Banbury primary school’s computing club given donation

Ray Avery, managing director of Bloxham Mill, pictured with pupils from Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury. NNL-151023-124643001
Ray Avery, managing director of Bloxham Mill, pictured with pupils from Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury. NNL-151023-124643001

Pupils at Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury have had their Computing Club’s facilities bolstered by a donation from Bloxham Mill.

Following a visit to the school on Rotary Way and a meeting with the young computer programmers, Ray Avery, managing director of Bloxham Mill, did not hesitate to donate the units at a cost of £25 each.

Helen Griffiths, ICT lead at the school, said: “We’re so grateful to Ray for this wonderful donation. The new Sense HATs are add-on boards for our existing Raspberry Pi computers and give an extra dimension to our project. Made especially for the Astro Pi mission, the Sense HATs are going to the International Space Station in December 2015.

“So, not only will our children be learning how computers work from the inside out, they’ll also have a chance to be part of a project being worked on in space.”

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to programme in languages like “Scratch” and “Python” and enables internet browsing, making spreadsheets, word-processing and game-playing.

The Sense HATs are circuit boards which contain a number of sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, movement and pressure and are designed to link up with the low-cost Raspberry Pi.

The boards allow users to design experiments which use these sensors and can even be used to make robots. Because of this, the components offer a significant increase in the number of options available to budding programmers.

Mr Avery added: “When Helen wrote to me explaining how the school wanted to purchase more computing equipment to help their children learn to programme and develop their creative instincts, I didn’t hesitate. It’s a pleasure to be part of laying the foundations for learning which could, ultimately, grow business talent of the future.”