Run Don’t Walk Blog

Poetry in (all the com-) motion…

​“Tell me a fact and I’ll learnTell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

Indian Proverb

I met a fantastic teacher at the ‘Computing At School 2020’ conference in London, who really inspired me with her approach to helping students recall knowledge about computing.

Now I’m a huge advocate of learning through music and telling stories, but I’ve never come across this approach before and I think it is truly marvellous. Learning computing, through poetry!


Not only is it full of amazing poems, but if you check out the menu you’ll find riddles, downloadable booklets, inspired artwork and even an escape room puzzle!

So thank you Miss Tough, for taking our learning to the next level! I’ve added a quick sample, which is one of my faves!

Varjak Paw – Live Stream, Weekdays 6.30pm

I’ve had the permission of the amazing S.F. Said and his lovely agent to live stream a chapter a day of one of the best kids books ever written, Varjak Paw.

I’m adding this to my YouTube channel and will be live Monday to Friday at 6.30pm (after each live session, the video should turn into a standard youtube video so you can catch up if you miss one).

I’ve also made an activity booklet (because that’s what us primary teachers do!) for free download, to capture imagination and reinforce memory and engagement, or simply for fun! It’s on Phil Wickins TES Resources.

So Chapter 1 will be broadcast at 6.30pm Monday 23rd March 2020, you can tune in on Mr Wickins Reads – Varjak Paw.

If you want more detail, have a look at my teaser/test broadcast

(Please note: Chapter one will DEFINITELY be on Monday at 6.30pm. Also, that while I mention commenting, comments will be disabled due to the fact that my channel is for kids and therefore comments are disabled by YouTube).

Online Computing Training – with bursary

Hello primary teachers! During this time of remote learning, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to take part in live online CPD. If this is the first NCCE course for your school, your school will receive a bursary of £220. The course itself costs £35, but rather than invoicing you, the NCCE will simply pay your school £185 on completion of the course. This is available for ANY STATE SCHOOL IN ENGLAND.

Book on now! I will be delivering the courses below, please ensure you have signed up with first.

You can complete this CPD from home or from school, but to ensure the bursary, please check that you are the only teacher from your school on the course.

Primary Programming and Algorithms – 31st March & 1st April

Primary Programming and Algorithms – 28th & 29th April

Introduction to Primary Computing – 21st & 22nd April

Select Newbury for remote learning.

Parent guides for setting up devices…

Here are some handy guidance documents for setting up your home devices with parental controls and safety features:

More advice and guidance here:

Internet Matters


‘Detector Bot’ wins place among Redfern’s online projects!

My student – William Bradley – has had his amazing design picked up by none other than Crumble creators Redfern, as a project for others to download and build.

Redfern tweeted about their amazing new project, inspired by William:

You can read all about the project and how to download and build it on Crumble’s Scanner Bot Project Page.

They also wrote a blog post about the Scanner Bot, referencing William as the inspiration behind the project. I’m very proud to say they also referenced me and my approach to teaching Physical computing:

In his blog about the teaching that went around this project, Phil outlines his creative approach to teaching physical computing. Instead of having a set project in mind, he teaches the children how to use the individual components, and then lets them use their imagination to come up with a project. We really like this approach to physical computing, as it enables children to work within their means, and push themselves to their own limits. The phrase “low floor, high ceiling and wide walls” comes to mind here.

Daniel – Redfern Electronics

I’m really pleased that they also picked up on the importance of the design stage; something I’ll always be a great advocate of in both physical computing and coding projects.

So thank you Redfern, and massive shout out to William; I’m so proud of you! Let’s hope this inspires both teachers and pupils alike in their computing adventures…

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