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Trailblazing pupils reveal how micro-computers are inspiring a generation in Islington

Mayor of Islington Cllr Kat Fletcher with Euan, 10, and Jessica, 10, from Ashmount Primary School take an Oh Bot through its paces.

Mayor of Islington Cllr Kat Fletcher with Euan, 10, and Jessica, 10, from Ashmount Primary School take an Oh Bot through its paces.

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More than 400 trailblazing pupils and students from Islington descended on the Emirates Stadium on Friday to show how they are leading the way with education technology.

The fifth annual Celebration Of Computing, the UK’s largest ed tech showcase, was a chance for pupils from 30 schools to show what they’ve created with the latest programmable micro-computers, including the BBC’s micro:bit, and a generous dose of imagination.

The pupils’ creations included wearable tech like T-shirts, hats and jewellery, while others had programmed drones and hand-built robots, created news packages filmed and edited on iPads, and tried out virtual reality, green-screen and 3D printing technology.

The projects, conceived by pupils in Islington’s voluntary after-school Code Clubs, have encouraged pupils to solve problems, design and create, learn broadcasting, coding, project management and many other skills.

Meanwhile major brands including the BBC, Google, Microsoft, BT and Lego were all keen to show how they’re helping inspire a generation to embrace tech as a creative and useful tool.

Islington pupils are the country’s IT trailblazers and often among the first in the UK to trial the latest ed tech, thanks to the borough’s forward-looking computing curriculum and unique position on the doorstep of Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, where many ed tech start-ups are based. Every secondary school in Islington and many primaries have received micro:bit computers via their Code Clubs.

The brilliant results of this approach were clear for all to see, with the Mayor Of Islington and Cllr Joe Caluori among those being amazed by – and taught about – the tech by pupils and teachers.

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington's executive member for children, young people and families, said: "This is the best Celebration Of Computing event we have had yet, and as the teachers' confidence has grown so has the amazing things that the kids are doing.

“Our aim is to equip young people with the skills to create, not just consume, and be digitally confident in tomorrow’s world, inventing and exploring coding and the possibilities of technology.

"With great ideas and achievements like these, our pupils will be among the best-equipped in the country for the sort of tech-native jobs that don't even exist yet.”

Miles Berry, IT expert and principal lecturer in computing at Roehampton University, was also at the event to see the projects and speak to the young tech stars.

He said: "It is fabulous to see what one borough can do when young people are given the time to learn computing and the teachers are given the support and resources to teach it with both confidence and success.

"This is the year this has flipped from 'Come and see what the products are' to 'This is what we have done with the products', and that is so inspiring.

“I have been going around asking difficult questions of these children, and they have a deep understanding of what's going on."

For more information contact:

Stephen Moore
Senior Media Officer
020 7527 3224
Stephen.Moore2@islington.gov.uk

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Alex, 11, from Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, tests out a virtual reality headset

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Joe, 7, Kiana and Riley, both 8, from Ashmount Primary School discover the electro-conductive possibilities of fruit and veg

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Yahaya and Frankie, both 7, from Hargrave Park School, with the robot hand-built and programmed by Tech City College students

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