Computer Science Education Week

Using the BuildIT Kit to make a lighthouse

The BuildIT Kit can be used for a lot of creative ideas. We began by thinking about the sea and this led to the idea of a Lighthouse. Here is what we used to create the lighthouse.


We connected the BuildIT Kit and then cut some wire to length so that the Crisp tin could stand up. We connected the wires and then put a hole in the bottom of the tin and threaded the LED and the wires through. We then cut a hole in the crisp tin  cap and placed the wash softener cap through it.




Once this was done we fixed the LED in place with sellotape.



We then placed a sheet of A4 paper around the tin and trimmed it to fit.








lighthouse2 Next we quickly drew on windows and a door. I am sure you can do a better job. Tip: mark where the windows and door will go then draw them on while the paper is flat then stick the paper around the tin.

We then programmed the computer to turn on the LED for 1 second and then turn off for 2 seconds.






Finally we took the image and placed it into a landscape picture.








This activity can be extended to cover many other subjects.


Writing about the life of a lighthouse keeper


Finding out the different heights ans circumferences of lighthouses.

Knowing the height work out how many stairs would get you to the top.

D&T :

Design and create your own lighthouse using spare components.


Write a program to make the light flash.


There is a book called the “Light keepers Lunch” which could be used as a starting point and there are many curriculum ideas to be found here

Share  your work with us as you make and program a lighthouse and show what you have written and found out.

This could be a project for the the Hour of Code and Computer Science week, enjoy.

How Workplace Robots Will Really Test Your Management Skills – CMI

The way technology is progressing has a direct impact on how we should be preparing our young people for a world where the concept of work  will be different to the one we envisage today.,4MAIY,MDSDZM,H6RFU,1

The 11+ Exam

The year had been taken up with tests and re tests but now the results day was looming and the whole class was getting excited. We would know the results on Friday. The classroom was always laid out in rows facing the front. Yellow, Green, Blue and Red. The person who sat in the front desk of the yellow row was the best in the class. The person who sat in the desk at the back of the class in Red row was the worst. Every week on a Friday there was a test and on the Monday the class would change desks according to how well the test was answered. I usually alternated between red and blue row. The reason for this was that I would much rather play football and go out playing than do school work. ( However I did do these things with children in Yellow and Green rows?).

On the day of the 11+ results the Head teacher came into the room and asked the following people to stand up there were three of us. 2 boys me and John Williams and a girl Sarah Donaldson. We were asked to go and wait outside the classroom.

As we were outside wondering what was happening there was a great cheer from inside the classroom we three looked at each other and slowly the realisation of what was happening began to materialise in our heads although nothing was said.  The head teacher came out of the classroom and spoke to us saying that we had failed the 11+ entrance examination and that we were to take a letter home to our parents and let them know.

We wander out of the school the girl lived in the opposite direction so she set off by herself. John and I walked the same way for most of the time. We talked about what we would say, we talked about running away we held back tears as we walked. John turned right into his street and I wished him luck he nodded in return a look of hope that we would be OK.

I wandered dejectedly down my street nearing the house where my mother was busy doing the washing and the cleaning. So many times I thought about just running away, so many times I went through the questions I could remember and tried to work out why I had not put the correct answers. I had obviously had a my paper marked by someone who didn’t understand the exam! I opened the door and the look on my mothers face said it all.  She thought there had been an accident, thought the school had been blown up, demolished. She had a look of horror at the fact that I had been sent home. I gave her the letter she read it and put her arms around me comfortingly and told me that everything would be alright and that uncle Henry had not passed his exams and he was doing OK thank you very much. This made me feel better I had a cry resigned myself to failure and found a biscuit in the tin. The really hurtful thing about that day though was that as we three had left the school the teachers came into the class with sandwiches, cakes, pop and crisps and the rest of the class had a party to celebrate. Over 40 years later and I still remember that day. However like uncle Henry I have done alright, I have a BSc degree, a PGCE a Diploma and an MEd and I own an educational company. I would still liked to have had the party though.

Examinations do not unify they do not bring out the best they do not  show greater intellect or negotiation skills. They do not measure empathy or collaboration they do not bring out the best in a child. They do give a ranking and that ranking can change a child’s future failure or success. Surely our young people are worth more than that.

Fantastic Challenge for schools

The Bebras® Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students.
It is organiSed in over 30 countries and designed to get students all over the world excited about computing.
Each participant gets 45 minutes to answer 15 multiple-choice questions that focus on computational and logical thinking.
It is completed online in your own school and it shows to school and student how well their skills are developed.

What teachers say about the challenge:
“I just want to say how much the children are enjoying this competition. It is the first year we have entered, and I have students aged 8 to 11 participating in my ICT lessons, with some of our older students also taking on the challenges. It is really helping to challenge their thinking, and they are showing great determination to try and complete each task! Also fantastic to find something that works on our iPads, as most puzzles of this kind are flash based.”

“Our students completed the challenge this morning, I just wanted to say thank you for running this. It’s a brilliant idea!”


EU Kids Online

EU Kids Online, one of the collaborating partners of the Global Kids Online initiative, is an international research network, which currently encompasses 33 countries. It aims to coordinate and stimulate investigation into the way children use new media in Europe and beyond, with a particular focus on evidence about the conditions that shape online risk and safety.

For more information Click Here