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CAS #include Diversity & Inclusion in Computing Education Conference 2016

During the first CAS TV CAS chat live session on gender and computing I launched this years diversity and inclusion conference. Tickets are on sale now and if you are quick you can snag the early bird price of £20. We will be publishing the agenda for the day soon so keep your eyes peeled.

diversity conf 2016

The Computing At School #include Diversity in Computing Education Conference 2016 will take place at the University of Manchester on 11th June 2016. This year our aim is to bring together the teaching expertise of classroom teachers with the knowledge and experience of industry professionals and academics to create opportunities for all to learn practical strategies to teach children Computing from across our five strands of Gender, Ethnicity, Disability, Socio-Economic Status and SEN.

This event is ideal for any teachers, assistants, governors, parents, advisors, academics, industry experts working with both mainstream and special schools from primary through secondary to higher edu level. The day will include a mixture of talks and hands on workshops led by industry experts, classroom teachers and academics. You will be able to choose which sessions to attend throughout the day and gain an insight into how to promote inclusion in your chosen area.

Why would I want to come to this event?

Sessions include:


We have some fabulous expert speakers from industry, BCS Women, CAS, Code Club & Classrooms across the UK:


This event would not be possible without the support and generosity of our sponsors:

CPHC University of Manchester Raspberry PiCodeBugKitronik

#include on CAS TV

You may have noticed some activity on the Computing At School YouTube channel recently. It is being reluanched by Miles Berry and Jason Budge to share Computing education good practice and more. We are really proud at CAS #include that some of the first interviews have been given by our very own Peter Kemp and Catherine Elliot.

Here is a guest post from Miles and Jason about the project:

Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Google, CAS is pleased to announce the (re)launch of its YouTube channel, CAS TV.

We’ve some exciting programmes lined up for the channel, with new content being released each week for the next few months, and hopefully beyond. 

There is much more planned for the weeks ahead, taking in some of the real subject knowledge challenges of secondary computing to link with CAS’s Tenderfoot Computing project, practical classroom strategies for teaching programming, physical computing and other elements of CS and some broader educational issues such as lesson observation, extracurricular projects and primary-secondary links. We’ll also be adding to the archive of CAS conference presentations – do let us know if you’d like us to come and film at an event you’re organising.

To keep up to date with all this content, simply click the subscribe button on

As well as subscribing, there are some other ways you could get involved:

Don’t forget – please subscribe!

By Miles Berry ( and Jason Budge (

CAS #include at BETT 2016

Several of the CAS #include team will be at the BETT Show, Excel London in 2016. You can to hear them talk about our specialist areas, SEND, Gender and Pupil Premium within Computing education by attending one of their talks:

Meet members of the CAS #include team at Bett Show 2016
Meet members of the CAS #include team at Bett Show 2016

We will be handing out FREE classroom posters to promote Diversity in Computing. You can get yours by attending one of the talks above or by visiting Raspberry Pi Foundation and Computing At School stands.

You can get your FREE ticket to the Bett Show 2016 here. Please follow our twitter account for details on what we are up to.

Computer Guts – A #define Workshop

Once upon a bright Saturday morning, there was a little girl who was the first to wake up. While her parents and her sister were still fast asleep, the little girl wandered round the house looking for something to do – for she was very, very bored.

In the corner of her bedroom, nestled in a pile of Barbies and ballet clothes, was her old  computer. The little girl decided to satisfy a long standing curiosity and open it up to see what was inside. While everyone was still sleeping peacefully, she set to work with a screwdriver and begun to dismantle it.

She unscrewed the case pulling back the side to reveal some rather dusty looking green and gold boards surrounded by a tangled mess of wires and cables. There were wide flat grey ones, some of them came as an attached pair. There were also some smaller ones, connecting the fan which she recognized from school. After a quick play with a battery and the fan, getting it to start again after detaching it which made her feel very clever indeed, she set about yanking out the boards for a closer look.


There were so many tiny little parts – and she thought some of them looked so cute. They were all different colors and all connected by the gold lines running over it. The icing on the cake was when she was able to identify some of them as chips from the adverts and visualisations of computer chips she had seen on the TV when the grown ups were talking about the millennium bug.

Two decades later, and the little girl is now a professional software engineer (if you had not already guessed, the little girl was little me). I took a very winding path with many detours to get here, mostly because I was always put off by the image of the industry, but when it finally came down to it, I thought back to dismantling that old machine and how excited I was by it. After I was done (and had received a stern talk from my parents for the mess I made) – I went on to play with software (I was making databases for the fictional school in the novel I was writing) and I was easily one of the best in my IT classes.

I did not take it further at GCSE, because I thought that powerpoint and excel for two more years sounded dull (at my school I am sad to say it was just that). I didn’t even consider it at A -level because I didn’t know it was an option. When I was not enjoying my first course (languages) at uni, It was a friend that told me about Computer Science and programming. Memories of my tinkering came back and I made the switch.

At #define South, I will be bringing along lots of old computers (kindly donated by the wonderful team at Optimum Packaging – ) for all who attend to take apart. That’s right – they are old and unused so it doesn’t matter how broken they get, I want to pass on this experience to the younger generation and allow them to learn, just as I did, what the guts of technology look like.

Tickets to #define South are free, just visit to book yours today. If you have any questions about the workshop, my twitter is @EmmaAshley – See you next Saturday 😀 xxx