we are extremely optimistic about the future for our girls in technologically based careers.” This innovative approach seems to be paying off: St Mary’s pupils have been regular winners at the RoboCup Junior national championships in recent years, and at the peak of lockdown, eight of the school’s year 6 students participated in the International CoSpace Online Robotics Challenge 2020 alongside over 600 students from 25 different countries, with one pupil going on to finish in third Place in the iCool Challenge 2020 CoSpace Rescue U12 category – an incredible achievement in an international-level competition. King’s Ely students have seen successes, too, namely at Microsoft DigiGirlz event in Cambridge. Designed to encourage year 8 girls to think about job opportunities in the computing industry, the school took home the prestigious CEO’s Choice Award at this year’s event.
are on offer at GCSE and A-level, but it engages students much younger, beginning in year 7 with training in coding and video creation and continuing into year 9 with games creation, 3D modelling and programming. The end result? “Young adults that are able to express themselves across a variety of digital technologies, who are able to create and utilise digital systems to solve real-world issues, and who are able to apply computational thinking to logical problems,” proudly proclaims the school’s website. Dan Everest agrees that computer science offers highly valuable skills to each and every student, suggesting: “It encourages students to think logically and analytically, it encourages them not only to seek out problems, but to develop solutions in a systematic way. “Not all children will become coders, but every child needs to know the basics of coding and how to work a computer,” he continues. “Our computing lessons deliver a rounded, inclusive curriculum for all. It’s for everyone and it genuinely prepares children for their digital lives.”
ABOVE St Mary’s pupils have been regular winners at the RoboCup Junior national championships, and have also had international success
It encourages students to think logically and analytically, it encourages them not only
to seek out problems, but to develop solutions in a systematic way"
Preparing for a digital world Of course, most kids won’t be
robotics champs or Silicon Fen tech entrepreneurs, but they still need to be equipped with the “skills and understanding to play an active role in today’s digital world”, says The Leys, another Cambridge school that makes a priority out of computing. ICT and computer science courses
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