Computing

Computing combines logic and creativity in problem-solving, while also enabling competence and confidence in the use of developing technologies.

We are ahead of the curve with our Computing curriculum at St Faith’s having started two years before it was made compulsory nationwide. As Head of Computing I wrote our curriculum specially for St Faith’s, hoping to inspire this generation to love writing their own apps as much as I did as a child. We have been designated as a Lead School in the Network of Excellence in Computer Science Teaching, and I have been appointed as a Master Teacher by CAS in recognition of the free courses I run for UK teachers on delivering the Computing curriculum.

Brief Computing curriculum highlights include:

  • Year 3 control a screen turtle to draw complex patterns using just a few lines of code
  • Year 4 use ProBots, robotic floor toys with programmable sensors that link in with their understanding of angles in maths
  • Year 5 pupils write their own games in Scratch and put them on our Virtual Learning Environment for other children to play, view the code, and leave feedback
  • Year 6 program Raspberry Pis to switch lights on and off and control buzzers and switches
  • Year 7 children take part in the Robot Olympics: small groups of children design, build, program and test a robot, then race against each other to see whose is the fastest
  • Year 8 pupils write their own text adventure games using Python

I’m always pleased to see how engaged and enthused our pupils are in their Computing lessons. As they start to understand the computer science behind the technologies they use, they learn how to be creators not just consumers of technology. One particular highlight of our Computing thus far was the creation of an app for a local charity by a Year 8 pupil. The app, for Cambridge Blue Plaques, enables users to be notified of nearby places of cultural interest based on their GPS location. Once officially launched, this app is expected to be used annually by thousands of visitors to the city.

Jamie Mitchell

Head of Computing