Jan 162017
 

The School Council members have been talking about our use of technological devices and how it impacts on our lives.  We are thinking of writing some guidelines for parents about the sort of rules they should impose at home.  The girls are collecting opinions via pastoral groups and some girls are completing more detailed questionnaires.

 

It seems to be a very hot topic at the moment and there were articles in the national press just this weekend.  There has been concern about how screen time affects mental health and general wellbeing.  Here at Alfriston, we have been particularly concerned about effects on sleep patterns.

 

However, this latest research, from Oxford University, suggests that screen time can have beneficial effects on young users.  They claim that digital connectivity may enhance creativity, communication skills and development.  They suggest that there is an optimal amount of screen time or a “Goldilocks” zone as they put it, about two hours on a smartphone each day, for example.

 

It will be interesting to see what our pupils think on the matter.  If you have any strong opinions or just want to comment on your experiences with your own children, I would be pleased to hear from you.

 

We hope to publish our guidelines in time for Safer Internet Day on February 7th.

 

 

Please address any comments to Ros Shorrocks on

office@alfristonschool.com

The Hour of Code is here!

 Community Links, computing, Curriculum, Uncategorized, Whole School  Comments Off on The Hour of Code is here!
Dec 062016
 

 

There aren’t many computer science weeks so we decided to make a big thing of it by inviting students from Stony Dean to join us for shared activities.   At first the boys joined Year 10 to explore the Hour of Code website and try out some of the coding activities.  The choices ranged from Disney’s Moana, Star Wars and Frozen, Minecraft and Flappy Bird.  Both the girls and the boys were nervous about working together at first but they soon forgot that they didn’t know each other and got down to coding.

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By the time the lesson changeover was ringing everyone was enjoying what they were doing and making good progress with the task.  The girls moved on to the next lesson but the boys stayed on to work with
a Year 9 class coming in to Computing.  By now they really were the experts and rose admirably to the challenge of sharing their skills with the beginners in Year 9.  These new pairings made rapid progress, completing activities and earning certificates.

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It was great to see pupils from the two schools working together so well and impressive to hear them chatting about computer science; solving problems and making things happen.

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Sound like fun? Visit https://hourofcode.com/uk/learn

Alfriston Pupils try Radio Controlled Racing Cars

 Community Links, Competition, computing, Extra Curricular, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Alfriston Pupils try Radio Controlled Racing Cars
Jan 202016
 

The best RC racers from across the globe were there over the weekend  to decide the Reedy International Race of Champions 2016.  This event is  the biggest 1/12 event of the 2016 calendar with 94 entrants from over a dozen countries.  Support races were provided by the Porsche Carrera Cup, for 911 bodied GT12’s and F1’s, so there was plenty of varied action for all the RC racing community.

We were more interested in the ‘Have a Go’ track though and were delighted to have the chance to build and race our very own cars.

When we arrived we were presented with a bag of car parts, a few tools and a set of instructions.  It took a while to get our heads round it but eventually we had built 3 cars.  We had to take our cars to the scrutineer to be tested before we got the go-ahead to race them.  Soon we were all lined up on the track and the designated driver for each team took the controller and waited for the lights to change ( just like in the F1 Grand Prix!).  The Spanners were easily the winners leaving the Smarties miles behind and the Blue Flash team retired at the side of the track!

In the re-run, a handicap was imposed which saw the driver being blindfolded and guided by a team mate.  It made no difference and the Spanners won again.

We really enjoyed our racing and would like to thank everybody who made it possible, especially the team from Active Learning Support who assisted us throughout.CYxBKoqWkAAaiOl CYxGLKRWsAArHEJ CYyC0FXWMAEcLRF CYyDiRBW8AQbZE0

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We Joined the Hour of Code

 computing, Curriculum, parental involvement, Uncategorized  Comments Off on We Joined the Hour of Code
Dec 142015
 

DSCN0080The Hour of Code is a self-guided tutorial to learn how to code and discover the basics of computer science. The campaign to promote it kicked  off from 7th December last week.  Some girls in Y9 and Y10 took the challenge and worked towards completing fun tasks in the context of Frozen, Star Wars or Minecraft depending on their interests.  Hopefully they enjoyed doing it and have talked about it at home so that you too can have a go!  If they didn’t mention it, or you’re not in those classes, then read on to find out how you can get involved anyway.

 

So why do we need an hour of it?

Because it’s a useful skill to have, particularly for parents, teachers and those who work with families, who may be able to help the children they look after if they know a bit about it themselves.

As the people behind the week-long campaign explain, an hour is enough ‘to learn that computer science is fun and creative, that it is accessible at all ages, for all students, regardless of background.’

Fair enough. So, tell me what to do.

Log on to the website below to find out more. (It doesn’t have to be this week – you can do it any time.)

The Hour of Code is aimed at all ages, you don’t need any experience and you can choose from a variety of self-guided tutorials to have a go yourself, or guide children through it. Go on – it’s fun.

Well, I’m always up for a bit of fun. What else do I need to know?

To find one of the tutorials, click here.

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 You too could build a Star Wars galaxy or make a snowflake with Frozen’s Elsa and Anna.

 

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