Students from the region took part in an IET FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament hosted by South Shields Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday 7th December. The tournament was the culmination of weeks of preparation, where students have worked in teams to design, build and programme a robot, and create an innovative solution to a real world problem. There are 45 IET FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments taking place across the UK and Ireland. These are fun and exciting events where the teams have to put their robot through its paces, and communicate their ideas, sharing what they have learnt with a team of judges.

In the 2017 FIRST®LEGO® League HYDRO DYNAMICSSM  Challenge– students age 9 to 16  learnt all about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. They will have to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication, as well as needing to demonstrate the FIRST® LEGO® League core values, which include respect and friendly competition.

Seven teams from South Tyneside and neighbouring areas took part on the day.    All the team members showed a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm for the projects they had worked on.  Many of the students made new friends, and all had a wonderful day.  Hebburn Savages from Hebburn Lakes Primary certainly enjoyed meeting new animal friends when they went to visit the snakes and spiders in the museum’s collection!

The event concluded with a nail biting robot game final between EC3 Bricks and Acer Lego Legends.  Acer Lego Legends hung on to their 5 point lead and carried away the trophy for Robot Game.  Other awards went to:

Mortimer Primary School – Mortimer Master Builders – Project Presentation Award

Harton Primary School – Harton Puzzlers – Core Values Award

Emmanuel College – EC3 Bricks – Robot Design Award

Oakwood  – Oakwood Eagles – Judges Special Award for All Round Excellence

There can only be one overall winner,  the team representing South Tyneside at the UK and Ireland Final in February in Bristol are St Grego’s Lego from St Gregory’s Primary School.  The team scored highly in all areas of the competition, and we wish them all the best.  They will now be working hard to raise the funds necessary to get them to the national finals.

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Mandy Workman, FIRST® LEGO® League IET Education Manager, said: “Students who take part in FIRST® LEGO® League this year will experience engineering in action. The programme brings enjoyment to STEM subjects as the students get hands-on experience with robotics, and designing innovative solutions. Developing computer programming, teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills has never been so much fun!

It’s a fact that the need for engineers has never been greater. The IET supports FIRST® LEGO® League, because it equips young people with the skills that they need to become future innovators and engineers. FIRST® LEGO® League is the world’s largest STEM competition with 32,000 teams in more than 80 countries and the IET are proud to be the operational partners for the programme in the UK and Ireland.

Winning teams from each regional tournament will take part in the UK and Ireland Final at the University of West of England (UWE) in February 2018. The top achieving teams at this final get the opportunity to represent their country and the IET on a  global stage, competing at International Championships in Hungary, Estonia and the USA  in 2018.”

FIRST® LEGO® League is part of a wider IET education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

For more information about this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League competition, please visit

Many thanks to Diane Gray and Ben Hudson from Community Arts Project North East – CAP NE for creating a video of our event which can be found here.


Code Club Christmas Meetup

Code Club are holding their Christmas meetup in Sunderland and teaming up with RTC North. If you are a teacher, an educator, a Code Club host or volunteer, or someone interested in getting involved with Code Club, then this event is for you!

This meetup will be a fun, friendly, informal space where you can meet like-minded members of the Code Club community, talk all things Code Club, and hear the latest updates about how Code Club are helping kids all over the North East to get coding.

If you’re new to Code Club or thinking about volunteering, this is also a great place to get started.

The event will include talks, demonstrations, and a chance to get hands-on with some digital making activities.

Confirmed speakers and demos so far are:

  • Anna Pearson -— Regional Coordinator (Code Club UK/Raspberry Pi Foundation)
  • Jonathan Sanderson — Digital Engagement and Making Specialist (NUSTEM)
  • Karen Marshall — Apprentice, Education and Engagement Lead (Accenture)
  • Lyndsey Britton — Founder, Tech for Life
  • Marty Edwards – Director, Learn It Compute It
  • Nick Cook – Senior Lecturer CAS/Newcastle University

The talks are a great opportunity to learn more about the North East tech community and about how individuals and organisations are engaging with young people and bridging the digital skills gap.

So come by, grab some complimentary mulled wine and a mince pie, and join the conversation!

Discovery Day

Just a reminder of this exciting course we are running in January 2018.

Places are filling up

To book


Join us on the high seas for a pirate themed journey around creative literacy and immersive educational technology.

Our next Day of Discovery will be an imaginative day of workshops and activities designed to motivate and enthuse your reluctant readers and writers. We will give you the digital tools and strategies necessary to create amazing lessons that will help raise pupil attainment.

And of course you can also take a tour around the spectacular ‘Shiver me Timbers’ exhibition for even more writing inspiration! So let’s welcome you aboard and register your place today before it’s too late.

Recommended for primary school literacy co-ordinators, computing co-ordinators, teachers, teaching assistants & support staff.

Speakers confirmed

  • Anne Curtis – Author, Illustrator and Education Consultant
  • Kirsten Scott – Educational Specialist
  • Anna Hawkins – South Tyneside Literacy Advisor
  • James Massey – Head of Professional Development at Discovery Education
  • Chris Nash – Head of Community at Discovery Education
  • Mike Hamilton – Strategic ICT Manager – South Tyneside

Sessions highlights

  • Keynote: Using onscreen and physical experiences to extend language for writing
  • A treasure chest of pirate poems
  • 21st Century Skills: A spotlight on strategies for incorporating a range of multimedia
    Exploring the use of video, imagery, audio and digital text in the classroom. Participants will experience a range of proven, highly engaging activities to support interactive teaching and learning strategies which are adaptable and easy to implement across different subjects.
  • Immersive story telling technologies
    StoryWorld is a magical world of fun, fantasy and adventure! Through an immersive and unique storytelling experience incorporating stunning backdrop projections and sound effects, participants will experience different strategies that inspire pupils’ writing using multiple technologies.
  • Moving pupils from digital consumers to creators
    Within this fully kitted out TV studio, participants can have fun exploring technologies that can transform teaching and learning. This session models ideas around green screen and video editing. There will be lots of transferable ideas for the classroom.
  • The world is your classroom! AR and VR learning experiences
    Some technologies enhance what we do in education and then, every now and again, they redefine what we do. This session looks at the exciting prospects of Augmented and Virtual Reality and how they have the potential to shake up everyday teaching practice.

More sessions to be added, reserve your FREE seat today!

What’s a Day of Discovery?

A Day of Discovery is a professional learning experience focused on three simple but important goals: learn, share, connect.

Brought to you by the Discovery Education Community, these full-day professional learning events help teachers and support staff learn more about great classroom practice utilising digital content and tools, provide opportunities for participants to share strategies that are working, and connect attendees to their most valuable resource: each other.

For more information about Discovery Education’s services and resources, visit

Good to Outstanding with IPad

OpenZone@TheWord are hosting this really useful course run by Jigsaw

Good To Outstanding With The iPad
Tuesday 28th November
45 Market Place,
South Shields
NE33 1JF

£75 (£90 inc VAT)

Click here to find out more and register for the course:

Hour of Code 2017

We are huge fans of the resources available on and are excited to see what new things they come up with for this year’s Hour of Code.

In recent years, we have been particularly impressed with the Star Wars themed activities and find that children really enjoy controlling BB-8.

There are two Minecraft units; Minecraft Adventurer is designed for beginners and Minecraft Designer is slightly more advanced.

Most of the Hour of Code activities use Block based programming but you can also use Java if you prefer to do text programming.

The programming is similar to scratch and as students work through the unit they are supported by help videos and explanations of new blocks.

If you have not used the materials before, don’t worry! It is very straight forward to get started and you can get working straight away without the need to sign in. Please note all resources are FREE!!

This year’s event runs from 4 -10th December. 

” In 6 weeks, we will kick off the largest learning event in history … for the fifth time. December 4-10th, during Computer Science Education Week, tens of millions of students will gather all around the world to participate in the annual Hour of Code. For many, it will be their first introduction to computer science, but for others, it has become an annual celebration of computer science and the movement to expand opportunity.
Join us and sign up your classroom today for the Hour of Code!”

” If computer science isn’t offered at your school, the Hour of Code is a great way to build excitement and support to start a new program.

And schools already offering computer science find the Hour of Code an ideal way to celebrate CS Education Week, raise awareness of their programs, recruit students into courses, and explore expansion. There are one-hour activities for both beginners and experienced coders. Consider reaching beyond your classroom this week. Host a school assembly, a parent’s coding night, or an activity in your community.

Get started with our easy how-to guide. You can even do an Hour of Code without computers or an internet connection!

12 Free Posters! As a special thank you, we’re giving one free set of 12 inspirational posters to teachers hosting an Hour of Code while supplies last (shipping not included). You’ll receive a discount code to use in our online store after you sign up.

And, we’ve upgraded our servers. As always, you don’t need to create accounts or log in to participate in the Hour of Code. But, if you want to, and many other partners support classroom management throughout the Hour of Code. In the past, we disabled this because we weren’t prepared for so many users. This year, we’re prepared. Teachers can set up a classroom, assign a activity, and track student progress in their dashboard. You can also continue to use our other courses such as CS Fundamentals and save progress throughout the week.

Spread the word. Technology is changing every industry on the planet, and computer science has become relevant to a wide range of careers—even those outside technology and engineering. For millions of students, the Hour of Code will be an inspiring introduction to crucial 21st century skills. Help us reach even more people by forwarding this email to another teacher. Or forward it to a principal to get your whole school on board! “