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SMSC Newsletter - Focus on SMSC in Computer Science

Back in ye olden days ...


.... when I was at school, we watched the moon landing on a black and white TV in the school hall and that was about the extent of the technology I was exposed to, yet here I am writing a newsletter on a computer and sending it via email (who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!)  


Nowadays, if you blink, a new innovation in digital technology could be missed so I thought we’d get on a super highway to SMSC in Computer Science.

This isn't one of the easiest subjects to identify SMSC, however, recording and analysing SMSC is - with the SMSC Grid.  I've added this months contributions to our Newsletter Grid - to take a look click 'Save to PDF' for a report.




Experiencing fascination, awe and wonder can be found in all aspects of computer science, from researching and finding the wonders of the World while sitting at a desk to using imagination and creativity in learningby creating a programme, App or Website from scratch.


World Wide Coding


Started in Cork, Ireland in 2011 Coder Dojo is now global, volunteer led and free to anyone between the ages of 7-17.


Boosting Programming Skills


Lego, probably the most famous toy on the planet have taken coding to a new level with Lego Boost.

The site is full of videos and handy tips and a no brainer for any child interested in coding.



There are a lot of things to consider under this heading.  The internet is the ‘go to’ place for information nowadays and so Investigating moral values and ethical issues, moral codes and models of moral virtue, recognising right and wrong and applying it and understanding the consequences of actions all come into play.


For the Greater Good not Bad


Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news recently airing out data privacy and Russian disinformation.  Here's a great guide to the do's and dont's of using Facebook and a picture I posted last Comic Relief Day - well it made me and 75 of my friends smile!


It Can Happen to Anyone!


Even bullying has gone digital and in this day and age that means there's no getting away from it without cutting off from the World.  Bullying UK has some great advice on dealing with this massive and dangerous problem.


Self-Evaluation Innovation

Take iAbacus on a 30 day free trial


The Ofsted self-evaluation form is long gone - creating one isn't easy.  However, iAbacus has the Ofsted framework pre-loaded into a simple four step process making it easy to create a whole school, departmental and individual self evaluation and action planning - Take a look ......



There are so many ways a young person can use computer science to develop personal qualities and use social skills and although Facebook gets a bad rap, it’s a great way to stay in touch.  Online news that’s real and research helps the understanding of how communities and societies function.


A Bank of LifeSkills


It's not often you hear good things said about High Street banks and yet Barclays LifeSkills is one of the better initiatives out there for helping young people.


Impacting the High Street

The growth of online shopping since 1994 has been phenomenal and along with the global financial crisis of 2008 has changed our High Streets forever.  Here's a great article on how 2018 will be another year of change in retail.  




The first commercially available computer was delivered to the Victoria University, Manchester, February 1951 and took up a whole room. In the short space of 67 years, computers and the innovations stemming from this technology have become part of World Culture and essential when preparing for life in modern Britain. So just by typing on a keyboard or accessing an App on a mobile phone we are participating and responding to cultural activity.


Doing it for Themselves

According to 2017 statistics only 9.8% of entrants to A Level Computer Science were female.  Code First: Girls is looking to change that.


Click for the News


I've watched the Sky News Press Preview for years and have noticed that they are now previewing stories from online news outlets - an interesting turn of events and definately one that shows cultural changes.  Here's the history of probably the most famous source of online news.


and finally .........


This lady is Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, a mathematician who worked for NACA (which later became NASA).  Dorothy became an expert in the FORTRAN programming coding language and played a part in the early space programme.  She did all this at a time when diversity was non-existent, segregation was rife and women, let alone women of colour were definately not treated as equals. 


Bye for now

Tricia Cadman - T: 0115 942 8912 E:

Technical Support

Diane T: 0115 942 8913 E:

Nick: T: 0115 942 8911 E:


Dan: T: 0115 942 8914 E:

Chris: T: 0115 942 8910 E:

*Previous editions of our Newsletter can be found on our website

Nick Robinson,
27 Sep 2018, 07:52