As you may know, St Mary’s Digital Leaders are a group of children from Years 4, 5 and 6 who are all keen coders, attend Coding Club, have responsibility for keeping the Chrome books safe in class and are generally the ‘go to’ experts for other children on matters of technology.

Nine of our current Digital Leaders were lucky enough to be able to attend the BETT Exhibition 2020 at the Excel Centre, London along with Mrs Walker and Mr Cummins. BETT stands for British Educational Training and Technology Show.

The aim of the day was for the children to be shown some of the latest and upcoming educational ICT innovations and then, at the end of the day, choose their favourites and present the winning companies with awards. The organisations attending the show really appreciate #KidsJudgeBett as a validation from the children, who can be the harshest critics!

Over the course of the day, the children saw robotics that would use simple inputs; built a basic robot from scratch; programmed robots; saw different ways to take part in interactive sessions including an ‘active floor’ and took part in several science experiments. One of their favourite stands was having a chance to sample some VR technology. Quote of the day including, ‘I looked around virtual places such as Stonehenge, then went inside a volcano and then went in to an Egyptian crypt –it was amazing!’A

t the end of the event, the Digital Leaders had to choose their favourite technology and present the winners with awards. After much deliberation, Hope Education was chosen as one of the 10 winners. Asha and Alexis presented their award, saying the EaRL robot on the Hope Education stand was “a perfect transition from concrete to abstract coding, with a wide range of brilliant applications.”

The company was so grateful for their first ever award that they are sending the schoolan EaRL coding robot as a thank you. We can’t wait to see and use it! The children behaved tremendously well and were a credit to the school. Thank you to Mr Cummins and Mrs Walker for organising such a great experience for the children and taking the children to the event.