Saint Mary’s College opened its doors in 1959 on its original site in the Creggan area of Derry. For fifty years it served the parish, parents and pupils of Derry from this site. It attracted pupils from a wide catchment area that embraced most of the city. In 2010 St Mary’s celebrated its Golden Anniversary and it moved to its new hi-tech campus at the heart of the Digital Corridor on the Northland Road. Pupils now have access to state of the art facilities and vibrant learning spaces.
Saint Mary’s College has been selected to take part in an award-winning national programme, Digital School House, powered by PlayStation®. This exciting programme offers support to teachers in delivering the computing curriculum. Saint Mary’s College is the Digital Schoolhouse hub for the Northwest and we are inviting all of the local primary schools to come along for a free computing training and computational thinking workshop.
This innovative and exciting new programme will take place every Friday morning. Primary Schools can book a fun and informative training workshop. Throughout the session they will learn about various elements of computing through play-based learning techniques.
Mrs Rice explains what primary schools attending the training day can expect to learn: “The workshops are filled with fun, unplugged activities that develop pupils’ higher order thinking skills and creativity. They really make computing seem effortless and made coding fun.”
“For one part of the session, we plan on teaching programming through various activities including dance! The activities will highlight the importance of precision and logic in sequencing instructions. Key computational thinking skills such as algorithmic thinking, abstraction and decomposition are also covered here – but in a fun, creative and hands-on way! We want teachers and pupils to leave us with a sense of having gained some really useful computing skills, and more importantly, skills they can implement when they’re back in their classrooms.”
The Digital Schoolhouse programme is delivered by the UK games industry trade body Ukie. The programme was originally funded by the Mayor of London’s London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF). The programme is powered by PlayStation® and sponsored by Sega, Ubisoft and Warwickshire Council. The programme is now UK wide with St Mary’s College being one of only five schools in Northern Ireland and the only one in the Northwest to become a Digital Schoolhouse hub.