This term the children have participated in CodeWeek, using the Hour of Code activities to create a Digital Disco. While they had great fun, they were also learning about control, variables and when statements.
Year 7 have continued their work with Python, developing programming skills that they then tried to adapt to work with our robots. Great fun was had trying to control them to make shapes and circles.
Year 7 have been investigating what happens inside a computer. Working safely in teams, they took it in turns to take the computer apart and see the various parts that facilitate their inputs and give outputs.
This year has started with the children blogging about hobbies and sports. They have used hyperlinks to add an extra dimension to their work, and a range of videos and images to engage their readers.
Year 7 have been experimenting with the BBC Micro:bits we bought last year. While small groups worked together to build another robot, the rest of the class worked on coding their machines to move and control them around the classroom. We experimented with chalk and using the robot to “write” on black paper.
Excellent team work and independence skills from 7PC!
Year 7 Python Coding
Year 7 are now getting to grips with a new programming language - Python. Using the BBC Micro:Bit to show their results, they are experimenting with the new code and use of the import * function.
Year 7 are spending their computing lesson this week learning about Binary counting and code. The concept of 10 meaning 2 in binary has caused some confusion but they have worked together to create their number lists and sprites.
Year 7 have recently read a short story by Anthony Horowitz in English " The Man with the Yellow Face." In Computing, we took this and created our own movie trailers using the iMovie app on the iPads. Children worked in pairs to source photographs or videos and change text to create the mood of the movie, using their Digital Literacy skills in selection appropriate images and text to suit an audience.
They have then reviewed their classes films and graded them. So far 7RM and 7LB have critiqued their peers:
This week is CSEd week across the globe......trying to encourage children to think about Computer Science and raise aspirations in computing and STEM ( ScienceTechnology Engineering and Maths ) subjects.
Each year ear group has made use of the Hour of Code activities to engage and inspire them. These are all accessible from code.org to play together at home.
It is lovely to see so many of our learners engaged and enthusiastic about their computing opprtunities. We are now full every Friday lunchtime with students accessing J2e, Education City and coding using the Microbits and iPads.
Next week is Hour of Code week so all children will access coding and progress through a range of activities on the site. www.hourofcode.com/uk
All children who attended this week have been given a copy of CS4F- Computer science for fun magazine with a range of activities to continue at home.
Westacre Computing using J2e
Every week Cyber Council checks through completed work on J2e to moderate and give feedback to students.
They have selected some examples of good work:
Mayor visits Droitwich
Following our recent role in leading the local community e-safety event at Droitwich Library, we were recommended and accepted to receive a donation of £300 from the local Droitwich Lions Community Club. Cyber Council members decide the best use of this money was to develop our ICT provision further by purchasing a class set of programmable robots that pupils could build then use our Micro-bit computers to code. We were delighted to welcome members of the Lions group, as well as the Mayor of Droitwich into school to show off these robots in action!
Centre of Excellence
Click the link below to find out more about Westacre being designated as a Centre of Excellence for Computing and ICT:
In recognition of our recent ICT Mark award, we invited MP Nigel Huddleston into school. On Friday 7th October he took us up on our offer and joined us for the morning. Year 7 prefects Freya and Luke showed Mr Huddleston around school and told him about the ways we use technology across the curriculum. They also talked to him about their roles within the Cyber Council over the last year and introduced him to other staff and pupils, who explained how they were using our school iPads, computers and ICT suites. At the end of the visit, Mr Huddleston commented on how impressed he was with our ICT provision and the enthusiasm with which teachers and children use technology around school.
ICT Mark Award!
Children at Westacre Middle School are at the forefront of using technology to enhance their work, and that’s official!
Following an extensive external assessment we have been awarded the prestigious ICT Mark.
The award recognises the school’s success in developing the strategic use of technology in both administration and across the curriculum. We are delighted to be awarded the ICT Mark. It recognises our positive approach to the use of technology and the benefits it is bringing to our children. We believe that technology can be used in every aspect of learning and that it is essential our children are equipped for the modern world.
In particular, the report praised us for the following:
· A considerable network that includes two Computing suites, iPads and well-resourced classrooms
· The high profile our digital leaders Cyber Council have around school
· Children do more homework as a result of being able to log in at home
· Our school website and Twitter account communicate well with parents
· Much financial investment in hardware and software has been made recently
· A clear strategy for continuing to offer such high-quality provision
· Exceptional subject leadership
· Significant support from headteacher and governors to develop ICT further
· Strong support and training for staff in using technology across the curriculum
· Excellent partnerships and collaborative relationships with local first schools
All the children and staff of our school deserve much credit for this achievement.
Here is a quote from local MP Nigel Huddleston:
“Congratulations to all at Westacre Middle School for being awarded the National ICT Mark. This is recognition of both the school’s excellent ICT provisions and of the hard work of their staff, teachers and pupils. It is important that young people have a solid grasp of modern technology from an early age, and there is no better way to develop this than being in an environment where technology is at the heart of everything, as it is at Westacre. As we look to the future, ICT skills are going to become more and more important and the grounding that Westacre provides will make sure its pupils go on to be ahead of the game.”
This is what Councillor Richard Morris had to say:
“Wychavon Council is determined that all local children will have the best opportunity to excel in the jobs market of the future. Westacre Middle School should be congratulated on this wonderful achievement. This demonstrates the excellent ICT management and teaching that is taking place in local schools. As a past pupil of Westacre myself, I am very proud that the school is doing so well”