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20 May 2022

Freshening Up The After School IT Club: ‘The Gold Programme’

The thought of doing an after school ‘IT Club’ brings visions of lots of preparation from me and perhaps not a lot of engagement from the pupils. A few years back I came up with the concept of lectures and events in Computer Science for Year 7 and 8 pupils. I liked the idea of different topics being explored properly and being accessible to all, with hands on opportunities, plus some fun and perhaps offering some refreshments.  

So, the ‘Gold Programme’ was born in 2019 targeting about 65 pupils in Year 7 & 8 that were either high ability, high performers or those who just loved Computer Science. That audience focus continues today. The sessions are after school once a term (roughly) and include about 70 minutes of content like a film, discussion, hands on workshop and some refreshments. We also have had a trip to Bletchley Park!  

Here is the 2021/22 programme:

Here are some comments from the Bletchley Park Trip in January 2022

“After a great tour of Bletchley and an interesting workshop on ‘Codes and Ciphers’ our guide took us to the Polish Memorial. The memorial basically thanked the Polish codebreakers of 1937/8 who were trying to break the German Enigma machine at Bletchley. It thanked them for their efforts and previous escape to Britain to then feed vital information to British Intelligence and Bletchley about their ideas on how to crack the Enigma machine. The guide asked, “Does anyone speak Polish?” A Year 8 pupil stepped up and read it in Polish. It was so special and brought that whole memorial to life! A great day out!”