I wanted to design a Computing room that moved away from the traditional layout. For decades IT rooms in schools have been arranged with rows of computers and have tended to be a very uninspiring rooms to learn in.
The Student Gateway development has given us an excellent opportunity to create an innovative, exciting and inspirational room that will wow students, teachers and parents alike and be an excellent learning environment. It will show Computing as a creative subject that will give students a chance to work in somewhere similar to that of technology companies or universities.
It will contain different areas to provide flexible learning spaces for students to work individually and collaboratively using a range of technologies.
At the front of the classroom is where students will sit to work on their PCs. All students will be able to see each other as well as the interactive flat screen. This will give the room more of an inclusive feel. Student are also able to sit on the soft furnishing at the front for teacher demonstrations and class discussions or to work on their iPads.
At the top left is a breakfast bar style piece of furniture facing a flat screen. This can work as both a collaborative place for students to work as well as a place for the girls to sit and work individually. Students can sit and work on their iPads, work in groups as well as being able to mirror their device to the flat screen to show work for example.
The area in the top right is for physical computing and soldering, several students can work on this table at the same time. The table also splits in two to giver the space area more flexibility. The flat panel display in this section can be used to connect computers or iPads to.
This article was published on the Barclays Life Skill website in March 2016.
You might have seen the news that the BBC micro:bit is now being sent out to all year 7 students. The aim of these mini, programmable computers is to inspire students to develop creative and digital skills through coding, and get more young people interested in science, technology, engineering and maths. It is clear from this alone that coding has become the hot topic for technology in the classroom, having been made a part of the curriculum as of September 2014 . With over 12 million people in the UK unprepared to fill the looming digital skills gap, it’s no surprise that coding has been highlighted as such an important aspect of current and future teaching models 
Though coding may seem very technical and sometimes daunting to tackle, confined to the realms of the computer labs, I’d like to dispel this myth. Granted, the digital skills learnt from coding are a major benefit to the changing needs of the labour market; in today’s digital world, it’s not enough for the next generation to know how to use programmes and software – they also need an appreciation for how these things are developed and how coding is used to produce them. But we shouldn’t consider it a teaching practice exclusively designed for computing lessons.
At school I am running an app design project for my year 7 students. Unlike many lessons they have experienced in their previous school life, there is very little teaching from the teacher, I am mostly there as a facilitator. I am of course there to help when necessary but my aim is to get students learning more independently. They must teach themselves using videos I have produced for them.
The Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC is well worth visiting, whether you are a teacher or student.
It is completely free and includes hundreds of videos, resources and quizzes.
If you are a teacher looking for some CPD, look no further. This could really help your personal development.
Students will love this too. It is aimed at 14-16 year olds but I have a 12 year old working through this in his spare time. You may not get a GCSE out of it, but you do get a certificate of participation.
It is clear that a lot of time has been spent creating this. I really appreciate those involved in this project, I am sure it will be a great success.
This is work in progress and they are adding more lessons throughout this year and next year.