City school welcomes tougher ICT lessons

Michael Gove MP at the Thetford Academy South Campus.
Michael Gove MP at the Thetford Academy South Campus.

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STAFF and students at a city school have welcomed the proposed shake-up in the way computing is taught.

City of Portsmouth Girls’ assistant head Nikki Owen said the school had recognised a need to improve information and communications technology (ICT) lessons more than five years ago.

Education secretary Michael Gove recently announced proposals to axe ICT lessons from September and replace them with compulsory computer science.

Hywel Stayte, the school’s ICT leader, said: ‘From Year 7, our girls learn programming.

‘We put a lot of emphasis on enjoyment and engagement. We encourage the use of mobile phones as learning tools in lessons and we have already planned to invest in “Raspberry Pis” – credit-card sized PCs which will enable our girls to code.’

Lauren Homer, 15, said: ‘We are always encouraged to get to know and use the latest technology. I’m a massive fan of Google apps and we use Google docs, Google sites and blogging on a regular basis in our lessons.

‘I’m planning to do computer science at college where I would like to be an app creator.’

Sharon Watt, head, said: ‘We know that we are often at the forefront of using technology across the curriculum and we have shared good practice across the city on many occasions.

‘We welcome the opportunity to develop the new curriculum and to continue sharing our expertise.’