Computing At School: CAS South West Newsletter September 2017

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


Welcome to the start of a new and exciting academic year.  This term sees CAS South West hold our annual regional conference.  This will take place on Friday 3rd November at Plymouth University.  This is a two track conference for primary and secondary colleagues, from those in initial teacher training to the very experienced.  Our conference is FREE and lunch is also provided.  Please book here now.


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:

Year 8 students reach the finals of the BAFTA Game Designers Game Making awards
St Joseph’s School, Launceston, Cornwall - Teresa Toulouse (ICT Teacher)
Report by the participating students

Many weeks before the competition we were enlightened about an incredible opportunity to express our creativity and knowledge of game creation. Over the next few months we came up with ideas and put them into action. We spent time running rigorous testing through friends, families and even teachers to try and perfect our game. We finally entered our application.

After a month of waiting we found out the excellent news that we had reached the final; we were stunned.  We were told that we had to travel up to London for the event a few weeks after. When we arrived, we were welcomed with posh food and drinks. Whilst we were there we were interviewed by a man from the BBC.

All of the games were set up around the room with our own descriptions of our games lying next to the laptops.

Finally, after hours of waiting anxiously, we made our way up to the hall where the awards were being given out.  We enjoyed the ceremony, although sadly we did not win.  This did not make us upset as we know the nomination was an achievement of its own.

By - William, Joel and Lucas
View our game on the BAFTA Young Games Designer Website - click 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 

Enrichment - opportunities across the South West

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is the company that acquired the famous Goonhilly satellite station from BT in 2014. Founded by entrepreneur and satellite communications engineer, Ian Jones, with a vision to create a multi-faceted space hub, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is forging ahead in a number of commercial and scientific endeavours.
The site will be opening their doors for educational programmes for school groups this autumn. Students and teachers visiting Goonhilly Earth Station will benefit from:
•  Understanding of the historic significance of Goonhilly Earth Station
•   Knowledge of modern satellite technology
•   Sense of different purposes of satellite dishes
•   Terminology for Computing/Science and general cross curricular knowledge
Workshops are currently aimed at Keystage 2, with plans to extend provision for other Keystages.
The Earth station also, runs a Year 10 Work Experience week (March) and a Year 12 Summer School (July). 
For further information visit or contact

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

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 autumn term is also home to a few exciting theme days and activities which help to provide a more engaging curriculum.  Here is one a month for the next few months.

Ada Lovelace Day - Tuesday 10th October - an international day of celebration to celebrate the achievements of women in STEAM subjects. Perhaps make this a cross curricular theme and team up with other departments to celebrate the achievements of famous women in other subject areas.

Bebras Challenge6th - 17th November - The Bebras challenges are made of a set of short Computational Thinking questions and are delivered online. The challenges are in categories and available for students from key stage 1 (year 2) through to key stage 5 (year 13).  This is an excellent way of ascertaining the CT abilities of classes, there are also certificates available for different categories within your school such as, "Best in School", "Certificate of Participation", "Certificate of Distinction" etc. Further information is available here

Computer Science Education Week - 4th - 10th December - a week of fun coding activities for all age groups, using a variety of languages and environments.  More info 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.
New CAS Master Teachers
Welcome and thank you to the new CAS Master teachers in our region.
  • Michael Robinson - St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Bideford, Devon

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

New CAS Hubs
Welcome and thank you to the following new hubs and hub leaders
  • Bristol Secondary Hub - Ian Jones
  • Dartmoor Primary Hub - Matt Smith
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


The Future Citizen - Ian Gover (Somerset County Council) and John Woollard (Southampton University)

Exciting new scheme 'The CAS Future Citizen' is designed to provide schools with resources and ideas so that they can ensure a Computing education enabling all learners to take a productive place in today’s technological enabled society.  It is aimed at Key Stage 4 learners, many of whom have not chosen to study a Computing related qualification.

"The CAS Future Citizen" will encourage pupils to become better future citizens – able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

The scheme also seeks to empower a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community.  Ian and John are looking for views and help in trialling and developing this scheme, for further information contact -

 BBC Bitesize 
A series of short clips 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, their NQT year and managers of newly qualified staff, BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT has a new educational title available, Computer Science Teacher - insight into the computing classroom.  For teachers wishing to develop their knowledge and understanding of CT, there is Computational Thinking - a beginners guide to problem solving and programmingClick on the images for more info.

For assistance with programming, there is "Learn to program using C++ on the Raspberry Pi: An easy introduction to programming for beginners using Linux and GNU C++.  Click on the image for further info.


Magazines - Hello World - a free magazine for educators


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.

Forthcoming Events 

A flavour of upcoming events in the region.  

Tuesday 10th October
Somerset Scratch Design Project, 13:15 - 14:45
West Monkton Primary School, Taunton
Free - Book here

Wednesday 18th October, 10:45 - 14:45
Future City Schools Hackathon
UWE City Campus at Arnolfini, Bristol
Free - Book here

Wednesday 18th October, 17:15 - 18:45
From Cakes to Computers
Royal Signals Institute, Blandford Forum
£5.00 - contact them on

Wednesday 22nd November, 9:15 - 3:00
Computer Science Inspiration 
Bristol Grammar School, Bristol
Mainly secondary focus but info for primaries as well
£5.00 - Book here

And of course the CAS South West Regional Conference - Friday 3rd November, All Day, Plymouth University.  FREE.  Lunch Provided.  For Primary and Secondary practitioners. 

To book any of these events please click here.
Our mailing address is:
CAS South West, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Telephone: 01752 586209

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