Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter April 2017

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


Easter Greetings!  There has been quite a lot going on in 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

Good News Stories
This section is a standing item in our newsletter, where we celebrate success in our region.  Featured in this issue are:
Bradley Stoke Community School, Bristol - Richard Williams (CAS Hub Leader) 

In January, Bradley Stoke Community School in Bristol hosted a Cybersecurity day, for schools in the local area.  The day reached 42 pupils from 7 schools.  Pupils were mainly girls from the Pupil premium category, with a few boys.  Pupils were given an overview of “What is Cybersecurity and they observed real time DDOS attacks. This was linked to topical news events.

Pupils also gained an overview of how viruses like the Stuxnet virus work and the implications of such a virus being freely available. This led onto a discussion on open source weapons, how crime is changing and the importance of learning about Cybersecurity.

Pupils then undertook the Cyber Challenge, which involved using clues to decode the passcode to a briefcase.  Through the activity pupils used ciphers such as the Scytale and Caesar Shift ciphers.  Seeing these put into practices was extremely exciting as it put theory from the classroom into a fun and engaging activity.

All pupils were briefed about Cybergames, Cyberfirst and other challenges being run nationally.  For more information on Cybersecurity Challenges please click here.

Glen Park Primary School Plymouth - report by CAS South West Outreach Support 

During February, I had the pleasure of visiting Glen Park Primary School in Plymouth and meeting with CAS Master Teacher and Plymouth Primary Hub Leader, Steven Gibson.

The school started off not having much technology in place when the new curriculum came into being. As such, the focus was to embed Unplugged activities first. This has worked really well and helped staff and pupils grasp the new curriculum.  Once this was embedded the technology side was developed.
Steven has invested in creating a multi -platform school, with Android Interactive White Boards, Apple Tablets and Windows Computers running Google Classroom.  The reasoning behind this is to ensure that pupils and staff are able to work effectively in different environments, which is a reflection of the real world.

There was a good blend with traditional IT skills, Unplugged activities, Cross curricular and computational thinking. On the IT side pupils were taking photos on their iPads, placing them into the correct folders in a central area and then using those photos as part of a comic strip to support the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to English.

Pupils also take part in the “Glen Park version of Digital Leaders”, helping other pupils and supporting teachers. To gain their badge, they “teach” a 30-minute lesson based upon their own research.  Pupils earn bookmarks and badges as they progress through the levels of the programme.

Pupils with learning needs were flourishing with the new curriculum due to the precise nature of coding and logical ordering.  Two languages had been used to introduce pupils to programming, Scratch and Kodu. Pupils were also able to describe how computers support their other subject areas, such as tests in reading and times tables rock stars in Maths. This was a joy to see and hear.

When speaking with the year 6 pupils (girls and boys), they all said how much they enjoyed Computing, especially seeing things come to life.  I was able to see excellent evidence of cross curricular Computing with Design and Technology.  Through the use of physical Computing devices (Crumbles), pupils learnt how they worked and were taught the code required to perform specific actions.  This was very nicely laid out and annotated in their “Computing and DT” exercise books. After teaching in an unplugged way for a few lessons, pupils then went onto computers and were able to easily snap together the blocks in Scratch to operate the buggies, made with Tupperware pots and Crumble components. Pupils learnt about moving their buggies forward, backward, turning the buggy wheels independently and to analyse and verbalise what was occurring.

This was a wonderful visit to see the new curriculum in action.  Mr Gibson attributes the success from the embedding of Unplugged activities first and foremost to pupils and staff.  Well done Steven!

New CAS Master Teachers
Welcome to the new CAS Master teachers in our region.
  • James Summerson - Primary - Swindon
  • Siobhan Morgan - Middle School - Minehead
  • Amanda Tudor - Secondary - Chipping Campden
  • Bryan Moore - Secondary - Bristol
  • Julia Briggs - Primary - Taunton

Digital Schoolhouse, New College Swindon - Tony Gilbert, DSH teacher and Computing Lecturer
New College Swindon, has become the first Digital Schoolhouse College in the country.  Digital Schoolhouse, is a pioneering programme which is led and delivered by games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie.  A combination of plugged & unplugged activities are used to teach Computational Thinking concepts in Computing to pupils across years 4-11.  Examples of workshops are card games and dancing to teach the basics of algorithms and sequences through real life scenarios.  If you wish to attend a Digital Schoolhouse at New College please get in contact here.  Otherwise, more Digital Schoolhouses are soon to be rolled out across the region.  If you are interested in being a DSH teacher, register initial interest here.

Royal Visit 
While not completely Computing related, CAS Master Teacher and Swindon Primary Hub Leader - Phillip Anley, took some of his pupils to Monmouthshire to participate in a launch day, where The Duke of Cambridge launched an award scheme - the SkillForce Prince William Award to help children build character, confidence and resilience. Pupils from Bishopstone Primary School in Swindon took part in team building exercises.  More on the full story is available here.

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 
STEM and Enrichment 

The Royal Signals Museum, Blandford Forum, Dorset.  Provide a series of workshops suitable for Primary and Secondary pupils in addition to a museum visit. Workshops include:

  • Morse Code Training
  • History of Comms from Morse to Mobile, including building a texting machine
  • Code Breaking
  • Semaphore & Radio
  • Robotics

Workshops can be tailored to your needs and Outreach visits can also be arranged.  More information is available here.

3D ami 
This is a summer school for 14-18 year olds, which takes place from 26th July - 3rd August 2017 at UCL Engineering (London).  The summer school is free to pupils, and teachers do not have to attend. During the week pupils run their own studios and make their own short 3D animated film using Blender. Pupils experience every part of production, from script-writing through to première. Encourage your pupils to sign up.  More information is available here. Additionally, If you would like to teach creativity through animation in the classroom and use Blender there is a free six week scheme of work, available either from 3D ami or contact for more info.

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 and to apply click here

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

Training and Resources 

Raspberry Pi Training  
Interested in developing skills in Physical Computing - then consider becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator.  Click here for more info.

The CAS YouTube channel, has detailed content on Computer Science, pedagogy, inclusion and wider issues such as how to run a department, some of the videos include:
  • Assessing progress
  • Computing in the EYFS
  • Creative Computing
  • Gender and Computing
  • Graph theory
  • Pupil Premium
Click here to access these and other exciting topics.

Forthcoming Events 

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

Thursday 18th May 16:00-18:00
CAS Plymouth Primary Hub Meeting 
Glen Park Primary School
Free - Book here

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

Scratch Programming workshops (primary) throughout May 2017
Across the region - Truro, Bristol and Swindon
Funding is available through a bursary - Apply for the bursary and Book here

16th June (eve) and 17th June (all day)
CAS National Conference
University of Birmingham
Chargeable - Book here

Coming Soon...CAS South West Regional Conference
Thursday 2nd November 9am-3pm - Plymouth University
Free to attend

Lots of exciting workshops - Project Quantum, Crumbles, Barefoot Computing, Scratch Maths, Kodu, CAS Tenderfoot, Raspberry Pi and Electronics, Esafety, STEM Activities, Digital School House, Resources to support and much more.  SAVE THE DATE!
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

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