On January 31st the ICT Department at St John’s welcomed 28 Year 6 MAT students from our local feeder schools. The aim of the day was to give the students experience of using a range of programming languages to begin to explore the exiting world of computer coding! Using the ‘Hour of Code’ website, student used a mathematical LOGO style language to teach the computer to draw shapes of increasing complexity on screen.
Next came SCRATCH programming and developing a cool interactive Shark Attack game. Finally, students used the BBC MICROBIT, a piece of computer hardware that fits into the palm of your hand but is nevertheless a fully functional computer in its own right; complete with buttons, sensors, microprocessor and an LED screen! After writing their programmes on the main computer, students uploaded their programmes to the MICROBIT, with the fruits of their labour appearing on the MICROBIT LED screen.
Everyone threw themselves into the task at hand and it was pleasing to see students from different schools making new friends and sharing ideas. We were amazed at how quickly the students picked up new concepts and coding skills. Everyone had a great time and there were lots of smiles, intermingled with the serious faces of focused students deep in thought. They even had enough time to play a little volleyball with Year 11 students in the hall during their morning break! They all behaved impeccably and were a credit to their families and their school.We thoroughly enjoyed working with such a bright and motivated group of students and we wish them well with their future endeavours in the ever changing world of computer programming. Who knows, there may be a new Bill Gates or Steve jobs amongst them!