Serif in Education

Why to hold a school computing day

We all like to receive recognition for our hard work. Abraham Lincoln once said “Don’t worry when you are not recognised, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” It starts from when we’re just a toddler, with proud mum or dad congratulating every move! Even as we grow older and settle into our careers, we like to know that what we do is valued. It doesn’t have to be an obvious ‘well done’, but a small ‘thank you’ goes a long way. In many cases and in many aspects of life, recognition is what drives us forward.

Sharing good work is equally important, especially when it comes to a school environment. Students can gain a real sense of achievement if their good work is celebrated and shared with others. Award ceremonies are a great example of how schools celebrate their student’s achievements, but often, these focus on the individual. Schools can also find ways to share their group achievements, by holding special ‘days’ to highlight their good work to the community, to parents, and to other schools around them.

Last week, pupils in the North of England switched schools for a day to take part in a Computing day following the recent curriculum change. TeesdaleSchool in BarnardCastle, which is a lead school in the Computing at School’s Network of Excellence, showed their Year 5 and 6 guests from Startforth C of E Primary School how to carry out sequences of instructions using Scratch software.

The school wanted to showcase the work they had done to implement the new curriculum and celebrate all the effort that had gone into it. The Head of Computing at Teesdale, Ian Bain, said: “It is good to be able to help our local primary schools with this exciting change to the curriculum”. Startforth’s teacher, Helen Edwards added: “It has been very useful to use Teesdale’s expertise to help us at Primary level, we look forward to working with them again.” She added that the pupils at Startforth really enjoyed their day.

With a daunting new curriculum, more and more schools are choosing to set up days like these, to gain recognition for how far they have come. Other schools are choosing to set up after school clubs or similar, and are asking parents to come and see what their children are creating in class. As well as sharing work on learning platforms, inviting parents or individuals into the school means they can see first hand how children are working with computers, and the steps that schools have taken to provide the very best opportunities.

Often, the aim is to promote Computing as a fun and exciting subject and generate interest around a traditionally ‘complex’ and complicated subject. After school computer clubs are popping up all around the country to ignite enthusiasm for the subject from an early age, and generate interest in pursuing computer science as a career and/or leisure pursuit.

Schools like TeesdaleSchool are choosing to highlight the fun and creative elements of Computing to primary pupils, in the hope to instil an interest in the subject early. Then, as the children move up into secondary school, there will be less work to do to encourage them that Computing can be a very creative and colourful subject. Of course at Serif, we know that is the case!

They may take some time to organise, and they may require a few resources, however here at Serif we feel days and initiatives like these are fantastic at fuelling a love for Computing. And if they don’t do that, at least they will give the pupils who take part in showcasing their work a real sense of achievement and that all important recognition, which is ALWAYS a good thing.

Has your school hosted a Computing Day? Let us know by tweeting @serifeducation.