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The Westwood Academy in Coventry has received free Raspberry Pi computers, thanks to a national initiative designed to encourage a new generation of schoolchildren to understand how computers actually work.
OCR has distributed more than 5,000 free Raspberry Pi computers to schools, organisations and clubs across the country, in the first phase of an exciting initiative funded by Google with OCR and five other educational partners. The Pi is a simple, miniature computer which helps students of all ages to discover how computers function and how to program.
The Westwood Academy was one of the first schools in the country to receive the free Pis, and staff and students were delighted to receive theirs from OCR Regional Account Manager, Julie Montgomerie. OCR has pioneered computing qualifications in schools and is finding new ways to support teachers and students to engage with the subject.
Steve Sycamore, Head of ICT said: “We’re extremely pleased to receive the Raspberry Pis. When we told our students that we were receiving some, the response was overwhelming. The interest our students have shown is extremely encouraging as we move forward with the new computing curriculum. It’s also very encouraging to see the number of girls that have shown a desire to be involved too!
“As we move forward, we will use the Pis to develop our students' computing and programming skills and prepare for GCSE Computing. We’ll also be using them in after school clubs to help develop our next generation of programmers.”
Tony Stephens, Assistant Headteacher also added: “We welcome the opportunity to work with OCR to enhance our computing curriculum. The use of Raspberry Pi will allow us to move theory into practice and bring computing to our feeder schools as part of our outreach work, enabling us to enhance ICT and computing across all curriculum phases.”
The school’s ICT department was rated outstanding by Ofsted and they will be using the Pis to help them deliver OCR’s GCSE Computing which they plan to start in 2014 when the new national curriculum comes in.
The initiative will ultimately see 15,000 Raspberry Pis given away to schools. With links to secondary schools and colleges across the country, OCR is responsible for distributing the Pis on behalf of the Google partnership.