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Bringing the curriculum to life with Computeam

December 2019

Digital Futures (part of GM Digital Skills) connects industry with education to provide careers and curriculum insight in digital and technology. 

Bringing the Curriculum to Life seeks to improve interest and attainment in GCSE Computer Science. 50 industry experts have pledged to deliver projects in the classroom and link the syllabus topics to the world of work. Each project will be turned into a reusable resource for other schools to access, complementing curriculum delivery and inspiring students to consider their future in digital.

St Thomas More RC College in Tameside were an early adopter of the programme. We matched Adam Jennings, Curriculum Leader for Computing and Media with Owen, Managing Director of Computeam to work on the topic of networks.

Adam and Owen met in the Spring term when Adam spent a day in industry at Computeam. The day concluded with a project planning session and the challenge was decided: the students would use Neverwhere and Chrome to reformat 10 old devices.

Owen virtually met the students to set up the project, explaining who Computeam are and what they do. The students then got to work on the project, which linked to the topics of access rights, ethics and networks.

In the classroom, the students physically set up the independent network. They then logged on to set up a new GoogleOS system. Whilst completing their work, the students communicated using Google’s in-built chat bot. Once up and running, the students drastically reduced from the initial boot time of 60 seconds to an impressive 20 seconds. This project helped the students to understand the topic, gather examples of the exam, and consider new ways of working.

Mr Jennings said: “the project has only taken the class 3.5 hours to complete. In that time pupils have been applying their learning to a real life context whilst revising for the mock exams.”

Not only will this help them with their important exams this year, the group also learned important core employability skills which will help them with their next steps. Peter’s team were testing the security side of the networks. He told us how they had attached a dummy credit card to the email account and tested if it worked. It did! Another member of the group, Megan, said: “compared to working on my own, working with a small group meant we got much more work done. It sped up the process.”

Many of the Year 11 group told us they will be continuing with computing and heading to Ashton College next year. We wish them all the best in the future, and thank St Thomas More RC College and Computeam for collaborating on this fantastic project for schools.

This programme is powered by Manchester Digital and backed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. If your school offers GCSE Computer Science and you would like an industry expert to help you deliver a topic on the curriculum, make sure you’re signed up for Digital Futures or get in touch with Natasha Kitchen, Talent & Skills Project Coordinator directly natasha@manchesterdigital.com.

 

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