How Reed’s are keeping up with the latest advances

Gareth Hart, Assistant Head, Digital Learning & Head of FutureTech at Reed’s School

How are you keeping children abreast with the latest technological developments? At Reed’s we not only start computing lessons for pupils from Year 7 onwards, we also have a bespoke FutureTech programme. This involves a series of initiatives that inspire pupils to gain knowledge and skills in a variety of STEM areas and improves their technological literacy. There’s a whole curriculum based around these areas delivered in Year 9 that removes the barriers between subjects and encourages interest, skill development and creativity.
 
What type of emerging technologies are you currently focusing on in lessons?
In lessons we focus on and use many new and emerging technologies. For example, pupils learn about the wide variety of uses for artificial intelligence in computing, view organs using augmented reality in biology and travel the world with virtual reality headsets in geography.
 
Do pupils get to try their hand at robotics? Yes, most definitely! There are Robotics Clubs as well as opportunities during lessons to programme Lego, Vex and Sphero robots. We are really eager for pupils to learn skills such as a problem solving, programming and teamwork and realise the thrill of coding through robotics.

What proves most popular with your pupils? One of the most popular activities is FutureTech CSI. Pupils apply their knowledge from various subject disciplines and learn to use new technology, such as DNA fingerprinting and gel electrophoresis, to solve fictional crimes. They also enjoy learning about the importance of renewable energy and exploring environmentally friendly ways we can generate electricity such as by using magnets, building their own wind turbines, and generating electricity from plants.
 
How can you help them to develop an interest in a particular new technology? We run a regular series of thought-provoking lectures by speakers from industry. Most recently these have covered topics such as autoimmune diseases and genetic modification, artificial intelligence. Pupils also hugely enjoyed a visit from a scientist who was part of Tim Peake’s space mission talking about the technology involved with getting people into space!

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