Category Archives: Hour of Code

Farewell Ms Vanderpuye

Today, we sadly said goodbye to Ms Vanderpuye after nearly 26 years at Oakington.

Ms V as she was affectionately called by all pupils and staff, decided to take early retirement and at a party held in her honour, she remembered the journey Oakington had made to reach its outstanding status in ICT and Computing.

In the days long before USB pendrives and terabytes of storage space, Ms Vanderpuye reminded her guests of what had gone before.

Her interest in computers started as a 15 year old, it blossomed as she got older. One of her first computers was one of the first solar powered calculators which she  still has at home –it has seen better days but still works when she tested it last week, after more than 30years. Some people may not have heard of some the first computers Ms V had owned such as Sinclair’s ZX80, ZX81, Dragon 64, BBC B, BBC Master with PC emulator MS Dos, Acorn computer with RISC OS, before moving onto a Windows 3.1 PC.  All of this was even before the Internet as we know it now.

Ms Vanderpuye thanked the Governors, the SLT and staff and pupils for allowing her the opportunity to pass on some of her passion. Ms V gave a personal thank you to  Mrs Libson for all her love and support she had given her for more than 30 years since they had known each other. She thanked her two network managers, Andrew and Gaddi, without whom ICT & Computing would not be as ‘Outstanding’ as it is.

Ms Vanderpuye said that the highlight of her evening was the fact that so many ex-teachers of Oakington came back to celebrate with her.  There was also a very beautiful performance from one of Ms V’s favourite robots, Bluey with messages from twins RedCandy and RedCurrant too.

Staff and pupils will miss very much Ms Vanderpuye’s enthusiasm and her love for all things ICT and computing. CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD LUCK, MS V!



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BB8 and Drones

Our robots have some new additions to their family, introducing BB8 and Parrot drones. We are using Tickle app to programme them. RedCandy isn’t too sure about BB8.

Ms Vanderpuye said goodbye to her Nao family and their new additions.


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‘Future Box’ Project

At the end of last academic year Oakington joined the ‘Future Box’ project, which is a collaboration between designer/technologist Stef Lewandowski, founder of Makeshift and primary school teacher Gavin Summerfield from Heber Primary School in East Dulwich, London.

The aim of the project is to create a prototype a inspirational box for schools that contains amazing gadgets, kits and tools to inspire children to learn about how technology works. All as part of the Computing curriculum. Oakington was keen to explore this knowing how keen pupils and staff were in ‘new technologies’.

Since September Ms Vanderpuye and her Coding Club have been trialling Makey Makey and Ozobots. The club have been amazed at how they have been able to use these seemingly ‘simple’ technologies to program and to create simple codes in the first instance and more complex ones as they have made more discoveries about the two technologies.

The ‘fun’ thing about Makey Makeys has been in creating a piano keyboard with bananas and other everyday items or playing bongo drums with a school tie. How does that work?,  asked one of the children. They soon found the answer when they related what they knew about electricity, conductors, insulators and circuits. As long as they were ‘earthed/grounded’ they could make most things work with the Makey Makey.

When the Ozobots arrived the Coding Club kids couldn’t wait to get them out of the box. Ms Vanderpuye hid one in her hand before gathering all the children around a pod to get them guessing what was in her hand. Given that the club had been discussing what might go in our ‘Future Box’, it didn’t take long for children to guess that it was an Ozobot in Ms V’s hand.

What does an Ozobot do? Well,  this clever little robot uses colour codes (red, blue, green and black )to follow instructions to turn left, right,  move forward, speed, up, slow down etc. and placing various colour combinations on a line you can make Ozobot do lots of fancy things. We have only recently started working with Ozobots so we are still exploring. You can draw you own mazes and paths for Ozobot to follow. As it follows the line Ozobot flashes the colour it has tracked.

We now have Nao robots, Makey Makey and Ozobots in our Furture Box. What would you have in your ‘Future Box’?

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Posted by on October 15, 2015 in Coding, Hour of Code, ICT, Technology


Leading Leaders Network Visit – Day 2

The final day of the Leading Leaders event was a roundup of the interesting things the group had seen at Oakington. Mrs Libson wished everyone well and took some questions and answers. Mr Smith thanked all the children for their hard work in showing them around, talking about their school and showing off their Computing skills. This was followed by a hands-on workshop with 2Simple Software’s Nigel Canin, looking at some of the latest developments from 2Simple and having a play with 2Code.


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Makey, Makeys are coming to Oakington

Makey Makey, what is a Makey Makey, I hear you ask? Well – simply FUN technology – Coming soon to Oakington!

Oakington is delighted to have been asked to participate in a really exciting project being run by  Gavin Summerfield from Heber Primary School and some of his partners in the project to engage children in technology in ways you would never have imagined a few years ago.

Makey Makeys are making children let their imagination run wild by using everyday items to create new and exciting technology tools to use in school, at home, everywhere!

Heber Primary School – Read about the project ‘Awesome Box’ Project


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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Awards, Hour of Code, ICT, Technology


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Nao Robot Maze Challenge

Mr Libson and Ms Vanderpuye over two days were in training on how to take their knowledge, skills and understanding of the Nao robots (RedCandy, RedCurrent and Bluey) to another level. Apart from simple robot behaviours, both members of staff, learned how to change the colour of the robot eyes, use the timeline to animate the robots and get the robots to make choices through asking questions,

The next activity was to work our how to get a blindfolded robot through a maze without touching it or moving it but giving it specific set of instructions in order to arrive at the end of the maze. This was challenging, however we worked it out simply by talking, trial and error. Mr Gavin Summerfield, Assistant Head from Heber Primary school joined us for day two of the training. John Pinkney our tutor was great in facilitating the two-day course giving us an opportunity to explore, experiment and answer the questions we wanted to ask about the robot behaviours.



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Hour of Code Week

The International Hour of Code 8th – 12th December 2014

WOW what a fantastic week we have had…coding everywhere. Oakington took part in this year’s big event, The International Hour of Code Week. There was a real BUZZ and the whole school were working their magic with their algorithms. Nursery taking BeeBot around an obstacle course, whilst Year 1 were having fun making Daisy the Dinosaur, jump, grow, shrink and roll. Year 2 got to know A.L.E.X before designing their own challenges for their friends to play.

KS2 were game makers creating a variety of games using Scratch. The highlight of this fantastic week was the brilliant Nao humanoid robot workshops where children were able to use the Choregraphe software to give Nao step by step instructions to carry out a number of actions. They were amazed to see the range of human like actions it could do, including dancing to Thriller, Gangnam style and Tai Chi.

KS1 listened to Nao telling them a Christmas story before one child took Nao called Harry for a walk in ‘Follow Me’. All the children were thrilled including Mr Libson, Mr Newton and Ms V who facilitated the workshops together with Joanne and Charly from Active8/Aldebaran creators of the humanoid robots.

To continue to support the work we are doing in school with coding, please do download any of the free coding apps for either your Apple IOS, Android or Windows systems and have a go at coding with your children.

Apple IOS: Lightbot Hour of Code 14, A.L.E.X, Scratch Jr, Daisy the Dinosaur, Tynker, Lego: Fix the Factory

Android: A.L.E.X, Lightbot Hour of Code 14, Lego: Fix the Factory

Windows: Turtle for Kids, Tynker, Scratch (


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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Hour of Code


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