As part of our STEM strategy, Downside School is committed to looking at ways to integrate technology into a variety of subject areas.

One such area is Languages. In a combined initiative between our Computing and Languages departments, students have been using clever microcomputers called micro:bits to enhance the learning experience.

The micro:bit was developed by the BBC along with a partnership of companies including ScienceScope, a science and technology company based right here at Downside. Initially planned as a coding device, the range of possible applications of the micro:bit are now endless, and its capabilities for enhancing teaching across the curriculum are particularly exciting.

Years 7 and 8 Languages pupils are currently programming their micro:bits with French and Latin vocabulary lists and word games. Students have responded positively to this exciting and interactive way of learning, and are enjoying taking ownership of how they absorb information. Once programmed the micro:bit can also interact with other micro:bits in the class, allowing students to test each other on what they have learnt.