Encouraging logical thinking
Exeter Junior School pupils took part in the BEBRAS Challenge – a national competition in computational thinking, sponsored by Google and the University of Oxford – in November.
All questions involved problem solving and although linked to the Computer Science curriculum, they were problems that are designed to encourage logical thinking, analysing and evaluating so relevant to many other areas of the curriculum. From Form One to Lower Two, all pupils took part in small teams of up to 4 members.
However, in the Junior age group (aged 10-12) pupils had to complete the challenge independently. Those working in teams enjoyed discussing the problems with their peers and became confident in developing their problem solving skills together.
Computer Science Coordinator Mrs Morgan said: “The pupils enjoyed the experience and we will certainly be aiming to complete the challenge again next year, with the added benefit that our pupils will be more familiar with what the challenge entails.”
The results showed that our average score was above the national average in the age categories for both the youngest age group (Form 1) and the oldest age group that we entered (Upper Two) which we are particularly proud of at our first attempt in the competition.
We would also like to congratulate Upper Two pupils, Oliver and Phoebe, who individually sat the challenge and finished joint top of Upper Two, receiving the ‘Best in School’ award for their age group. The pair just missed out on the next round – the TCS Oxford Computing Challenge – by just 5 marks but this is an exciting target for them to aim for next year. This was particularly impressive as their age group consisted of both Upper Two and Third Form pupils.
In Form One, our winning team was made up of Kate, Alice and Berenice. They received the ‘Best in School’ award for their age category. The next age group consisted of both Upper One and Lower Two competing for the title of ‘Best in School’ in the 8-10 age category. This accolade went to Lower Two pupils, George and William, with Daisy, Catherine and Katie receiving the highest score in Upper One.
“For any pupils who particularly enjoyed the competition and would like to get in some early practice for next year, there are plenty of challenges to attempt on the BEBRAS website and an app to download,” said Mrs Morgan.
“Overall taking part was a valuable experience and we look forward to participating again next year.”