BBC micro:bit launch at Ysgol Bryn Elian

IMG_7019On the 22nd March, Ysgol Bryn Elian launched the micro:bit to teachers and pupils in North Wales. This micro sized computer has 25 LEDs, a compass, input buttons, i/o contacts, an accelerometer and a low energy bluetooth antenna.

We were on air at 8:20am on BBC Good Morning Wales

Our Year 7 students had a great day, they started out by learning all about broadcasting before getting down to teaching some Year 6 students and some secondary school teachers all about the micro:bit.

The students even put together a piece for the BBC Good Evening Wales program.

The launch also appeared on BBC Wales today too!

All that remains now is to get coding with these awesome devices.

Getting ready for the BBC Micro:bit 

I distinctly remember coding on the old BBC Micro when I was about 12, I played Repton quite a bit too! There was only one teacher in the school who knew how to work it, Mr Collier. Thanks to him he brought out the inner geek in me. Thirty years later I’m playing with the new addition in anticipation of the next generation of coders! Thanks BBC!


Rhyl Summer Tech-Dojo 2015

PiNetGroups of eager coders attended the Rhyl Summer Tech-Dojo at the end of July at St Ann’s Church. They made real working circuits using a Raspberry Pi, did lots of coding in Python particularly with Minecraft. The children especially enjoyed the Chatbot Challenge. The three events were lots of fun. I must thank Andrew Mullholand for his excellent work on PiNet which makes running a Pi network a breeze!

Ysgol Bryn Elian – Digital Pioneer School

It is with great excitement that we can announce YBE as a Digital Pioneer School that will work with a select few schools across Wales to shape the curriculum for the future. We push the limits of technology at YBE and have a great team working hard to bring latest technologies and innovation into the classroom. We can’t wait to see where we can take this!

Find out more here

Summer Tech-Dojo – Rhyl 2015

Come and learn all about the fun and exciting things you can do with a Raspberry Pi. There will be a range of activities including hacking Minecraft using Python and creating an artificially intelligent chatbot.

This event is aimed at 10 year olds and above, if your child is younger than 10, please contact the event organiser prior to booking.

Each day is exactly the same so you only need to book your child on to one of the days as places are limited therefore BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL ON ONE OF THE DAYS ONLY. 

Parents/carers are encouraged to attend with their child however only a child place needs to be booked.

The Rhyl Tech-Dojo will run for 3 dates in July, please book using one of the links below.

Monday 27th July 2015 10am – 2pm

Tuesday 28th July 2015 10am – 2pm

Wednesday 29th July 2015 10am – 2pm

Introduction to Programming Using Computer Craft in Minecraft


I’ve been messing around with ComputerCraft for a while now and I think it’s a great mod for Minecraft. Recently I’ve been working on a series of lessons to introduce programming using this mod and in particular the programmable turtles and terminals.

I’ve created a series of 7 lessons:

  1. Command line and Conditionals
  2. Variables and Boolean Logic
  3. Logical Expressions
  4. While and For Loops
  5. Functions
  6. ComputerCraft Communications
  7. Programming Challenges

The lessons can be run on any version of Minecraft with the ComputerCraft mod installed. There is also an accompanying map you could use with programming challenge stations set up.

The lessons are on GitHub and the link to the map can be found on the main page.

I hope you find the lessons useful, please send feedback via Twitter @MrAHeard

As always, enjoy!:)

Happy Halloween, Frozen Style!

With Frozen seemingly taking over the planet and indeed our household, it was no surprise that when I asked the children what kind of pumpkin we should carve this year, my two year old daughter immediately said “Frozen pumpkin!”

So with Pinterest as our guide the only digital bit about this task, (the iPad clearly visible in the background as our muse) we set about on our carving mission!

The children really enjoyed watching us make it, and even set about drawing Olaf, hopefully the trick or treaters tonight will enjoy it just as much!