On Tuesday 17th September pupils from across the school celebrated National Coding Week with some very special guests.

The aim of the day was to make students aware of the potential range of careers available in the Coding, Programming and ICT sectors and to teach them that the 21st Century workplace will depend on people who have these skills.

Sam Watson Jones from the Wiltshire based Small Robot Company began the day with a presentation during morning assembly on robotic farming to capture the children’s’ imaginations and inspire them to learn more about how the fourth industrial revolution is changing the way we live and work.

Our pupils were then introduced to expert coders, Liam Chapman and Eldon Chinyamakobvu from Happywired, based in Chesterfield.

Older year groups then gathered in classrooms to take part in an interactive day, including learning how to program in Python and creating number guessing games with Liam and Eldon. Younger pupils joined Sam, who introduced them to the NFU Farmvention Challenge. The challenge required them to design a farming machine for 2040, explaining its benefits for the environment.

Louise Kinlen, Head of Pre-Prep, joined her pupils for the activities and said:

“We had a brilliant time this morning designing our robotic farm machines! We had a robotic sheepdog that took pictures of any animals it came across and sent them to the farmer if they needed help; a ‘carrot hoover’ that used suction to pull out carrots it had scanned under the soil which were ready for harvesting; and a grass cutter that had wings to access high or steep land. It really got us all thinking!”

Pre-Prep pupils were so engrossed in the activities, we captured a few comments from the day (below):

“Our robot grass cutter needs spikes so it doesn’t blow away in the wind.”

“The farmer can go straight to the sheep that needs help.”

“The robot sheep dog takes pictures of the sheep and sends them back to the farmer on his phone.”

“This is the hoover that uses suction to suck up the carrots. Then the soil isn’t disturbed and stays healthy.”

All three guests told the school how much they loved their time at S. Anselm’s and how they were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and work ethic of our pupils. We would like to thank Sam, Liam and Eldon for taking the time to deliver such a memorable day for both our children and teachers.