Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter January 2017

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


Welcome to the first CAS SouthWest newsletter for 2017!  Belated new year greetings and a belated thank you for all of the efforts of our teachers, support staff, CAS Hub Leaders and CAS Master Teachers last year!  In this issue you will find lots of relevant information on promoting and supporting excellence of computer science education within the South West region. 


Meet The Team

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

Regional Roundup

Lending Library
The CAS South West Regional Centre has a number of resources which can be borrowed from the lending library.  Currently we have Pico Boards, Netgadgeteer kits, 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 

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

Glen Park Primary School, Plymouth - Steven Gibson (CAS Master Teacher and CAS Hub Leader)
“Being asked to co-ordinate computing in a primary school can often be daunting, especially as the new curriculum has introduced so many things teachers have never actually taught! When one teacher contacted me in my role as Computing At School Master Teacher and asked for help, I quickly snuck them onto a course I was running for the PTSA Schools Direct team. In one day, we managed to cover everything from binary communication to networking, from algorithms to programming and from digital image representation to e-safety. We even managed to consider the ethics of computing in the modern curriculum and our responsibility to the next generation of digital natives.

It has been an even greater privilege to co-ordinate the Primary hub meetings in Plymouth, which are growing in popularity and becoming ‘must attend’ events. Guest speakers and attendees are all given an opportunity to share ideas, discoveries and shortcuts. The 'top tips for grant applications’ was particularly useful! With the conversations often continuing in our Facebook group, it has been fantastic to see teachers supporting teachers in a mutually beneficial way.

My dream for 2017? I would love to see more computing lessons that don’t actually use technology. I love the Computing Unplugged ideas that are all over the Internet, and make teaching the subject much more accessible for nervous staff than trying to do everything on a computer or device. Even better though, I’d love to see more primary pupils teaching lessons, enabled and equipped by supportive staff to become the real ‘experts in the room’.

Mounts Bay Academy, Penzance - Simon Elliott (CAS Master Teacher and CAS Hub Leader)
We implemented a new RaspberryPi suite and it has been full on! The BBC Microbits are being used in Product Design with the rocket cars. Not yet in Computing. I am hoping to get some docks to link them better to the Pi to use their sensors.

New CAS Master Teachers
Welcome to the new CAS Master teachers in our region.
  • Janet Ross- Hamp Academy
  • Karen Sims- St Peters School
  • Olivia Bartlett- Eggbuckland Primary School
  • Ian Gover- Somerset County Council
  • Rob Nightingale- Islambard Community School
  • Sophie Keylock – Compton C of E Primary School
Competition - Longitude Explorer Prize

"The Longitude Explorer Prize 2017 is looking at how the Internet of Things can be implemented in healthcare in innovative ways. We challenge young people to come up with ideas that use the Internet of Things to improve health and well-being of people in the UK." The ideas can relate to the themes below, although other health-related solutions will be also considered:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity
  • Pollution
Initial entry deadline is 3rd March. More information is 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.

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

Interested in becoming a CAS Master teacher?
Master teachers will benefit from enhanced career development, recognition of their own status as a teacher, opportunity to help and support other colleagues, improve their own teaching of the subject, access to professional development opportunities.  You can find out more information here - Becoming a CAS Master Teacher

Computational Thinking Resources 

A series of short clips on BBC Bitesize to support pupils in understanding the fundamentals of Computational thinking.  Featured clips are on Abstraction, Algorithms, Decomposition, Evaluating Solutions, Pattern Recognition, Searching Algorithms and Sorting Algorithms. Suitable for use at key stage 3 or 4.  Click here

CAS Tenderfoot
Coming soon...  Teacher training courses on Computational Thinking for key stage 3, led by South West CAS Master teachers Beverly Clarke and Melanie Dennig. 

If you are visiting BETT, you can enjoy a free taster session of Tenderfoot. Book on here:

Forthcoming Events 

A flavour of upcoming events in the region.  Many more online at:

Wednesday 1st February 16:00-18:00
CAS Exeter Hub Meeting - Barefoot Computing
The Maynard School - primary focus with unplugged activities
Free - Book here

Tuesday 21st February 16:00 - 17:30
CAS Somerset Primary hub meeting - Esafety & Online Tools
Wincanton Primary School
Free - Book here

Thursday 23rd February 16:30 - 18:00
CAS Plymouth Hub Meeting - Cybersecurity 
Plymouth University
Mainly secondary focus but info for primaries as well
Free - either in person or via webinar - Book here

Friday 17th March 13:30 - 15:15
Building Circuits with the Raspberry Pi
Mounts Bay Academy
£10.00 - Book here
*Free for Master teachers

Thursday 25th May 16:30 - 18:00
CAS Cheltenham Primary Hub - Ipads in the classroom
University of Gloucestershire
Free - Book here

Coming Soon...CAS Master Teacher and CAS Hub Leader Session
Date and time to be confirmed
The purpose of this session will be to gather as a group to discuss ways in which you can be better supported to deliver to teachers in the SouthWest.  If you would like anything in particular to feature on the agenda.  Please email
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

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