Confident problem solvers

We want our students at Fyling Hall to be confident problem solvers. How do we give our pupils these skills? Ms Banks, our Head of ICT, gives us insight into her recent Key Stage 3 lessons.

Pupils in Key Stage 3 are given the opportunity in ICT lessons to learn how to code using a number of different languages. They use visual based languages such as Scratch and text based languages such as Logo, Python and HTML.  

Year 8 have been learning the basics of pure HTML coding using Notepad and CSS (cascading style sheets) to control the font types, colours and sizes. They have created their own websites based on a place of their choice and were given free rein to add any extra features they could find such as scrolling text and picture galleries. Even though there is plenty of software available online to make websites easily, I feel it is important they have an understanding of what is happening in the background and how the code actually works. They have really enjoyed this project and they have some terrific results.

Some of our Year 9s have just started investigating what the BBC micro:bit can do.  The micro:bit was launched as part of the BBC Make it Digital initiative and is a tiny hand-held code-able computer that allows young people to get creative with technology and aims to help develop a new generation of digital pioneers. That could be a digital watch, a fitness tracker or a games console, amongst other things.  The device has 25 LED lights and two programmable buttons which can be used in game-play or to skip through tracks in a playlist. Pupils are using website resources to pick topics that interest them and I look forward to seeing what they come up with. They can also program the device using either code blocks like Scratch or with text like Python.

We want our students to be confident problem solvers and this is one way of giving them these skills.

Wendy Banks, Head of ICT