March Town Hall, Market Place, March. PE15 9JF. 01354 652769.

Bits and bytes

Bits and Bytes is a sixteen week social mobility programme designed purposely for year 5 pupils. Feedback shows that it is enjoyed by pupils whilst being both aspirational and educational. Each week 20Twenty Productions staff deliver a two hour activity during school hours that support the Government’s Essential Skills for Life criteria. Pupils will, in addition to interpersonal skills development, develop basic robotic skills (planning, construction and coding) using Lego’s educational Mindstorms package. The final weeks of the programme involve a class based United Nations exercise that focuses pupils on the vital subject of climate change. Amidst these engaging activities pupils will also complete a Discover Arts Award and take part in a range of activities designed to expand each pupil’s awareness of the range of careers that are open to them.

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Funding

Bits and Bytes is fully funded by the Department of Education via Cambridgeshire County Council as part of a unique offering made available to primary schools in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. The programme is offered on a first come first served basis to a maximum of twelve schools across the academic years 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Expectations

20Twenty Productions will provide all the necessary staff, equipment and software needed to deliver the activities. As such there is no direct cost to the school. However, each participating school is expected to commit to the 16 week programme starting at the same time on the same day of the week, place 30 pupils from year 5 on to the programme, provide teacher support during all activities, provide 20Twenty Productions staff access to class based projection facilities and provide a dedicated and suitable classroom for each week’s activity.

Get involved

Please contact Katherine if you would like to enrol your school. As explained, schools from Fenland and East Cambridgeshire will be enrolled on a first come first served basis, so please do not delay as places are limited. Katherine can also be contacted during office hours on 01354 652769.

Teacher feedback

“The children have really enjoyed the Bits and Bytes challenges. Being a project that most have little experience of, it has been a challenge to some and has developed them both socially and as programmers. It has been interesting to see how friendships have developed, and how pairs of children have learnt to work together to solve the various challenges put to them. As sessions have progressed, the resilience of some individuals has improved, and those to whom sharing and group work has also been an issue, have also seen an improvement. There are some children who have ‘shone’ as investigators and leaders, perhaps to the detriment of others in their group, but on the whole the benefits have outweighed the disadvantages across the classroom. The children’s understanding of both programming and environmental issues have certainly increased as a result of the programme, programming on this scale, is beyond the current financial limits of the school. It will be a shame to see it end. Girls, I feel, in particular have benefitted from the chance of them working with like minded girls, whereas many would have been ‘left out’ had they been working in larger groups or with some of the boys. This has allowed quieter girls to flourish in areas that perhaps they would not have been able to do so. Overall, the project has so far been a success and has provided many opportunities that the children would not have had otherwise.”

Mr. Laing. Teacher, Kinderley Primary School, Tydd St. Giles.

“Our class of thirty year four children have thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Bits and Bytes’ programme. They look forward to their weekly sessions, and are fully engaged and motivated in all the exciting activities which have been planned. We feel, as a school, that this programme has given the children the opportunity to develop their communication skills with their peers, and work with children with whom they wouldn’t normally work alongside. It has given children of all abilities the chance to work together on problem based activities which the 20Twenty Productions team have delivered in a creative and enthusiastic way. This programme and its creative thinking approach has enabled our children to develop their independence which will, in turn help them become lifelong learners.”

Mrs. Pooley. Teacher Arts Subject Lead, Leverington Primary Academy

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Problem solving is just one of the many essential skills nurtured.
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Team work is key.