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October 4th 2017

Spotlight on Computer Science

How long have you been teaching Computer Science at Blackheath High?

I arrived at Blackheath High in 2013 to teach Computing throughout the school and our department has since evolved into Computer Science, which is taught through Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

Can you tell me about your background?

After graduating, I did a year’s Overseas Experience Placement based in Nairobi, Kenya. When I returned, I was an IT Consultant for 18 months, then moved on to work for UBS as a middleware support analyst. Most recently, I worked at Morgan Stanley, providing first line support for IT on the Fixed Income and Equities trading floors. I’ve lived and worked in many environments and bring a wealth of experience into the classroom.

What is covered in Computer Science?

From Year 7, students learn programming concepts and practise them with Scratch, Swift and Small Basic, moving on to HTML and Python. We learn about the brains of any computer, the Central Processing Unit, memory and storage devices, as well as networks and the only language a computer understands, binary.

GCSE students are currently learning theory and practising for their programming project, whereas A-level students have started their projects, having interviewed their clients.

Is there a particular aspect of the course that students tend to enjoy?

Some students enjoy programming the most – creating something amazing, starting with nothing and letting their imaginations become reality. Other students enjoy creating apps – again making their ideas into real-life apps which can be run on their phones and tablets.

What are the benefits of Computer Science?

Technology and IT are the only industries which are growing, and in which there are loads of jobs! There are many careers in Computer Science and much money to be made. Being able to program the phones, tablets and devices we use every day is a brilliant skill and understanding technology will help you in whatever career you decide to embark on.

What is unique about Computer Science at Blackheath High?

Mr Nott and I are an experienced, friendly department and we are always there to help and support our students. They get a really personalised learning experience with us. I am a specialist teacher (my degree is in Computing from Loughborough University) and I know what it’s like to work in IT and for global investment banks so students benefit from me knowing what skills, knowledge and understanding they need to thrive in that business. I have worked as a Consultant and supported traders making millions of pounds in a matter of hours.

I know what it’s like to work for a successful global company and am passionate about enabling young women to get into this exciting industry.


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