Trailblazing Islington students descend on Emirates Stadium for celebration of computing

Ashmount Primary School students at an annual computing event held in The Emirates Stadium. Credit:

Ashmount Primary School students at an annual computing event held in The Emirates Stadium. Credit: Steve Bainbridge - Credit: Steve Bainbridge

Trailblazing students from Islington descended on the Emirates Stadium to get grips with the latest in computer science.

The fifth annual Celebration of Computing, the UK’s largest education technology showcase, was a chance for more than 400 pupils from 30 schools to show what they’ve created with programmable micro-computers.

Every secondary school in the borough, as well as many primaries, have received “micro:bit” computers – devices used by students to write software for computers – through their after-school coding clubs.

At the home of Arsenal FC on Friday morning, students presented creations including programmed drones, hand-built robots, 3D printing technology and news packages filmed and edited on iPads.

There was also a variety of stalls manned by brands including BBC, Google, Microsoft, Lego and BT.

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington’s education chief, said: “This is the best Celebration of Computing event we have had yet. As the teachers’ confidence has grown, so have the amazing things the kids are doing.

“Our aim is to equip young people with the skills to create, not just consume, and be digitally confident in tomorrow’s world, inventing and exploring coding and the possibilities of technology.

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“With great ideas and achievements like these, our pupils will be among the best-equipped in the country for the sort of tech-native jobs that don’t even exist yet.”

Miles Berry, principal lecturer in computing at Roehampton University, was also at the event to see the projects and speak to the young tech stars.

He said: “It’s fabulous to see what one borough can do when young people are given the time to learn computing and teachers are given the support and resources to teach it with both confidence and success.

“This is the year this has flipped from ‘come and see what the products are’ to ‘this is what we have done with the products’, and that is so inspiring.

“I have been going around asking difficult questions of these children, and they have a deep understanding of what’s going on.”