Royalty Free Music Grant Programme

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Are you in need of some funky music to make your PowerPoint presentation stand out? Does your animation coursework lack some jazzy sound effects?

One thing that takes an awful lot of time for your ICT teacher is gathering relevant music and sound effects to enhance your work. There is now a solution to that problem.

St John Fisher have been accepted to the royaltyfreemusic.com Music Grant Programme. This provides access to an award winning library of music and sound effects for schools at no cost.

This also solves the issue of copyright when using commercial audio in your work.

For further information, please speak to Mr Ward.

Where’s Wardy? – The result.

A massive well done to all those that emailed me the correct answer to the World Book Day competition, but extra congratulations to the following for being the quickest to respond:

Jake Curtis – Yr 9
Lucas Humberstone – Yr 9
Ambreen Chaudhry – Yr 13

The correct answer for those that couldn’t quite work it out was… JUDGE DREDD!

Computer Science IS cool!!!

What most schools don’t teach from Mark Ward on Vimeo.

If you are in Year 7, 8 or 9, your ICT lessons are about to become a whole lot more interesting. Times are changing and we need to move with them or risk being left behind. Gone are the days of asking you to create PowerPoint presentations, write a letter, or build a spreadsheet – basically using Microsoft Office – for large chunks of your ICT lessons.

Office related ICT skills are vitally important in today’s society, but as you use these skills ever more increasingly in what you do at home and in other subjects at school, ICT lessons do not have to be as devoted to these skills for all of Key Stage 3 as they once were.

Within 10 years, 60% of all available jobs in the world are ones that don’t even exist today. All of those will involve some kind of ICT use and lots of that technology hasn’t even been invented yet!

So you don’t get left behind, things are changing. Already you should have noticed that there is a lot more focus on multimedia development in your ICT lessons. Creating podcasts, video advertising, animation and web sites are a few of the exciting things we already cover in ICT. Things are going to get a lot more interesting though as we move through this year and into the next academic year at school.

There will start to be a lot more focus on Computer Science, especially programming or ‘coding’ within lessons. Giving you these skills will not only make sure you are as ‘future-proof’ as possible in terms of ICT, but give you some amazing life skills such as problem solving and higher order thinking skills.

…And if Will.I.Am thinks it’s cool – who am I to argue with that!

“Roboteers, stand by!”

Pupils from Years 7 & 9 have been learning how to build and program robots in the ICT/Science cross-curricular after school club on Wednesdays in M50. As well as programming, they have looked at how different sensors are used to help build better robots.

Being the kind of pupils they are though, they wanted to build robots to ‘break stuff’ and so are building robots that are controlled by mobile ‘phone apps and preparing for the first annual SJF ‘Robot Wars’.

Their programming skills will be further put to the test in the future as they take part in the ‘Energy Challenge’ where they have to build robots capable of running a (very small) town!

I only hope a representative from Skynet doesn’t take an interest in their work!

SJF Pupils Nominated For Prestigious Broadcasting Award

As part of their ICT work last year, Year 10 pupils created a radio advert to help promote the work of a local environmental agency. As well as being used for their GCSE coursework, this work was used as part of a national broadcasting competition, which tested not only their technical skills but their skills at script writing and writing to persuade.

Three of our pupils, Josh Gowland, Alex Firth and Sam Robertson have had their radio advert chosen as one of the best in the country (the CEO of the environmental company said the advert was “…one of the best adverts I’ve ever heard, even better than those created by professionals…”) and now they have been nominated for a uCreate broadcasting award.

The advert, which has had some professional animation added to it, can be heard (and seen!) below.

It’s then up to you to help the lads win. You need to visit http://www.facebook.com/ucreateproject (obviously from your mobile device or computer at home) and vote for their advert.

uCreate Awards from Mark Ward on Vimeo.