Wallace’s reputation as a leader in ICT and Computing continues to grow and was acknowledged in the recent visit of Mr Derek Baker Permanent Secretary for the Department of Education and Learning to the school. Accompanied by Mr Rory Bonnar (Specialist Consultant Technical and Engineering MCSGROUP Intelligent Recruitment Solutions) the Permanent Secretary met with Principal Mrs Deborah O’Hare who outlined Wallace’s highly-praised innovative ICT strategy. The trio then visited the Computing Department to meet the staff: Head of Department Mrs Ruth Foster, teaching colleague Mrs Maggie Hunter and student teacher Miss Michelle Heron.
The visitors were shown a wide range of activities at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 5 and enjoyed engaging with pupils from Years 8 and 9. Most small children play with Lego at some juncture in their development so building Lego Mindstorm robots to demonstrate the use of sensors in interacting with the environment was veritable “child’s play”. Other activities included Raspberry PI used to teach programming, Gamemaker and Scratch which facilitate writing computer games and Minecraft.
The Year 13 students who are participants in the new Computing A level impressed with the quizzes they had created using C# and showcased their website coursework which employs html code. In recent years Wallace has developed strong links with industry; staff members have completed placements, the school has much-valued contacts with Allstate, Liberty IT, Kainos and Tascomi whilst two students Tanya Matthews and Adam Murray have won student scholarships.
ICT also features in the school’s rich and varied extra-curricular provision. Wallace CoderDojo provides a range of activities to inspire students to develop their knowledge of IT; App Inventor and programming the Lego robots are particular favourites. Senior students also participate in competitions and two pupils Rachel O’Connor and Andrew Coalter obtained full marks in the UK wide Bebras Computing Challenge and James White won a coveted place on a residential in England.
Speaking afterwards Principal Deborah O’Hare said “This visit, in common with that of distinguished Norwegian academic Ann Sørum Michaelsen, highlights how Wallace’s reputation as a centre of excellence continues to grow. It was a privilege to host our visitors and to contribute to the debate about creating digital citizens.”
Last modified: March 8, 2017