HTML Tutorial for WJEC Unit 2 On-Screen Test

In addition to my recent blog post on the Greenfoot element of the on-screen test, I thought I would produce a new video for the HTML part. This is a much simpler task once students are familiar with the tags. I always advise my students to do this task first to get it out of the way and allow for more time to be spent on the other tasks (Greenfoot and the Algorithm) however from September 2017 we will also have to factor in time for the Assembly Language task, but don’t worry, by the time you need it I’ll have you covered with a tutorial and an example 🙂

The video below is the HTML guide which is also linked in the PDF task here or if you are a teacher wanting to deliver this there is a powerpoint version here. The resources also include links to the raw text required for the tasks.

Best of luck, and as always, enjoy! 🙂


Greenfoot Tutorial for WJEC Unit 2 On-Screen Test

Working with other schools recently through my lead practitioner work with GwE, the concern was raised that there are not enough resources that adequately fully support the Greenfoot task in the on-screen test for the Computer Science GCSE. I am currently teaching this to my third cohort of students and can honestly say that each year I have tried a different way of approaching it. However this year I am adding in some extra assessment for students to undertake this task in a controlled manner in the hope of giving them a more realistic experience of a Unit 2 exam. As a result I have produced a set of video tutorials that are hopefully easy to follow for students and that they can learn in a more purposeful manner.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 19.07.45.png

Having worked through the Ice Breaker task that was the scenario for the 2015 WJEC exam, students can proceed to work through the Chase task (WJEC 2016) to see if they can apply what they have learned.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 19.09.32.png

The resources are online here in PDF format that include links to the video tutorials and links to the scenarios needed.

If required, Greenfoot can be downloaded from here.

Any feedback gratefully received via Twitter

Encryption Challenge

Below you will find clues to the encryption challenges, the clues are not in any specific order but relate directly in some way to the challenges. Remember, spotting patterns is key in deciphering codes, apply the knowledge from that pattern to your problem and see where it leads you.




apple-touch-icon-precomposed        snooker5



reindeer_tongue_620cc6ef3ca712f06298177ba77b434ac79   screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-18-41



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!


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

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!