Last term was a busy period for the Computing Department. There have been plenty of exciting and enriching computing events and competitions that have taken place in the school across many different year groups.
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October started with our weekly Year 8 Minecraft Club which was very well attended and ran until the end of the month. The end of October also saw the insightful “Bring IT On” careers talk with Year 10. This event allowed our Year 10 students to begin looking at the wide range of computing careers available. Students had the chance to explore diverse career paths within the computing sector, gaining valuable perspectives that will undoubtedly influence their future choices. Also in October, Sentinus, alongside Queen’s University Belfast, provided online Micro:bit training for a group of Year 13 ‘IT Ambassadors’. This has prepared them for running their own Micro:bit club with Year 8 students after the January examination period. In December, Sentinus then delivered a more thorough in person training for the same group of students. It was great to welcome Sentinus back to Wallace.
November was another busy month in the department. Year 14 Digital Technology and Software Systems Development students had the opportunity to step out of the classroom and into the professional world during an industry visit to Belfast. They visited Version 1, along with taking a tour around Queen’s University Computer Science Building, who ran some practical tasks for the group. Version 1 ran various workshops allowing students to hear about the many roles in both Version 1 and the wider Computing industry. Running one of those workshops was past student Tanya Matthews, who recently shared her experiences and career pathway through her engaging talk at our Senior Prize Day. Connecting with professionals and witnessing the application of computing concepts in the workplace was a valuable experience for our students on this educational visit.
The annual Bebras Computing Competition also took place in November. Approximately 400 students from Years 8-14 took part in the competition which revolved around solving several computing and logic puzzles. 50 students in the school earned a place in the top 10% of their age group and subsequently have been invited to compete in the Oxford University Computing Challenge in 2024.
Our Year 10 students also took part in the CyberFirst Cybersecurity Day, which was an immersive experience in the world of cybersecurity. Students participated in two engaging workshops with various challenges throughout the day, along with hearing from representatives from Microsoft about the amazing variety of career pathways in Computing and cybersecurity. There were also some lucky winners of Amazon gift vouchers as well!
Next Tech Girls Cybersecurity
Lastly, the Next Tech Girls Cybersecurity Workshop provided a platform for our female Digital Technology and Software Systems Development students from Years 12-14 to delve into the world of cybersecurity. This event is a highlight in our departmental calendar as we strive to make sure young women realise the potential employment opportunities that the study of Computing can have in the future.
Our students didn’t just attend events – they also showcased their skills in various competitions. Students have entered a new Minecraft Competition, while the Lego League Challenge has started again. Both competitions will finish in February. Participating in these competitions not only sharpened their technical and programming skills, but also instilled a sense of accomplishment and collegiality amongst our students.
Reflecting on a successful first term, Head of Department, Mrs Foster, stated that:
“All these competitions and events have allowed our students to expand their knowledge and skills, whilst also gaining valuable insights into the significant number of opportunities that await them in the tech-driven future. As we look ahead to the new term, we plan to run further events and competitions that will continue to shape and inspire our students. A big thank you should also go to all those who we have worked with to make these events possible – it is much appreciated by all the students and staff in the department.”
Last modified: January 29, 2024