Europe have an opportunity to have their code run in space!
Pupils have to initially plan a sample space mission and register by 1st November 2016. Schools selected for the next phase will receive an Astro Pi kit and a mission challenge designed by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Further details can be found here -
UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge (KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5)
The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students and has children from over 40 countries taking part in short, fun, engaging Computer Science problems. During the competition week, pupils log into the Bebras website and aim to solve as many challenges in the allotted time as possible. No prior knowledge of Computing is required and website includes examples of past challenges and answer booklets.
The competition takes place between 7th and 11th November 2016 and the website can be found here -

Resources on the National STEM centre website

Robotics for the busy teacher
Easy to follow guides that will teach you what you need for VEX and Lego robotics.
Digital schoolhouse
A set of activities and videos to help link computing to other areas of the curriculum in creative ways.
Barefoot computing
Resources supporting the primary computing curriculum.


Upcoming events

CAS London Primary Computing CPD Day - Saturday 12th November 2016 – Our colleagues at CAS London are running a primary specific CPD event at Camden City Learning Centre, with tickets available for only £25. The day is split into four sessions and attendees can choose from one of three options per session. The event has an array of excellent presenters and lunch is included in the price -
BETT - 25th - 28th January 2017 – The world’s largest education technology show takes place at the ExCeL in London’s Docklands every January. The exhibitor list is available now, with details of presenters and CPD events released over the next month -
Safer Internet Day 2017 - Tuesday 7th February 2017 – The annual event’s theme this year is “Be the change: unite for a better internet”. The website includes ideas of how to get involved and make the most of the day

BBC micro:bit course- Tuesday 1 November 2016- Jamie Mitchell will talk about using the BBC micro:bit in teaching from 5.30- 7pm at St John's College School.  Entry is free; book your place at:

CAS Cambs Primary Hub Meeting- Thursday 17 November 2016- This is a session being held at Hardwick and Cambourne Community Primary School in Cambridge to come and learn more about how to teach computing in KS1. This is a free event; book your place at:

Lego WeDo- Wednesday 30 November 2016 - An introduction to Lego WeDo at Trent C of E Primary School in Cockfosters.  This is a free event; book your place at:
Master Teacher Induction Day at BCS London - Wednesday 23 November- a great opportunity to meet up with other CRC staff, share ideas and get to grips with the CAS office systems. -
Our mailing address is:
CAS Lancaster, School of Computing & Communications, InfoLab21, Lancaster University. Bailrigg. Lancaster. LA1 4WA.

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