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Computing at School Competitions A Sixth Form Perspective Simon Humphreys Hills Road Sixth Form College Cambridge.

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Presentation on theme: "Computing at School Competitions A Sixth Form Perspective Simon Humphreys Hills Road Sixth Form College Cambridge."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computing at School Competitions A Sixth Form Perspective Simon Humphreys Hills Road Sixth Form College Cambridge

2 Hills Road SFC Academic sixth form... 5 As 2 Bs to get in (!) Department (from 2009) of 1 full-time (natural sciences), 1 part-time (computing (music)) Approx. 70 students (declining due to entry requirements) 35-45% to university to study computing Others: Maths, Engineering Computing students at lower end of academic profile

3 What we do Every year Cipher Challenge British Informatics Olympiad Occasional (not always entered) Brain Academy try2hack

4 Cipher Challenge Ciphers released every fortnight (approx.) Students in teams solve and post plaintext Score points according to how quickly they are solved Prizes! Some small during the course of the competition as well as final prizes to the best accumulated scores

5 Why we/they like it Problem solving Gender Neutral Team work Different skills are used within the team Several Computing students use programming to assist, some used it as a basis for A Level project work.

6 Successful? Undoubtedly. Top team from HRSFC was 4=, then 10= Students are highly motivated Opportunity to link with Maths department Other interested staff get involved So much more inspiring than the conventional A Level project!

7 British Informatics Olympiad Timed programming competition 3 problems to solve in 3 hours Hard... very hard (esp Q3) Maths is essential (again) Ability to see potential algorithms very quickly Need prior experience of implementing these

8 BIO -Why we like it Open to all, mainly Computing and maths students Challenges the most able Black-box marking/assessment Extra-curricular computing Again, involve other staff Have used Cambridge university mentors

9 BIO - Successful? Yes Encourage all comers, esp those in L6 who start course with some prior programming The mathematicians who have some programming can do really well. Not the other way around 2 students in the national team this year

10 Principles? Problem-solving Group-work Assess the end result Progression – the next level... Cross-curricular They may need to if teacher lacks skill Scaled

11 Computing at School For info: Pass the conference registration form on!!


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