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Computing Lead School - three years and counting...

This month Norton Knatchbull School has been Ashford's "Lead School" for Computing for three and a half years. The programme is overseen by the Department for Education and "Computing at School", the leading educational arm of the British Computing Society.  They give this status to schools that are advanced in the teaching of the subject, and these schools are given the responsibility for providing a point of support to local schools. During this time, we have worked with numerous primary and secondary teachers in the local area, supported the beginning of the careers of numerous new Computing teachers and continued to drive up the profile of Computing in our own school and also worked with schools across Kent.

Our own staff have seen the introduction of GCSE Computing, then the new GCSE Computer Science qualifications, building on our long continuous history of providing A-Level Computing education. The second year of the new A-Level Computer Science qualification saw nearly 90% of our students gaining top A*-C grades. We are also very proud of the dozens of past-students that have pursued their further IT and Computing careers at Russell Group universities. For example, an ex-student from our 2012 cohort recently completed his MSc in Computer Science at Oxford and is now working at one of the world's top three CPU developers.

Along with the enthusiastic support of governors and senior leaders, we are lucky in having a dedicated Network team that have developed a robust, extremely fast and reliable network on which we can pursue our vision. Bucking the trend of many schools blocking student-access to their own devices in school, they have innovated in providing an environment where students can bring their own devices onto our network safely. Along with a robust but sensible policy on use of devices outside lessons, teachers can employ their use as part of planned lessons, which offers the potential to harness 21st century technology students understand to support their learning.

Innovation in the use of web technologies, virtual programming tools and the use of entirely paper-less classroom tools with Office 365 and Teams for Education lead us towards the planning of our new Digital Learning Centre, which will be a revolutionary new learning space to provide our students with the best environment to excel in Computer Science, and also use these new digital tools and methods across the creative, technology and science subjects.

Watch this space...

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