Help for parents
"What can I do to help with their CS studies?"
This site contains a lot of resources that we use in class, and work and feedback is given using Google Classroom - which your child will be able to show you at home. Look for their class calendar on the front page, it will tell you everything they are working on and their homeworks.
Why not have a look at the "Special Challenges" section [CLICK HERE] of this website and offer to work through some projects with your child?
Please do not...
The worst thing you can do is say that the subject is too hard for you. This will give your child the message that it is something extra hard or special from any other subject they are studying. It isn't.
You may not understand it at the moment but CS up to GCSE level isn't beyond anyone, you or your child.
Ask your child what they are doing in class. We talk about some amazing technology all the time and I'm sure you will find it interesting.
You may also like to learn how to write code yourself. For fun, as a challenge, to motivate your child or as a career change. On that last point, the UK is desperate for coders. It is an excellent career that does not require any formal qualifications - just some coding knowledge.
Broadband access is important in order for students to access online resources and research.
Here are some other things to consider - but they are not mandatory as the school can provide access to all necessary equipment up to 5:30 every school day.
Anything will do. It does not need to be special or expensive. I personally favour the Google Chromebook as it cheap, does everything without needing to be maintained, has an all-day battery and no virus worries.
It can't play Call of Duty so time will not be wasted!
N.B. We use Google Docs at The Trafalgar School so NO need to buy Microsoft Office.
I bought my Chromebook over 3 years ago and unfortunately it is still working fantastically well. I say this because there are some amazing Chromebooks coming out now but my current Acer Chromebook cost me about £170 and does everything I need.
If you haven't head of them, more Chromebooks were sold in the US last year than Apple - CLICK HERE
Buy a Raspberry Pi
Studying Computer Science does not require expensive computer equipment, even up through A-levels.
In fact in order to support the Computer Science student a foundation was formed back around 2010 to create a computer that would demystify computer systems and be affordable for everyone.
They created the Raspberry Pi computer.
It costs about £40 (when everything is bought).
On top of this you need to buy a monitor, keyboard and mouse
Kano Raspberry Pi kit
Kano offer a Raspberry Pi kit that guides you through what a computer is and how it works.
It is aimed at 8-11 year olds but much younger students can access it to. and as it is based on the Raspberry Pi it has enough power to help students up to A-level and beyond.
The difference between the Kano kit and the standard Raspberry Pi is the software. When it starts up, it guides the user through a set of really engaging challenges that slowly builds up confidence and knowledge.
For more details goto www.Kano.me
The BBC Microbit
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a non-profit organisation enabling children around the world to get creative with technology and gain digital skills in school, in clubs and at home.
Just like the BBC Micro Computer in the 1980's, the Microbit is designed to be accessible to all and used by all the family.
For the Microbit website CLICK HERE
Kits costs around £12 CLICK HERE
The BBoard. A companion board for eager code hackers.
BBoard RaspberryPi, Arduino, Microbit companion board
The BBoard has just the right components to enable rich engaging lessons, but cheap enough for any department budget. Each board contains:
- Red / yellow / green LED
- Mini speaker (capable of outputting tones of varying frequency)
- Left / right button (heavy duty and durable)
- Light sensor (a high quality sensor providing a linear response to visible light)
It is possible to buy direct from the manufacturer R-P-R in Lymington for around £4 each
Raspberry Pi Help
Course text books and exam practice workbooks
If searching look for "OCR GCSE Computer Science 9-1 books".
N.B. Do not buy anything that says GCSE Computing. This is an old course.