Computer Science is an important development area in school and we are committed to providing all boys with the opportunity to fire their curiosity, develop their digital skills and to engage with new technologies.

We were delighted, therefore, when five of our pupils recently achieved the Silver Award in The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprises Award (iDEA). iDEA was launched as an extracurricular activity to support pupils’ development of digital skills and experience in entrepreneurship, and was introduced to Bedford School in November 2018 by our Director of Digital Learning, Dr Albin Wallace. The iDEA programme helps pupils develop their digital, enterprise and employability skills by working their way through bite-sized challenges known as badges. These are categorised under the headings of Citizen, Worker, Maker, Entrepreneur and Gamer.

There has been a huge amount of interest from the boys and uptake has been incredible. We have already exceeded our target of boys achieving 1000 badges before Easter. To date, 93 boys have collected an astounding 1036 badges between them with 14 boys achieving their Bronze Awards, and Remove Formers Krish Nair, Yonathan Sileshi, Anish Katechia and Alexander Edun, and Fourth Former Varun Nathan recently received an envelope from Buckingham Palace containing their Silver Awards.

Dr Albin Wallace commented, “I am delighted with the way in which so many boys have embraced the programme. They have totally immersed themselves in the challenges and have been motivated to do the badges in their own time.”

We asked Silver Award holder Alexander Edun what he thinks about the programme, and he told us; “The Bronze Award taught me basic digital skills, however the Silver Award was much more challenging and taught me valuable coding skills. There is quite a bit of research involved in this stage and it also taught me to look around at my environment. There was even a module on the solar system and the planets. I really feel like I have achieved something and will be first on the list when the Gold Award is introduced later this year.” 

Between now and the end of the academic year, all boys in the Upper School are welcome to join the programme and plans are underway to introduce it in the Prep School as well, ultimately making The Duke of York programme an integral part of school experience for all boys at Bedford School. If you would like to know more about iDEA, please contact Dr Albin Wallace directly.

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