Tag Archives: robotics

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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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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Visitors from Bihar, India

Today Oakington had the pleasure of hosting a delegation of dignitaries from the State of Bihar in Eastern India. They were here to look at inspirational leadership and outstanding teaching in England. They were also keen to look at how we improve our schools and how we support our teachers. Bihar is a very large state and although they have achieved a huge amount in getting most of the children in the State into school, they now need to focus on getting the  best people into teaching and the best teachers into school leadership.

They were greeted in the morning by our schools councillors who were keen to show off their school. This was followed by a meeting with Mrs Libson (OBE) to answer some of the questions about the running of Oakington, development of ICT, preparation for SATs in Year 6 and an informal chat with a number of subject and year group leaders.They were keen to know more about how Mrs Libson (OBE) as a head manages performance and underperformance and  also to understand teachers are held to account. They were also keen to know how subject and year group leaders are held to account and the role of the governing body.  The CfBT had already done a session with them on head teacher and teacher standards / OFSTED / models of peer review / self improving school systems.

They went on a tour of the school, visiting many classes including our fantastic multimedia studio where Ms Vanderpuye was conducting a robotics lesson with 3HA. The delegation were impressed initially by the media team who were ready to with their cameras and camcorders to record and photograph our guests in 2D and 3D.  They watched the introduction to the lesson conducted by one of the Nao robots, RedCurrant, teaching the class how to do yoga to relax them before starting their highly concentrated lesson. The ‘Coding Champions’ further demonstrated some of the robot pre-programmed actions before they themselves used the Choregraphe software to program, RedCandy, Bluey and RedCurrant. The visitors went to see another class before returning to watch a short video on plants and leaves in 3D.

They were so impressed by the work of both Oakington Manor and Furness Primary School – they found Ms Libsons leadership inspiring and they observed the wonderful work the staff do for the children and the high expectations they have of them in both schools. It was a memorable visit for them. They told Mrs Libson (OBE), “You have contributed to giving the children of Bihar a better education”.


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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Visitors


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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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Back to the Future- Robotics

Our long history of doing Control Technology project continues as we go ‘back to the future’. Memories of Lego Technic cities in the early 90s, controlled using COCO software  are no longer distant memories. In more recent years our pilot of the Lego Next Generation Robots in 2006 saw our children creating ‘Mindstorms’ procedures to control the NXT to play golf.All fascinating stuff!nxtani

In one year 5 control technology lesson using Flowol2, several boys and girls in particular showed a real aptitude for the concepts behind control technology, writing procedures and subroutines. This led to the desire to revive our once specialism by going back to the future with the Lego Wedo and NXT robots in our lunchtime Robotics club.

A brilliant group of boys and girls attend the sessions twice a week. Their first session was full of excitement and thirst for making their models.Some club rules had to be set before everyone got started on making their ‘Dancing Birds’ models as their first challenge.

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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Technology


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