Hackathon–Uppingham Community College–27th June

In order to see how students in Rutland are doing with their computing knowledge, I have started hosting a number of computing sessions at Uppingham Community College. We hosted one previously on the 16th of June where close to 30 students came a long to learn how to code.

With the Micro : Bit looming from BBC, I wanted to give some of the year 6 students a head start and I also wanted to see how students would do when it came to coding. We had a number of hours to learn some computational thinking using a football and Touch Develop.

Students learnt how dumb computers are and they started to understand why computers need precise instructions. Passing the ball around the room was not as easy as most of the students initially thought! We had students turning around on the spot for a number of seconds and some students walking into walls. By the time we got the ball to the other side of the room, students started to understand that there is more than one way to write a code and how conditions can make our code more efficient.

Moving on from this I introduced students to the Turtle on TouchDevelop. Students took to this like a duck to water. Some students had already used Touch through forward thinking parents. It’s great to see that some parents had already looked up the Micro : Bit via the BBC website. One student said that he sat with his dad making the monster game. I would love to see this level of parent engagement when the Micro : Bit comes out!

imageOnce students had made loops as well as different shapes and another student from year 7 came along to help out his younger brother. 

A young girl from Leighfield Primary in Year 5 produced this drawing using pixel art! She learnt how to use loops and also understood how to use iteration.

You can click on the link on the left in order to view and run the code for the image she created.

I’m very impressed with all of the year 5 and 6 students. I aim to show you the start of one students game next week. You can see his plan in the images shown at the bottom. What is really refreshing is how the girls seem to be just as engaged as the boys. Lets hope that these girls can help close the gap in the industry.


This picture on the left, shows the design that one of the students in year 7 from SJ has come up with. I’m very impressed with his level of planning. He has already started to create the game and is now learning about how to use functions such as random. This will help him create his platforms at random positions. I look forward to showing you this game very soon.

Have a look at some of these pictures below. Check out some of the reviews, these students are loving TouchDevelop:

About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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