Welcome to the first newsletter on digital learning at Bedford School. This will be a regular newsletter aimed at providing you with information on different aspects of digital technologies in the school, and the ways in which your child can take advantage of some of the opportunities being provided.

Dr Albin Wallace, Director of Digital Learning

Duke of York Bronze Award

There is a huge amount of interest in the Inspiring Digital Enterprise programme being generated within the school. Boys are already signing up, and for the rest of this academic year any boy can enrol as part of our extended pilot. To date, 46 boys have completed 510 badges, with six completing the Bronze Award already. Certificates are on their way from Buckingham Palace. It has been pre-piloted by some of the Remove form computer science pupils, but it is now being opened up to all boys from year 8 upwards. After careful implementation and evaluation over the next two terms, it will be rolled out in a structured way next academic year. For more details, please visit the iDEA website or contact me directly.

Cyber Discovery

HM Government’s Cyber Discovery programme has proven popular with the boys, with over 40 taking part during last term. Phase One finishes at the end of January with the best performing pupils in the country being invited into Phase Two. So far, 11 of our boys have achieved perfect scores. A remarkable achievement. This will be an annual programme, with all boys at Bedford School aged 14-18 being invited to take part. It is a challenging and rewarding introduction to the world of cybersecurity. There is still time for boys to sign up. Further details can be obtained here. Boys interested in joining up should contact me in the first instance.

Raspberry Pi Competition

Bedford School is entering the Raspberry Pi competition and I am seeking an excellent team of 2-7 boys to take a lead. The competition encourages creative thinking, teamwork, coding and engineering skills. The new theme this year is Travel and Transport, tapping into the ingenuity of young people and asking them to transform the way we travel. But we are not just talking about modes of transport – we are challenging them to improve the experience. That could mean making things more sustainable, secure or simple. If your child is interested, please point them my way.

Digital Leaders

Our first tranche of Digital Leaders are continuing their hard work on a range of interesting projects. Alex Ward is building an eye-tracking system to help analyse learning, Harry Mason is building a system to minimise clashes with music lessons, Jack Jordan has built our first HackLab and Shaw Shen is investigating the use of mobile projection technology in boarding houses. Pupils will again be invited to join the programme this term.

Online Ambassadors

Our new Sixth form online ambassadors delivered an excellent assembly to the Prep School in December. Ben Sporton spoke about fake news, Ruslan Chyrva and George Sorokin on hacking, Yoji Nishina on Cyberbullying and Oscar Hill on peer pressure and oversharing. I am hoping they will lead on some further activities this term.

Online Safety

Online safety is a key responsibility for the school and we are developing new ways of supporting parents and pupils in this important area.

If you have any queries or would like advice on supporting your child, please do not hesitate to make contact with the school.

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