Month: January 2013

Our new Raspberry Pi and Python Club (Links to the resources I am using included)

Hello World

Hello World

Over the past two Wednesdays we have finally been able to start up our programming club.

We only have enough room for a few students at the moment, but we will review at Easter.

The Raspberry Pi’s have been fantastic, they have really made difference. Our students have really enjoyed setting them up and connecting everything together. It has a old school feel about it. Its exciting and really engaging.

We have been using projectors, but I finally have some monitors. In the club we will use a combination of the both.

This week was the first time we got down and did some programming. Hence the photo at the top of this post! We are going to be using Python (of course!) as the language of choice.

The resources I am using are:

Python Resources

I also plan to teach Python to Year 8 and 9 after Easter . 


Blogging using HTML in (Full Project)

By Mike Britland

Click here for the project

In the interest of pushing the ICT curriculum into the 21st Century, I have developed a SoW that aims to incorporate two facets of digital literacy and computer science; blogging & coding.

The unit of works asks students to produce a blog on a subject of their choice, they are required to research the topic and log all research in the correct manner. Logging and commenting on the validity of the information that is found is an essential area for assessment. This can be adapted so students need to comment at greater length on copyright issues.

Students present their blog using the free blogging site This site is fairly unique, as students need an understanding of basic HTML and CSS in order to present work in an interesting manner. For instance, students will need a basic understanding on HTML in order to change the font size/type/colour/style. The site also tests students ability to organise work as they need to develop a navigation system for the their blogs.

The unit was originally taught in year 8 but the nature of the skills tested make the SoW scalable. Therefore, the more advanced use of HTML/CSS taught or used allows the unit to be taught to higher year groups.

This unit fits perfectly into the proposed draft programme of study for KS3 as it covers creative use of ICT and coding.

Follow Mike on Twitter:  @mikematthewsCDN

Using the iPad in Music Lessons (FLStudio App)

Jason, a music teacher at my school has started using our iPads in his music lessons.

I popped in to have a look and I have to say it looked excellent. I wish I could have done this when I was at school. The kids really enjoyed it and could really see the value in using iPads in Music lessons.

When I spoke to a couple of students they told me that the iPad helped to develop their understanding of a rhythm.

Jason’s objectives for the lesson were:

  • To understand how a step sequencer works – to understand how the screen is arranged in beats and how those beats are divided up
  • To understand rhythm written in traditional notation – to prove understanding by reproducing that rhythm on the step sequencer
  • To create own rhythm from scratch and to write it using traditional music notation

ICT/Computing Projects 2012-2013 – Initial Thoughts Pt 1


It is only January and I am already thinking about next year.  The job of a Head of ICT is never done! 😉

However, before I think about new projects for next year I want to release version 1.1 of Mr Britland’s ICT Curriculum. I am aim to have this done by February. The plan is to add the following:

  • Curriculum Strands

Digital Literacy
Digital Citizenship
Digital Creativity
Computer (Digital) Science

  • Aims

Keep an eye on my blog for the new update.

So? What about next year? Well…at the moment as an initial thought I would like to add a new project. This will be on Computer Networks.

At the moment I teach my year 8 students about computer hardware, key British Computer Scientists and touch upon the four generations of computers. Next year I would like to deliver this to Year 7 and teach Computer Networks to Year 8.

Next blog post coming soon with some more ideas for next year.

Adobe After Effects – Possible Project for year 9

The video above was my attempt to get into After Effects again. I must say, I really enjoyed it.

I may have a couple of lessons after my album cover projects and thought I could get my students to create a video intro using After Effects.

It is quite an intimidating application, but I am confident my students could produce something pretty special.

Will blog about it in a few weeks if I am able to teach it for a couple of lessons.

I used this tutorial for help: