We are pleased to announce that our S1 pupils have won a prize in a national competition. It was a “Marchenhaftes Theater” competition run by the Goethe Institut about Grimms fairy tales. The pupils worked in German, ICT and Art to create a script, storyboard and artwork, record the narration, scan in the artwork and finally create animated scenes in a computer animation program called Scratch.
The pupils have won a special prize for animated adaption of a fairy tale. The judges said it was “an exceptional example of creative and linguistic achievement”
Hopefully some of the pupils will be going to the Goethe Institut on Thursday 16th May to see the “Marchenwelten” exhibition and to collect their prize…. We don’t know what the prize is yet!
The City of Edinburgh Council recently consulted, under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, on a proposal to close Castlebrae Community High School from the end of the 2012/13 school year and make changes to the local non-denominational secondary school catchment areas.
Following consideration of the issues raised, a consultation report has been prepared and published (published on 21 February 2013). The Consultation Report will be considered by Elected Members at the meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council on 14 March 2013.
Reference copies of the Consultation Outcome Report are available in Craigmillar Library, Portobello Library and Newington Library as well as at the City of Edinburgh Council Reception Desk at Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh. You may also telephone 0131 469 3161 if you would like to request a hard copy.
Our Digital Media Computing students started learning how to programme and create animations using Adobe Flash. They have made some winter animations and Christmas e-cards using some of their new skills.
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CCHS are delighted and extremely honoured to welcome Sandy Nairne, the Director of The National Portrait Gallery in London, when he visits our school as a guest speaker courtesy of the ‘Speakers for Schools’ programme, when he comes to our school in November.
“ ’Speakers for Schools’ bring enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and authoritative speakers who are leaders in their respective fields into state secondary schools and colleges, free of charge.
Sandy Nairne is currently Director of the National Portrait Gallery. He was Director of Programmes at Tate for eight years, and has worked previously as Assistant Director, Museum of Modern Art, in Oxford”
Last year six pupils gained a National Certificate in Digital Media Computing (DMC) at Higher Level and many more pupils gained the qualification at Intermediate 2 level and this year many of them are back for more! The NC is a qualification usually taught in further education colleges but Castlebrae is one of only eight schools in Scotland (and the only school in Edinburgh) to offer this qualification. Thanks to the flexibility of options offered by the SQA, pupils who have chosen to study DMC this year will be able to learn about how to develop web sites and will hopefully gain a National Progress Award in Web Design Fundamentals.
This year a very popular option has been to work towards the National Certificate in Computer Games Development, a new college level qualification. In fact, almost 50% of the new third years have chosen this course! Although many schools in Scotland now offer the smaller National Progress Awards in Computer Games Development, no other school in Scotland has ever presented pupils for the National Certificate which is a twelve unit qualification. Pupils are learning about gameplay, narrative, character creation, sound design, interface design and animation skills. These are all skills highly sought by the many computer games companies in the country.
These qualifications, like many of the vocational qualifications studied and gained by pupils in the school, do not have exams. Unfortunately this means they do not contribute to the statistics gathered every year about achievement levels of our school. However, there are huge benefits for pupils who are able to spend more time learning and developing new skills and adding to their portfolio of work as well as the obvious benefits of gaining a college level qualification that lets them get direct entry into an HNC or HND course.
If you’d like to find out what the pupils are working on at the moment you can visit DigitalMediaComputing.org.uk. We also hope to showcase some of the games the pupils have developed on our new school website.
Teaching staff in the Digital Media Computing department were fortunate to be asked to speak at the Scottish Learning Festival this year. Mr Hendry and Ms Farrell talked to 100 educators from all over Scotland about the interdisciplinary ICT and Computing projects that have been running in Castlebrae.
Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Microsoft have been running a trial with schools in the south of England….and Castlebrae!
Thanks to the work the Digital Media Computing department are doing, Dr Sue Sentence chose Castlebrae as one of the schools they wanted to work with to test cool new electronics kits.
.NET Gadgeteer is a kit of electronics pieces that all plug together to make devices such as digital cameras. There are buttons, sensors, a touchscreen display, a camera, a joystick and more. The S3 pupils studying Digital Media Computing in the school have been using the kits to make their own digital cameras, stopwatches and touchscreen games.
The pupils select the pieces they need, connect them together with cables, then they have to tell the computer which bits they are using and write a program to tell the computer what to do when buttons are pressed or the joystick is moved.
The pupils have found it interesting to use the kits and have really enjoyed using them. One of the pupils, Rebecca Milligan, said that she now realises how much work goes into making something like a digital camera.
The pupils made one last device – their entry into a competition with the other trial schools. Their entry was second and won the school a Gadgeteer kit and £150 of equipment to use with the kit.