Monthly Archives: October 2014

Summertime building time with Rapiro and Raspberry Pi – More peer to peer learning

Back in the Summer term we invited schools to submit a project proposal if they wanted to invite Rapiro into their school for a term.  The only proviso was that their plan supported an inclusive approach to offer Computing opportunities and aspirations for all students.

Sirius Academy wanted to use the Rapiro to extend their projects with the Raspberry Pi.  In particular they wanted to explore how its use through the enrichment programme could extend to a wider audience.  Students in the Computer Science Club would program the robot to carry out various tasks and then showcase the results at House assemblies for a week.

Once in school the plan with Rapiro evolved. It was the academy’s Subject Leader for Computer Science who took responsibility for planning out projects and initially building the robot. This role is a student responsibility and for this subject the student is in Year 11 now.

Here’s an update for the first half term as a guest blog post by the student.  They had to lead a session with teachers from the department to look at possible projects and potential learning outcomes so look out for more developments as we approach Christmas!

Rapiro help

Big Bang Science @ Kingswood Academy (#ResearchAndPlay)

How has The Kingswood Academy developed its exciting learning activities delivered through their peer to peer programme this year?

Students and teachers involved in STEM and Computing activities; notably Raspberry Pi Club, STEM Club and Science-led Computing challenges, have reflected on their achievements and together planned and delivered a day for their partner primary schools.

Visiting the Big Bang Science regional event in June, and winning the Yorkshire & Humber Computing project competition, confirmed their thoughts that practical STEM challenges could be an engaging way to involve younger children with their programme.

Here’s a short video highlighting just some of the many activities offered at the event.  It’s based on the Computing challenges only here, so look out for the numerous Science based projects. You might even have heard some of them from afar!

Background to Research and Play as a hashtag?   That emerged after conversations in Kingswood Academy around how, why and what.

It fits with an evolving pedagogy which we see evidence of through the Maker Movement in education and now highlighted through the Computing curriculum.  It supports continuing plans for professional development and a vision for learning.  Across the curriculum, not just in the STEM subjects.

And the creator of the phrase?   That’ll be the head at the Academy : )


Jam Packed launches in Hull next month!

Heard about these 3 Computing events happening in Hull in November as part of the Jam Packed project?

Jam Packed is funded by the DfE, The Raspberry Pi Foundation and RM Education and is a planned series of 18 two-day events to support, inspire and engage with teachers, students, families and communities through Computing activities.

The first event starts in Hull on Friday 21st November 2014 and will be hosted by The Kingswood Academy.  Take a look below and click on the images to gain further information about each event on the Friday and Saturday.   You’ll need to use these links to reserve tickets for each event, too.


Friday 21st November – 08:30 – 15:00

The aim of this Hack To The Future event is to inspire and engage the digital creators of tomorrow and at the same time to develop outstanding teachers of Computing.  There’ll be opportunities for teachers to learn through ‘pedagogy in practice,’ when students are involved in engaging activities and challenges.

Hack to the Future

Click on the image to launch Eventbrite

Friday 21st November – 18:00 – 21:00 

The aim of this Family Hack Jam event is to bring friends and families together to discover the fun, excitement and power of computer science, through an enjoyable, team-based problem-solving evening.

Family Hack Jam

Click on the image for more details

Saturday 22nd November – 10:30 – 15:30 

The aim of this Raspberry Jam event is to bring people together from across a wide area to discover the exciting potential of the Raspberry Pi computer.

Join us and up to 300 other children and adults from a range of ages, backgrounds and experience levels for a day of computing fun, talks, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

Raspberry Jam

Click for tickets

Raspberry Jam is the global community of people sharing the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi computer.

Hope to see you there – and look out for the Jam Packed website 🙂

 Organisations supporting Jam Packed:

raspberry-pi     department_for_education 1     rm logo

Data Visualisation: Projects, thoughts & review

Big data and visualisation techniques?   In education?  For student projects?  

With students’ own data?   How and why?

Supporting teachers with creative and innovative projects and enrichment activities continues to be a common theme through CPD plans, particularly developing activities with the new Computing curriculum.

One such area has been with data, and often to understand the opportunities that big data, open data and visualisation techniques can offer in an educational setting.  Moreover, to consider how data from real world situations can be used in a stimulating and creative way.

From the Computing programme of study for key stages 3 and 4:

  • undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users

Over the coming months we’ll be posting updates of individual projects, but for now here are some examples of what’s being planned and evaluated:

  • The use of online tools to create infographics to visualise data and consider ‘visualisation literacy’. Evaluating what makes an effective visualisation and how data can be presented for a particular purpose.  Either students’ own data or accessed from another source.
CPD in Hull 2013-2014 V1A

Infographic example

  • How sonification tools can be utilised for a collaborative project looking to link music with Computing.  Sonic Pi using a Raspberry Pi is just one example of how sonification can be used as a creative visualisation technique with data.
  • The use of new technologies to collect data, particularly wearable tech to collect health data by students themselves, and consider the best tools to visualise what’s collected.

More examples of tools, appropriate hardware, inputs and outputs on the document link below, which will need to be magnified.   What started out as a planning document has helped to map out available resources and creative examples, and will be refined as more projects are completed:

Visualisation Tools

Click on the image for the Popplet