On the 1st December, #TICEInsight Computer Science kicked off at Whitley Bay High School, a returning school for this sector, always full of incredibly talented, young individuals. It was certainly exciting to see the potential class of 2017 right before our eyes…

The day began with a general introduction to the vast world of Computer Science and what the TICE programme will entail, mentored by Phil Jeffes. He shared his success story with the students, discussing his involvement with various companies as well as his commitment to Campus North in Newcastle City Centre. Whilst also expressing how passionate he is about his field, he encouraged the students to explore the range of pathways available in this creative sector – a world of many possibilities. Through Phil’s contacts and experience, these students can use this to their advantage for the near future, particularly once they begin looking at higher education/employment.

Although the students had been given a brief tutorial prior to this workshop, Phil delved into the animation/games creation software, Scratch. What was different for the students, was the ability to be completely free and expressive when creating their game. This resulted in some fantastic outcomes such as maze games and interactive stories. It was fantastic to witness the students supporting one another throughout this task, as well as enthusiastically informing Phil on the process of creating their game, focusing on the strengths and weaknesses. For them to be able to evaluate their own work this way is incredibly valuable in terms of the qualities needed in the industry today.

After a well-deserved break, Phil gave a brief introduction to HTML and CSS which are essentially the languages of the web, heavily used by professional software developers and computer science elites – this is generally a much harder concept to grasp but with no doubt, the students were fully immersed in the learning experience and willing to face up to the challenge. To follow up on this brand new technique, Phil shared the primary brief of designing a web page using JSBin.com. There were once again a huge variety of outcomes, with some of the students focusing on generating content while others explored the use of colours on the page. Everyone was already beginning to find their own speciality, so it seemed…

The entire day was an excellent example of how the feeling of being creative can stem into a growth of talent across the North East region. Whitley Bay High students have shown so much fascination in the world of Computer Science – it was almost impossible to not be astounded by the level of professionalism shown by the students. Well done to everyone involved and we look forward to seeing many of you join us for the next stage of the TICE Programme!