Woodside High School

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Teaching is outstanding and teachers have the highest expectations for their students. Teachers constantly work with students to achieve the very best." - Ofsted 2014

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This week, a group of six top Computer Science students in Years 8 and 9 took part in Oxfam’s “Girls in ICT Day” day at Oxfam’s headquarters in Oxford. A day of inspiring workshops and presentations, the day focused on celebrating diversity, developing girls’ ICT skills, challenging stereotypes around careers in ICT, and encouraging girls to seek careers in ICT.

The event kicked off with an inspiring speech delivered by Amber Burke, Oxfam’s Chief Information Officer, followed by three amazing workshops led by senior female staff from Oxfam’s ICT department. Students explored various aspects of how ICT is used to further Oxfam’s work and help people across the globe when they are in need. The students also had an opportunity to hear from Penny Lawrence, Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam GB.

As part of the event, participants were asked to take part in a competition, by designing and developing an app that will improve the lives of refugees.

Woodside students competed against students from a range of other schools and the competition was fierce! The projects from students in other schools were amazing and really demonstrated the powerful impact for good technology can have. However, there can only be one winner and we were delighted when our Year 8 students, Zuweyda, Grace and Hannah won the competition by developing an innovative project that aimed to create an app called Second Home. Their app was designed to connect Haringey residents who have a spare room with refugees who are looking for a place to live, and Haringey employers with refugees who are looking for a job. The Second Home app would also facilitate a chat-line for refugees for emotional support.  Zuweyda, Grace and Hannah planned their project with impressive rigour – first identifying the main needs of refugees: accommodation, employment and emotional wellbeing. They then explored ways to address each need with the use of technology. They also thought about the safety of users of the app, and decided to partner with charities who would quality assure the experience for users by inspecting accommodation and employment opportunities to ensure refugees do not end up being exploited. Zuweyda, Grace and Hannah were hugely well-deserving winners as their app not only made excellent use of their knowledge of technology but also demonstrated Woodside’s shared values.

The day really showcased the incredible opportunities for women in ICT and really inspired and encouraged our students. Once again, Woodside students were outstanding ambassadors for the school and really made the most of the day. Well done to all who took part!


Photo credit: Kitty Norwell/Oxfam GB