Mansfield college helps schools get digital and students to get an insight into computing

More than 500 pupils from primary schools and academies in Mansfield and Ashfield have enjoyed a taste of life as computer science students at West Nottinghamshire College.

By Shelley Marriott
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 2:52 pm

This has been made possible thanks to the games industry trade body UKIE’s Digital Schoolhouse project, a not-for-profit programme which enables primary schools to experience free, creative computing workshops from their local schoolhouse, of which West Nottinghamshire College is part of.

The project, which is supported by sponsors such as PlayStation, Electronic Arts, SEGA, Ubisoft and Outright Games, uses play-based learning to engage Year 5 and 6 pupils and teachers with computing.

Since February, media and computer science tutors at the college have been running a range of computing workshops for a number of primary schools across Mansfield and Ashfield, enabling some 500 plus children to share expertise and gain more of an insight into computing.

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Sutton Road Primary school pupil Riley Lowe with teaching assistant Helen Bearder

The sessions have been based around the key concepts of computing, focusing on algorithms, games design, programming, networks, data representation, hardware and software.

Head of department for creative and digital, Kerry Pilcher, said: “The last few months have been an exciting opportunity for both the college and the primary schools to share expertise in this field and to gain a better insight into the world of computing.

“We hope that these workshops have given the children a chance to gain more confidence in all things digital and give them that appetite to learn more about computing ready for when they move into their next chapter of education at secondary school.”

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School pupils got to work at their own computer station on a range of activities and challenges

Nicky Goodall, deputy head teacher at Morvern Primary School in Kirkby, said: “Both the staff and the children had a great time at the college. They were all keen to share information on the tasks that were completed on their return to school. It was great for the children to experience West Notts College, as many of them were unaware of what was inside.

“Huge thanks go to tutors Wayne and Richard for leading their inspiring sessions. Our children were awestruck by the computer facilities that are available, and we hope that we can return in the future.”