Since last Easter, Jonathan Spavin (Head of ICT–elect) has been busy introducing two sets of pupils to one of the essential skills of the digital age: computer coding.
‘Team M’ has been meeting regularly in the Coding Club, while learning to code has been a Wednesday Sixth Form afternoon activity for ‘Team Vi’. The main stimulus to their interest has been the remarkable Raspberry Pi and their enthusiasm for the subject has led them to enter a competition held by PA Consulting, one of the UK’s leading IT companies.
The credit-card-sized single board computer was originally developed as an educational tool by computer scientists at Cambridge University who were stunned by the low level of programming skills of their applicants. It has been designed to get children interested in programming, introducing first principles of computing.
Both Haileybury teams have reached the Raspberry Pi finals to be held in PA Consulting’s Technology Centre in Cambridgeshire on Wednesday 20 March. A year ago none of these pupils knew how to write computer code but are now beginning a journey, converting from being consumers of technology to creators of technology.
Team Vi are L6 pupils: Frank Gough (Ed), Marco Siniscalco (Ba), William Reade (L), Vlad Marinescu (Ed) and Kirin Ali (Ay). Team M are Fifths pupils: Leah Rosendahl (Co) Angella Kostic (M), Ondine Mitchell Sutton (M), Monty Austin-Ajaero (Bf), Harry Klein (Bf).
The panel of distinguished judges includes BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan Jones, Barak Ugev from Google and Andy Hopper, Head of Computer Technology at Cambridge University. Standards are expected to be high but Mr Spavin is confident that both teams are more than capable of meeting them.