****We did it!****

Well, Miss G & I are the proudest people today!
You all did so well and were a credit to Merton Park school and to your lovely,supportive parents. Of course we never had any worries about behaviour – you are always a joy to work with, but your teamwork, the way you joined in, worked independently of adults and your spirited attitude even when you were nervous or things went wrong (they always will!) was such a joy. We had a truly lovely day with you and thoroughly enjoyed it. In all honestly, it was my best Saturday for ages! I hope you had fun too and that the preparation and nerves were worth it all. In Ibraheem’s words – a Quacking Day!

Here are some photos and videos – please share with your parents. If anyone wants the original media, please do message/ email me.There will be professional photos in a couple of weeks and I’ll add them then.

London CLC (the organisers) also had a Live Blog, which you can read here

Robo Club will continue until the end of term for those that still want to come but there’s no pressure if you just want to rest!

The Dance – a huge thank you to Miss De’ath & Miss Davies for costume help:

The Race (remarkably, despite dropping the robot, you managed to rebuild it and change the Lego brick in time for the start so you actually did very well – remember only 2 teams scored any points in this Challenge & I think we actually got more points for teamwork on this challenge than we would have got for winning it!):

WhatsApp Video 2018-03-17 at 19.22.21

The Presentation:


The Presentation Questions:


Explaining the Debugging Duck!

Lots of Tweets!

And Good Luck Tweets from all our friends, warm wishes from Miss Hughes, Miss De’ath, Mrs Davies, Mr Tagg (& others I’m sure)  and a lovely message from Miss Parsons below, plus texts from Mrs Tripp, Mrs Harrison, Ellie and Mrs Hetherington:


Meeting 7

I am very, very impressed with you all – Katie, Ibraheem and Rosie showed great resilience today when things weren’t going so well – and didn’t it pay off?! The four of you who were here last year have worked so well and independently too. Thank you – 90% of the way there we think…

Dance – done? Just need a few tweaks – save final version on a  stick, PC and Laptop. remember what you call it. Delete any old dances from robots.

Speed – chassis built – don’t touch until the day just in case (apart from assembly)??!! Save final version on a stick, PC and Laptop. Remember what you call it. Delete any old speed programs from robots. I’ll find something to wrap it up in carefully to transport!

Presentation – brilliant work, need to rehearse lines to see if you can do it without cards – see Evan’s cards for late changes and words to practise saying clearly. Remember to look round the room in an S shape, or choose 4 people to focus on. Miss Gillan will video it for you to watch back tomorrow. We need to save it as above so we can practice on the Saturday morning.

Costume – amazing! See below. SHE’S BEAUTIFUL!

Assembly for whole school for a really good practice next Tuesday! I think Miss Gillan may also invite some parents. I will invite Mark to come along next Wednesday for comments on the presentation – he was really helpful last year.

Give yourselves a big (but not too hard) pat on the back, we are very proud of you 🙂

Only (less than) 2 weeks to go!

This Wednesday will be the last meeting we can finish all the challenges – next Wednesday will be getting the costume finalised and packing everything up, preparing lists etc for the Saturday. No pressure then – all hands to the deck please!! No more chatting, just doing…& ensure those robots are charged and you know where they are at all times please. You may need to get together after school or next weekend. Organisation is your responsibility!


Katie & Ibraheem, I would like you to have a geared up chassis ready by the start of Robo Club on Wednesday please. Remy may be able to help?


Maaria & Evan, please can you have a script ready asap, at the latest by the start of Robo Club on Wednesday? The Slideshow has now been submitted and can’t be changed. But you can still say whatever you want.


Since Evan will be busy please can Marce help Rosie to finish the dance for now? We need a finished and perfectly timed routine by this Wednesday please.


Now submitted. Nothing to do except familiarise yourself with your coding so you can talk about it (Katie & Ibraheem). Maybe think about what you’d change/ improve if you had more time or expertise? And don’t forget to tell Maaria & Evan so they can include it in the presentation script!


I’ll cut the hole out on Tuesday & we can start papier-mache’ing.Then you will need to cover in yellow crepe and start attaching feathers, wings, tail etc. All materials are in the box and I’ve ordered some jazzier feathers too! Whole team responsibility


Get your design ready – did you say the school logo but with ducks replacing holly leaves? How will you do this? Whole team responsibility

X Factor:

Marce & Remy to keep practising moving and turning, whilst helping other challenges (Remy – speed, Marce – dance)

Thanks everyone – looking forward to hearing about your progress, please keep this blog updated about your challenge and remind your team mates to check here too!




**URGENT game**

The comments have mainly disappeared from your game so I haven’t submitted it yet.

Remy put them back this afternoon but the only comments I can see are on sprite 9 and the shark – where are the rest?

I don’t think it’s a good idea to start touching the code at this point as it’s been debugged but I need to know if you can see the comments when you log in and which sprites they should be on?


Meeting 6

Thank you, you’re amazing! I felt we achieved so much this evening…

Game Design

Year 6 tested the game this afternoon and LOVED it – well done team! They found it fun, exciting and addictive. This week we just need to add comments and debug the leaderboard.


Slides need to be finished tonight – some updates needed from the Coders about what went well and what needed debugging (I think I can guess what they’ll say!)


Great improvements – finally learned how to repeat/ copy a loop, Marce very happy!

Meeting 5

Lovely Robo-Club tonight, thanks Jon The Genius & Jean-Marc (AKA The Duck) – I knew we would come up with a theme just like that – just took a little longer than last year but I think it’s a good one! Well done Marce & Miss G.

  • Great progress on the game, helped by Jon The Genius to tidy up code using trickier More Blocks. Good work Katie & Ibraheem – I believe you explained it all well to the team today. Please ensure it’s completely finished by next Tuesday’s meeting — whole team responsibility!
  • Well done Maaria, the presentation is getting there – I have added some Tweets, adjusted the Master Slide with the logo & school name, plus duckie and called it Presentation 7 (Nicola) on MyDrive. Evan needs to OK it and the second half of the slides need editing. It too needs to be finished by next Wednesday please.Then we can start practising the delivery!
  • Really impressed by Ev and Rosie just getting on with the dance without Miss Gillan – fab progress. Challenge – (without getting in the way of other priorities above) can you humans all perform a team dance to the music at the beginning of Code Club next week? Get some moves rehearsed!
  • Speed – will wait until after we have submitted the presentation and Game next week. Plenty of time
  • Costume – get thinking.
  • Teamwork – you’re all fab, no work required for this one 🙂
  • ***Important – Don’t forget to return three forms on Monday – 2 image permission forms and a list of family attendees***(sorry for late notice, Mrs M should give them to you Friday)

Code Club Competition

email from Code Club:

The challenge is to code a digital collage about favourite things, and the deadline is on Friday 23 March.

How can my club participate?

1) Meet the challenge
Ask your club members to create a digital collage about their hobbies, interests, and favourite things. They must use one of the following projects as a starting point:

Scratch: Tech Toys

HTML/CSS: Stickers

We don’t expect participants to spend weeks on their entry — we’re looking for creative, fun remixes, not for super complex programs which took half a term to complete.

Your club members can create as many entries as they like, and they are welcome to work individually or in small teams. However, you can only submit one entry per club.

2) Send us your project using the entry form
Fill the entry form jumpto.cc/entryform with details of the project you are submitting.

3) Make sure the entry arrives before the deadline! 
The deadline is at 12 noon on Friday 23 March, and late entries will not be accepted.

What does the winner get?

The winning coder will win Code Club goodies for their whole club, including lanyards and T-shirts. We will also commission a unique Code Club illustration inspired by the winning entry, and send stickers featuring the illustration to the winning club!

We will announce the winning projects on our blog in the week commencing 9 April, and will email the winning club the same day.

Challenge Teams

I am thrilled with our teams and I hope everyone is pleased too? We tried to give you at least one challenge you asked for. The teams are below, with some ideas and suggestions for you to think about during half term. Those of you in the Alps can have some thoughts whilst you’re skiing, but remember to stay safe! Each challenge (I think) has its own prize but some count more than others towards the total score. You need to do your very best at your own challenge.


Firstly a big thank you to Evan and Maaria who were the only ones brave enough to volunteer for the presentation! This challenge really represents the school to the judges, IBM volunteers and other schools. Making the presentation gives you a chance to think deeply about the competition and summarise your learning. Once you have presented you will have gained so much confidence and you can add it to your CV!

Half term – give some thought to slide layout (I’m afraid it has to be Powerpoint). Here’s a draft but you can do anything you want (within reason) – it’s your show! Presentation. Just remember that the IBM people have to sit through 10 presentations from schools. Yours needs to wake them out of their stupor and make them take notice. It needs to be different, lively, edgy, visually interesting (no Death By Powerpoint) and you need to engage them. No problems.

X Factor:

Maarce and Remy – thank you for taking this on. We have lots of faith in you and your team will help in the weeks leading up to the day, sharing tips they learn etc. Maarce – I think you’re going to practise over half term (but not if you need rest after such a busy few weeks). Try not to get too attached to your new baby sister Kath! Here’s a link to download the software – it’s EV3 but Lego say it will work with NXT. 85 points!


Evan and Rosie -you get all the fun! But don’t under-estimate the hard work involved in programming to the beat. Here’s the music!

JDC 2018 Sound 1 minute

Rosie can get the music into her head before she goes away so she can be thinking about it. Ev – are you going to take an Ada home? Software download link here.

Obviously we need a good theme (see Miss Gillan’s post below, which I have added to) – this is a team job – the costume must be obviously recognisable and mustn’t collapse/ topple the robot over (ahem, last year, my fault!) during the dance. Maarce is your chief costumier and will help organise all the creative bits. There’s a tin of bits in the suite.


In my opinion this is technically the hardest and the honours fall to Ibraheem and Katie – 2 safe pairs of hands! You will need to solidify your knowledge of gearing up in order to make the wheels turn more frequently with each motor rotation. Jean Marc will work more with you on this after half term. Katie, I think you’re taking some Lego gears and bits to work with at home – I’m sure James will also be a help! Remember to work out ratios and understand how much these will speed up the robot. This will really help your maths and I’m very happy to go over this with you. However don’t worry too much as no-one was asked about this at the competition last year.

Scratch Game:

The new addition to the competition! This is obviously a whole team effort but those judging the other games on the day are Ibraheem and Katie. You will both need to very familiar with all the coding and the game concept and development. No problems there! Jon will help you all develop the game further after half term. If you don’t fully understand the concept of cloning he can go over it again.

I would like to somehow link the game with our theme, once we’ve chosen one! I have some ideas don’t worry.

I am worried about it only being in the year 6 account in case something goes wrong so will make a new account for Robo Club – just replace the 6’s with rc. I suggest you work on it in there.I have copied 2 projects – Shoot Ship Showdown & Jon the Genius. I copied them as they were at 9:18 this morning as I thought you wouldn’t be working on them!


All of us. I have no problems here, we’re a fab team, especially with Jon & JM kindly volunteering to help!!

Over and out – I’m really enjoying the challenge, love working with you all, feel very confident. Happy Half Term – no injuries please!


A theme? or Costume

Think of an iconic person, with an iconic costume!

Something that people will automatically recognise 🙂


Ideas so far:

Suffragettes (anniversary, girl power/ STEM & Wimbledon colours of purple & green)

Will.i.am (iconic, cool, loves robots and coding but HASN’T replied to our tweet so may be out of favour)

Malala (iconic, represents children, Rights Respecting School etc)

St Patrick’s day (same day as comp, recognisable and lends itself to dancing. Also, Miss Gillan! Maybe she will bring her flute.)

Star Wars – Carrie Fisher died in 2016 so could choose Princess Leia?

There will be further discussion today. Combining the dance with the best-dressed is problematic as we want a meaningful theme but it also has to look good on a dance floor!

Meeting 3 – Theme

We have spoken previously about possible themes/ names for our robot. Let’s have a proper think about this today! We decided it should be something topical and something that means something to us and our school. Teamwork is an important part of the Challenge and I think we should build this into our theme somehow. Have a think about our journey to become a Rights Respecting School and about our school ethos:

Can we think about this in relation to any news themes recently? Reflect on what has dominated the news/ conversations at school/ in your home and decide between you about how we can maybe incorporate this into our Robo Challenge.

Let’s chat and make a decision later today?

Some Pi Problems


I was completely amazed by your Pi investigations at lunchtime! Do you think you could use what you learned about the relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle to solve the following problems?

  • My bike wheels are 60cm diameter. From my house to school is 2km. How many times do my bike wheels rotate on the journey?
  • My car tyre is 65cm diameter. My parents live in Cheshire – 340 km from Wimbledon. How many times do the car wheels rotate on my journey home?
  • If you do any car journeys, can you find out the distance travelled and how wide is your car wheel? Can you work out the wheel rotations? (Don’t measure the car wheel size by yourself, get an adult to do it or just estimate).

Coding session Tate Modern Half term

Look what Jean-Marc found! What a fantastic opportunity. Do let me know if any of you go along – it’s during half term. *Update* here is the application form – only 7 places! 

Drop in and join South London Raspberry Jam for an afternoon of varied and fascinating workshops led by young coders and digital makers. Explore the Micro Bit and coding linked to robots and physical computing; wearables and neopixels; gaming and networking and the Internet of Things.

The workshops will be developed by young coders who will spend a day learning about new developements in coding and digital making with industry experts from the Microbit FoundationRaspberry Pi Foundation, Github and Computers at School (CAS). They will then pass on their knowledge and skills to you through hands-on workshops and activities:

  • Build a WordPress page. Display your favourite artwork from the Tate’s collection; upload a one minute video clip and develop an ‘About me’ page
  • Discover how to create an Internet of Things device using a Micro Bit to broadcast tweets and Node RED to explore positive and negative images
  • Play with an Arduino processor, buttons, LEDs, resistors and more with our physical computing fanatics from South London Makerspace
  • Immerse yourself in a virtual world of your own creation with a few lines of code, courtesy of Coderdojo
  • Collaborate in creating a mural using an augmented reality powered app called Visualizar
  • Explore and create wearable technology with the fabulous Lorraine Underwood and Tania Fish.




Meeting 1 – Our first after school session!


What did you all think about it?
Thank you so much to Jean-Marc for joining us from IBM today! It was great to meet you and learn more about you.

I have added a few little snapshots of today for you to watch and reflect on. Did anybody learn anything exciting that they would like to share with the group?


Can I just add about this video, that I filmed it the wrong way… everything is slightly squashed in one direction… Sorry!



Do all toys need to be interactive?

Today, Lego has announced a big partnership with a Chinese company to try and increase its worldwide sales. They want to  create a safe online environment covering content, platforms, and experiences tailored for Chinese children.

“What we are looking for now … is just to find more creative ways… (of) reaching children, and creating bespoke content ….eg video games,” said the China Lego manager. The partnership includes developing a Lego video zone for children, as well as developing and operating Lego branded licensed games.

It also includes LEGO BOOST — a building and coding set that lets children turn their brick creations into moving objects — and will explore developing a joint social network for children in China.

So, here’s my question for you, because you are the stereotypical customer of Lego.

Is it not enough anymore for a company to sell a brilliant construction toy like Lego – do all toys need an online presence – videos, online games etc, in order to keep you interested? Is it necessary that they can programmed like our own robot?

Please discuss in the comments below.

Welcome 2018 Super-Team!

Just a very quick blog post from me to say how pleased I am with our amazing team selection! Some of you were involved last year and some are new to our robot but you are all excellent team players – we’ll have loads of fun together learning new things and learning from our mistakes with a laugh – I love working with you all.

See you at our first meeting next Wednesday, when we will also welcome our IBM mentor, Jean-Marc. Before that you might want to read some of these blog posts about last year’s competition.

Any questions/ worries before then (or at any time), please don’t hesitate to comment here, speak to Ms Gillan or me, or email me (my email address is on letters to parents from Code Club etc if you don’t remember it). Don’t worry, Miss Gillan & I have done this competition before so we’re on it this year!

So excited!




Robo Challenge Official Photos

Here are the official photos from the day for Merton Park & St Teresa’s – if you or your parents want the original size of any photo please email me and I’ll mail it back!

Credit for photos: Dawson James