Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter July 2017

CAS South West Newsletter July 2017
CAS South West Newsletter    July 2017


Dear CAS South West member.  Summer is nearly here!  Congratulations on making it through another (hopefully successful) academic year and best wishes to all those who have completed SATs and those awaiting GCSE, AS and A-level results.  Also thank you to all of our CAS Hub Leaders and CAS Master Teachers. This newsletter is packed with lots of exciting information to assist you in delivering the curriculum.  We would also like you to make a note of the CAS South West Regional Conference - Friday 3rd November 2017 - Plymouth University. Tickets are FREE! Please get all cover slips in now and book the time off.  There is more detail further down in the newsletter.  Book here now.


Regional Roundup

The South West regional conference will feature a wealth of workshops, guest speakers and information stands, catering for all key-stages.  There will also be information from STEM partners and local businesses. Workshops that will be featured are, Networking with Cisco Academy, Scratch Maths, Assessment at Primary and Secondary, Raspberry Pi and Electronics, Kodu, Digital Schoolhouse, Crumbles, Unplugged for primary (Barefoot), Unplugged for Secondary (CAS Tenderfoot), Code Club, Python and many more!

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

West Monkton C of E Prmary School, Taunton, Somerset - Janet Ross (Master Teacher and Primary School Teacher)

Children at West Monkton Primary School have enjoyed learning about and using 3D printers.  Here is a report from the pupils.

"Our Year 5/6 class at West Monkton Primary School has been very lucky this term- we have borrowed a 3D printer! We started by watching the printer at work- it was amazing how the slices of the model printed and how the inside of shapes were filled with a supporting honeycomb structure.

Next we were shown Google Sketchup. Our teacher showed us how to create shapes, then how to use the push/ pull tool to change the shapes. It was quite tricky and a bit frustrating at times, but we quickly got the hang of it. We made lots of different things from houses to sofas, to dinosaurs, to a fish holding a gun -(but we had to be careful that there were no over-hanging bits because the melted plastic string would just fall down to the base plate).

We then linked the computer to the printer with a USB cable and printed our designs. Watching our own designs growing in front of our eyes was awesome! 

If you are thinking of using a 3D printer with your class, our advice would be just go for it- You will be as amazed with the results as us!"

Tom and Jack

Mounts Bay Academy, Penzance - Simon Elliott (CAS Master Teacher and CAS Hub Leader)
Report by CAS South West Outreach Support

At the end of April, I had a lovely visit to Mounts Bay Academy, Penzance, where I met with CAS Master Teacher Simon Elliott, who is also an Apple Teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator and runs West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly hub. The school is an outstanding school which has good sized cohorts in years 10 and 11. 

As an Apple Distinguished school, every student has an iPad (1100 students) and all staff also have an iPad and a MacBook Pro.  Staff are on the Apple teacher training programme, demonstrating using Apple technology.  “The Apple Teacher is a free professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. Educators, build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with students, earn recognition for the new things learnt, and are rewarded for the great work they do every day”.  -

A good question that one may ask here, is how does the school manage all of these iPad and appropriate student usage, including social media and breakage.  Here Simon Elliott explains the journey from the first deployment six years ago, when management tools were few and far between, through to today’s MDM, VPP and DEP tools from Apple that allow the academy to manage what the children can use, see and when. There is more information in this UKEdChat article.

At key stage 4, students follow either the OCR GCSE Computer Science specification or the TLM INGOTS ITQ at Level 2. The academy is considering the new TLM/INGOTS level 2 course called “Open Systems and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies”.  The latter being very topical, covering units such as Microsatellites.  This is relevant to the students as very close by there is the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station.  Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station is the world's largest satellite earth receiving station, located on Goonhilly Downs near Helston on the Lizard peninsula. This allows for students to draw correlations with their local environment and to have relevant school trips -

As a part of the visit I was able to observe a CREW session (student voice), pupils were in mixed groups representing each year group (7-11) and discussed topical issues affecting them at school and within their community.  Some of the topics on the agenda were:
  • Digital Detox – no use of Digital technology at lunchtimes
  • Social Media – etiquette and how to manage issues that arise, such as malicious messages
This visit showed the positive effects of the Computing curriculum on our students, and it was lovely to see all the year 11s working through the “Six A Day Challenges” as part of their GCSE revision.  Well done Simon!

New CAS Master Teachers
Welcome to the new CAS Master teachers in our region.
  • Joshua Tyers -  St Winnow CofE School, Cornwall
  • Tony Gilbert - New College, Wiltshire
  • Shaun Rogers - Plymstock School, Devon

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 
Competition - CyberCenturion Challenge

Prepare for the next academic year!  CyberCenturion is a national competition jointly run by Cyber Security Challenge UK and Northrop Grumman. The aim of the competition is to engage thousands of talented individuals who have the skills to defend the UK online but no real outlet for showcasing what they can do. The competition is played by teams of  four with one reserve. Players must be aged 12-18.  

To encourage further diversity in the competition, this year there will be a series of 'tracks' for CyberCenturion: girls only teams, boys only teams, mixed teams (even gender split), cadets teams and general teams. One top-scoring team in each of these tracks will be fast-tracked to the National Final, alongside the five highest scoring teams of the competition.

More information is available here


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.

The Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno, Cornwall.  Home to the first transatlantic cables, pupils and teachers will benefit from seeing "The Cable Hut" the only one of its kind complete with original features and fittings, and contains the largest collection of historic telegraph cables and termination boxes in the world. Visitors can still see the original cables which appear from under the floor and connect to a bank of terminals.

Pupils attend workshops where they will gain knowledge on the history of Telecommunications, how cables are routed around the world, how breaks are found in transatlantic cables, copper cables vs fibre cables and asynchronous vs duplex transmission. There is also opportunity to develop further knowledge on different ways to communicate – Smoke to Semaphore, Morse etc, and much, much more. Further 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.

Welcome to the following new CAS Hubs
  • CAS North Devon - William Harvey (Hub Leader) and Fred Barber (CAS Master Teacher)
  • CAS Salisbury Hub - Alastair Barker (Hub Leader)
  • North Cotswolds CAS Hub - Amanda Tudor and Rhys Froggatt (Hub Leaders and CAS Master Teachers)
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


CPD for teachers on Cyber Security, available through the Tech Partnership.  For further information, click here.

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

For those in Initial Teacher Training, the British Computer Society have two new educational titles available, Computer Science Teacher - insight into the computing classroom and Computational Thinking - a beginners guide to problem solving and programming. Click on the images for more info.


Meet the team  

CAS South West in now on Twitter
We now have a regional twitter account.  Please follow us @crcSouthWest 
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

All Rights Reserved © Computing At School 2021
Using the websiteDisclaimer of liabilityCookies policyPrivacy notice