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STEM: Inventing in Senior School Computer Science

STEM: Inventing in Senior School Computer Science

Many people do not think of the word ‘creative’ when they consider Computer Science lessons. However, at St Mary’s we challenge this stereotype. Every Computer Science lesson begins with creative problem solving, and we weave this approach through every aspect of our Computer Science department’s activities.  

Computer Science lends itself to many of the cognitive characteristics associated with High Performance Learning; generalising, connection finding, abstraction, self-regulation and intellectual playfulness are all vital parts of the computer scientist's toolkit. 

Additionally, High Performance attributes like open-mindedness, perseverance and resilience all contribute to ambitious outcomes for all of our students.  

Years 7 and 8 enjoy 'big picture' thinking

With creativity and ambition at its heart, in Years 7 and 8 students follow a lively, challenging 'in-house’ course. They develop an understanding of a combination of computing principles and programming, initially in Scratch and Python; maximizing individual problem-solving skills whilst also thinking ‘Big Picture’. 

Given our creative and active approach, it is not surprising that St Mary’s students study Computing in healthy numbers at GCSE and at A Level, often with the intention to study the subject to degree level. 

Beyond the classroom

We run a growing number of extra-curricular clubs, such as a lunchtime coding club for students to work on technology projects involving equipment such as Raspberry Pis and BBC micro:bits. There is also an exciting ‘hands-on’ after-school robotics club. 

The increasing popularity of this exciting subject has meant an expansion of the team and we very much look forward to welcoming our new Computer Science teacher, Mrs Howie, in the Autumn Term. Mrs Howie is enthusiastically anticipating working alongside all of our budding St Mary’s computer scientists.