An astronomically busy Autumn Term … the return of Playground Computing

It has been an extraordinary few months here at Playground Computing; so busy in fact, updating our website has taken a little bit of a back seat!

During the end of the Summer term we have been able to secure funding by the National Science Academy through the Welsh Government to continue to deliver Computer Science based Primary workshop across South Wales until March 2018. When this was announced to schools we had an astronomically response with over 55 schools requesting workshops!

We have been visiting a minimum of one Primary school a week over the Autumn term and have received a great response for those pupils and teachers who have been involved! In the New Year we will be updating our resources and providing additional information about the workshops that we’re offering.

If you are interested in booking a workshop with Playground Computing please contact for more information.

The Playground Computing Team


Workshops and goodbyes

It seems Santa isn’t the only one busy at this time of the year!

We have been out and about none stop around South Wales. Severn Primary in Cardiff, St Michaels and Ynysfach primary schools got the chance to open up a computer and learn about the different types of hardware and what each pieces does. We also looked at binary and how it is used.

Wallie dress up for Christmas down to Dan Y Graig Swansea as we ran 4 sessions over 2 days. Everyone loved Wallie, and learning about robots.

Tomorrow Wallie and I are in Aberdare visiting a class, and with a heavy heart I can confirm, it will be our last school, for the time being.

There was once a vision of delivering workshops to primary schools about computer science. The aim was the engage children to plant the seed of computational thinking so they were given the roots to grown into the next generation of computer scientists.

Thanks to NESTA, they awarded us funding which helped us make the vision into a reality.  We have engaged will well over 1,000 children since day one and have created 3 different workshops covering a variety of computer science aspects including, hardware, binary, robotics and understand how to write code.

We have had a massive response with positive feedback from teachers, pupils and educators who have praised us for the work we have done.

As of December the 31st, our current funding will come to an end and therefore we are unable to take any more bookings or offer any more workshops.

To all those who have been involved with Playground Computing, I would like to take this opportunity thank your pupils and your staff for welcoming us into your school with open arms and getting involved with our project.  We hope staff and pupils are now more inspired to take on the challenge of computer science and we hope we have helped give you some ideas in how to incorporate this exciting topic into your classrooms.

We have had an amazing time working with schools and we cannot say thank you enough to the schools, pupils and staff you have made our job worthwhile and fun!

Thank you for everything.

Sarah Lewis and Bethan Evans

Full steam ahead!

We have been out non stop delivering workshops since I last blogged. On Monday the 17th November I was back in Pontyclun for my third and final day at Pontyclun primary school – everyone loved Wallie and loved learning about the different things he does!

On the 19th of November we were packed up and headed to Llandovery Prep School where we met the year 6, year 5 and year 4 class who got a chance to see what Wallie can do, and also discussed different types of robots we have seen on TV and in films.

On the 20th and 21st we were in Peter Lea Primary school who really enjoyed navigating Wallie through the maze and got a chance to see what it’s like to program a robot! The school are really lucky to have their own kits and hopefully Wallie and I have inspired them to have a go for themselves!

On the 25th I was in Tondu primary school running the “How computers work” workshop, everyone got a chance to see what it looked like inside a computer as they tried to figure out how the different pieces of hardware link together!

On the 26th we were travelled out to Cadoxton primary school in Barry to meet the year 5 and 6 classes and the year 4 class even had a quick peep at Wallie and how he detects colours.

On the 27th and 28th we did a marathon day at Glyncollen Primary School, one day of robotics and one day of “how computers work”. over two days they got the chance to see two very different aspects of Computer Science.

Today, the 2nd December I have been out to Penclawdd primary in Swansea who were able to see what it looks like inside a computer and were surprised how easy it was, as soon as they knew how!

We are now fully booked until the end of December and are unable to take any more bookings at the present time. However, please e-mail for more information about how Playground Computing can help introduce computing into your classroom.

End of a busy week!

It has been a very busy week going to Pontyclun and Brackla, but the action hasn’t stopped yet!

Today, Wallie dress up to match the children at Pontyclun as they did their bit of Children in Need! Wallie was sporting his very own Pudsey eye patch so he needed the children more than ever to him his precise instructions to get around the maze!

Wallie has the weekend to charge up his batteries before we are back on the road to Pontyclun Monday and all the very excited schools he will be at next week as well!

An action packed week!

It has been an action packed week this week!

On Monday we headed into Cardiff to visit Severn Primary who thoroughly enjoyed seeing Wallie and everything he does! They worked really hard getting Wallie through the maze and loved watching him head around the track!

On Tuesday we were with Brackla Primary School with the robots and again worked very hard getting Wallie around the maze and worked very well in their teams as they had a go at Fix the Factory!

Yesterday, we had a very busy day on Pontyclun primary school where the pupils saw Wallie and learned how robots use sensors, and why it’s important they have them!

Today, I’m spending the afternoon with Brackla Primary School doing the How Computers Work workshop where will be exploring different parts of hardware and the different jobs their have!

Tomorrow and Monday I am back in Pontyclun with Wallie in tow as we visit the other classes so they too can gain some robotic experience! It is also Children In Need so we may need to dress up for the occasion!
Next week we have a very busy week as well!

October/November update

Hope everyone had a great half term. Time is flying by and we are now on the count down to Christmas!

On Wednesday the 29th of October we were invited to a NESTA event held in the Houses of Parliament, London. We had a great time meeting lots of people who are all trying to make people aware of technology and where we can find it and some very creative ways showing us how we can use it. The pupils from Sir Thomas Picton attracted most people to us as they showed off their robot called “The Bird” which was the 2014 winning robot at the Technocamps robotics competition.

After London, Playground Computing teamed up with Glynn Vivian and ran a spooky robotics workshop at the YMCA, Swansea on the 31st. We had great fun learning about binary, navigate each other through a maze, and working in groups and making a track for TechnoWallie to go around.

On the 3rd of November we launched our NEW “How Computers Work” workshop which involved looking at how all the pieces of hardware found inside a computer link together and works. We also had great fun working out how we can send messages in binary using pingpong balls and what happens if our messages are ever changed or intercepted. It was a great start to the workshop with a few needed tweaks we are ready to roll with it!

The 4th of November was an extremely busy day! TechnoWallie and I set off to spend the morning with year 6 at Cwmglas primary school as they got the chance to see TechnoWallie and gain a chance to understand what it’s like to program a robot.  Then we made had to make a swift journey to Celtic Manor as we were part of the Digital Tuesday, we had lots of people showing great interested in Technocamps and were amazed by what we have achieved!

We headed back to Cwmglas on Wednesday the 5th to run robotic sessions for the year 5 and the other year 6 classes. They had a wonderful time and TechnoWallie really enjoyed the day!

Yesterday we were in Pil Primary in Bridgend visiting year 5 and 6 who designed their own robots, had a go at “Fix the Factory” on the iPads and were introduced to some of the things TechnoWallie can do!

This morning I was with year 6 at Glyncollen who got the chance to have a go at the new workshop and really enjoyed learning about different parts of the computer and see how everything connects together.

TechnoWallie has a nice relaxing weekend before heading out to Severn Primary on Monday!

And the first half term is over!

Time has flown since September. My last school of the half term was back In Tondu Primary with the year 3 and 4 pupils.

We had great fun navigating TechnoWall-E around the maze and seeing him using his colour sensor to detect different colours. The pupils were very enthusiastic about robotics and shared their ideas on what they thought would be their ideal robot!

We definitely saw some potential robotic experts of the future!

We hope everyone enjoys their half term – TechnoWall-E is spending the week charging his batteries ready for a very busy, but extremely exciting November!

A flying start to the term

Well. We have lots to tell you so hope you’re sitting comfortably!


On September the 10th and 11th we were in St Josephs with the robots! We trialled a new activity with the iPads called “Fix the factory” – the pupils were completing the levels quicker than me! It taught them the need for precise instructions and on the harder levels it taught them the importance of building up the code step by step which something we put into practise as a class with getting TechnoWall-E around the maze and using TechnoPups sensors.



We were then down in St Michaels on the 17th and 18th with TechnoWall-E and TechnoPup in tow where we learnt about if statements and saw some very scary zombies walking around the hall and a very groovy robot disco!  This was sadly Beth’s last session before she officially handed TechnoWall-E over to me. The pupils were awesome and really engaged with the robots – it was a lovely end to a fantastic year for Beth.


On the 29th of September TechnoWall-E and I were out visiting year 6 in Glyncollen, Swansea. The children really loved TechnoWall-E. We crashed him into the maze, but luckily they were on task and TechnoWall-E was programmed through the maze in no time and made it out in one piece!

Before we knew it, we were in October and out on the 2nd back in Glyncollen doing the unplugged session with a very excited year 5! We learnt about binary, and the importance of giving precise instructions by blindfolding half the class whilst the others programmed their partner to move around the maze. What they have learnt in this workshop will be put into practice later in November when TechnoWall-E and I go back.


On the 3rd we were in Pentre’r Graig with year 6 who loved working with TechnoWall-E and TechnoPup made a very quick appearance. The pupils worked hard in teams deciding the best way to get TechnoWall-E through the maze. Both classes got him through the maze in record time.


On the 6th I was out in Whitestone Primary. TechnoWall-E loved showing off all the different things he can do like using his colour sensor to get around a track! TechnoWall-E made a few mistakes trying to find the different colours but we had a great discussion about why this might me. TechnoWall-E was also thrilled to hear Whitestone were looking into getting their very own TechnoWall-E!


On the 8th TechnoWall-E was out on show in Bryncethin Primar for year 5 and 6. They loved learning all about how we program TechnoWall-E to move and how he uses his sensors. They managed to build a very complicated track for TechnoWall-E to go around which he managed to go around in one go!


On the 9th TechnoWall-E and TechnoPup were introduced to year 5 and 6 Tondu Primary School pupils who worked really hard to get TechnoWall-E through the maze. They spent time becoming robots themselves as they learnt about loops and if statements.


On the 13th TechnoWall-E, TechnoPup and myself started our 6 day workshop marathon in Cwmclydach primary school with year 6 and year 5. The pupils loved working with TechnoWall-E who taught them how robots work and what you need to do to make them move! TechnoWall-E was really pleased to hear the school have invested in the LEGO Mindstorm NXT sets and had them up and running doing some amazing things!

On the 14th we were in Penclawdd primary, the pupils were masters of Fix the Factory app which made them experts at robotics by the time we were ready to program TechnoWall-E through the maze. TechnoWall-E and I saw some lovely Swansea views on our way and way back. We are heading back in December so we much remember to take our camera!

On the 15th we were out in Pen Y Fro primary school with year 5 and 6 who spent their time being very precise with their instructions to TechnoWall-E. Their persistence paid off as they cheered TechnoWall-E through the maze!


On the 16th we travelled up to Seaview primary in Swansea where TechnoWall-E got the chance to teach year 6 and year 3 all about the world of robotics. Year 6 learnt all about sensors and why it’s important for our robots to have them. TechnoWall-E had the year 3 pupils getting him through the maze!



On the 17th we took a day trip to Ynysfach primary school in Neath. TechnoWall-E spent the day showing the pupils everything robots can do. He showed them that it’s not always easy to program robots, but once the pupils were used to how TechnoWall-E moved they got him flying through the maze!


On the 18th TechnoPup finally retired and gave TechnoWall-E full responsibly for teaching the children all about how cool robotics are! TechnoPup has had great fun out in the schools but it’s time for him to retire.


Yesterday, the 20th TechnoWall-E and I were in Glais primary with year 5 and 6 who were robotic experts by the end of the session! They had TechnoWall-E in and through the maze before we knew it. The pupils also got the chance to be turned into robots as they acted out if statements and loops!



It has been a exciting month visiting all different schools with the robots and we have a very busy month in November with our robotics workshop as well as our brand new workshop called “How Computers Work” which we hope is going to be a success with all the schools!


For now, Wall-E is chilling out in the office charging his batteries before heading out tomorrow in Todu Primary School.

New term, new faces


After nearly a year with Playground Computing Beth has spread her wings and flown nest to her next life adventure! I am very honoured to be taking over Beth’s position and love what she has done with the program so far, I hope I can carry on the great work!

I am very excited to be out and about in schools and can’t wait to get stuck in!


3D printing at the Eisteddfod was a huge success!



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We had a brilliant few days out at the Eisteddfod and both adults and children couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the 3D printers at work! Some of the shapes we created included a Dr Who tardis, superman necklaces, and the photographs above show how we made necklaces for the girls to take away with them! 

We also had quad-copters which children enjoyed flying around!

It was a fantastic day to share computer science at it’s best.