Half term activities

There are a few seasonal coding projects and competitions around at the moment. Let me know if you have a go at any?

Tynker Halloween Activity

Code Club Festive Message – we will be doing some of these in Code Club next half term, so have a creative think about some ideas in advance – Who is your audience? What message would you like to send?

Practise Computational Thinking for the Bebras Challenge in November We may enter this competition so get up to speed by practising – some of these are harder than they seem and require lots of thought!

Robo Dancers Watching Strictly? Enjoy coding your own dancers here!

If you’re getting bored of the usual London museums (really?!) then how about a visit to The Crystal? The Crystal is home to the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities – find out all about Smart Cities, the Internet of Things and how we will all be connected to make our earth smarter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. There are some interactive exhibits and a really good film experience on the ground floor. You can get there via the Emirates Cable Car at North Greenwich, which is a fun way to arrive anywhere! Any adults working in education get in free with their school badge or ID.


Ikea hacks

Have you ever heard of Ikea Hacks? People make new bits of furniture by taking basic Ikea furniture and adding their own bits and pieces to it. Then they put pictures of their “hacks” with making instructions online. Here are a few:


Ikea have now announcced that they are bringing out a new sofa, specially designed for hacking! You can add different covers, extra cushions, legs, wheels etc. For example, you could attach a light or a table.The Delaktig bed can convert into a sofa, a chaise, or even a luxurious dog bed. Grooves in the aluminum frame allow for clip-on furniture additions, like side tables and privacy screens. The frame’s design makes Delaktig endlessly configurable. Here’s a picture of the basic sofa:

  • What would you attach to make your sofa more interesting?
  • Would it be something to improve how it looks or to make your life easer (lazier?!)?
  • Can you design your amazing sofa and add it to our wall of inventions?
  • Could you design a “hack” for another piece of furniture at school or at home?

“Keep Cups”

Earlier on the blog we noticed that only 1% of coffee cups are recycled. Toby was,quite rightly, upset about this.

Here’s a neat way to encourage people not to throw-away coffee cups. You can design your own which is quite exciting – why not have a go under the Design Your Own tab on the website and take a screenshot of your design or your favourite cup then post on a comment below? (If you don’t know how to do a screen shot then ask a grown up or a friend.)

  • Why do you think people might prefer to use throw-away cups?
  • How would you persuade them no to?
  • Why are coffee cups difficult to recycle?

Ada Lovelace

Hello, this is Ellie!!

Did anyone know that on Saturday it was Ada Lovelace day? Does anyone know who she is and what she did? Ada Lovelace came up with the first computer program idea in the Victorian times.  She was the daughter of Lord Byron (the poet), and her mother decided to teach her maths instead of poetry, as she thought they were totally the opposite of each other!

  • Do you think that maths and poetry are the opposite of each other?
  • Are you surprised that the first person to think of a computer program was a woman?
  • Why don’t you ask Tim to show you his knitting needle computer?

I hope you enjoy making the Ada Poetry Generator Scratch project tonight!

Nicola here, I have uploaded some of your finished projects below – what do you think? What do you like about each and do you have any suggestions as to how we can improve our projects?

Here is Alisha’s version, I think it’s very good because it’s professionally presented and it all works well:

This is Daniel’s – he kept challenging himself to improve the complexity and he should be very proud of his coding – I am!




Arthur’s (I changed one verb, Arthur! And you might want to look at the coding in your Else section – there’s an improvement you could make):


Well done, Julia! She has completed her Ada Poetry project and here it is:

And well done to Lizzie too (sorry to be late adding this to the blog, Lizzie, but I’ve been “off the grid” for a few days!)

More recycling tips and facts

How are plastics recycled?

Fact 1:

It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used EVERY DAY in the UK, but only 19.8 million of these are recycled. This means there are on average, 16 million plastic bottles are not being sent to recycling each and every day. In London, on average we get through two million plastic bottles of water every day. In terms of energy, each 500ml bottle that is recycled saves enough energy to make three rounds of toast. So if every Londoner recycled one more bottle of water every day, we’d have enough spare energy to make 9.4 billion rounds of toast annually!

Fact 2;

Every day in the UK, up to 7m coffee cups are thrown away, with less than 1% of these cups (only 1 in 400 coffee cups) thought to be recycled. The main challenge to date has been the plastic film lining the paper cups, which means they are rarely recyclable.

Fact 3 :

The average household uses a whopping 480 plastic bottles each year but only half.

Do you have any good ideas as to what we could do in school to encourage people in school to recycle more? It’s the future of your planet!




Evan’s Invention

Evan has designed his perfect smart phone – what happens when Nokia & Samsung work together? Can you see which features of each make Evan has combined? I love Evan’s design brief – he has even provided a side view – well done!