Trip to Silicon Valley highlights ICT changes

The girls will visit Google HQ on their trip.
The girls will visit Google HQ on their trip.
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As changes are being made to the teaching of ICT in schools, Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School has decided to grab the bull by the horns.

A much greater emphasis is being placed on computer science as part of the adjustments to the school curriculum.

But instead of putting on a course for the teachers, Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School is taking 30 pupils to the hot bed of digital innovation and the home of some of the brightest minds in computer science in Silicon Valley.

Headteacher Jackie Cahalin said: “ICT is a very successful subject at LGGS at both GCSE and A-level standard, allowing the girls to be creative as well as learning skills that will assist them in their other studies and future careers.

“We introduced computing because there was a clear gap in our curriculum for those pupils who wanted to go a step further and learn how to create a tool rather than use it.

“Computing appeals to girls who enjoy maths, electronics and science; they find it challenging and have had to adapt their mindset to be able to overcome problems and find solutions.

“We strive to offer our pupils the best opportunities and the visit to San Francisco is no exception and is set to truly inspire LGGS students to see there are opportunities for women in this field.”

The children and teachers leave on July 17 for a full itinerary which includes visits to the usual tourist spots such as Golden Gate Park, Sausalito, Fishermans Wharf and Alcatraz but also the more computer focused trips to the History of Computing Museum in Mountain View, Google HQ, Qualcom and a full day on the Stanford University Campus where they will meet some of the women in the faculty of computer science.

The inspiration behind the trip is head of ICT/computing/business Joanne Devlin.

“We have tried to make the teaching of ICT as interesting, engaging and relevant to the needs of pupils and their potential careers in the IT and digital industries,” Mrs Devlin said.

“This trip, however, will help to raise the girls’ aspirations and make them realise what opportunities a career in computing and IT could offer them.”

You can follow the girls on the trip through their blog at http://lggs2sf.edublogs.org.