Archive for the ‘school’ Category

Noughts and Crosses AI demo for Science Fair events

Monday, May 28th, 2018

A hands-on demo for use at a small STEM event – letting kids train a simple AI system by playing a few games of noughts and crosses.

I prepared an activity for a STEM event in London this week. The idea was to make something for a Science Fair sort of event – where children will be walking past a stand, and might stop for a minute or two to try out an activity.

The objective was to come up with a hands-on demo that would enable a volunteer to talk to the children about machine learning.

As I’ve written it, I thought I’d share it here in case anyone else might find it useful for another event.

Noughts and Crosses

It’s based on the noughts-and-crosses activity that I’ve used before. Kids play noughts-and-crosses against a simple artificial intelligence system. The computer uses a machine learning model to decide where to make it’s moves. And that machine learning model will be trained throughout the event using the moves from every game so far.

Download the instructions here


Starting a Code Club

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

logo This year I started a Code Club at my local primary school.

It’s still early days for me (I’ve only run four sessions of the Club so far) so I’m obviously not an expert on this stuff. But I thought I’d share some of my first impressions as a volunteer.

What is Code Club about?

If you’ve not heard of it before, Code Club is about giving children aged 9 – 11 a chance to try computer programming.

“A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11”

It isn’t something that they normally cover in primary school (in theory, this should all change from September 2014 with Year of Code, but we’ll see how that works out), so Code Club is an attempt to introduce programming in primary school, rather than wait until it gets introduced in Secondary school.


CurrentCost – first impressions

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

CurrentCostCurrentCost has been a bit of a buzz going round Hursley for a few weeks now.

I’ve been resisting the temptation to get involved, because I know how obsessive I get about stuff, and I’m a bit busy at the moment to take on another new obsession!

But last week, I weakened. It was all looking a bit too cool, so I figured I had to give it a go.

I’m a few weeks behind the other guys at Hursley, so I’ve not got much to add that hasn’t already been said yet. Still, I have a few readers from outside the IBM group, so thought I’d share links to posts I’ve been following about what other IBMers have been up to, and add my first impressions.


School Annual Reports are no more

Monday, February 12th, 2007

When I first became a School Governor, one of the first jobs that I got involved with was helping to produce the ‘Annual Report’. I remembered them from when I was at school – every year we would be given a fairly dull but important looking booklet to take home to our parents. It perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise that compiling these things was the only thing more painful than trying to read one.

But things are different now. Changes made in the Education Act 2005 means that the Governors’ Annual Report is no more, and has been replaced with the School Profile.


Federating is one way to tackle the headteacher shortage

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few months now, but we’ve had to keep this confidential until we worked out some of the details.

Our school has been looking for a new headteacher since the previous head left 18 months ago. We’ve been through the recruitment process – the advertising, shortlisting and interviewing – five times now. And still, we have not been able to find a head.

We’re not an isolated case – you don’t have to go far to hear stories of headteacher shortages: