Cedars School, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire

Being a relatively new Cisco Academy has not been a barrier to the Dave (right), Steve (centre) and Bill (left). All from the Computer Science curriculum teaching team at Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Like many schools, Cedars is focussed on ensuring that their students gain the right academic education and qualifications to meet both national expectations and employer/university desires.

Understanding the change in demand around the computing curriculum and the increasing requirement to ensure digital literacy as well as technical competence. Cedars became a member of the Cisco Networking Academy in January 2016, via The Open University Academy Incubator programme.

In this short time, they have explored how the content from the Cisco Networking academy programme underpins their student’s work on GCSE, A levels, technical certificates, as well as the year 9 national curriculum requirements. Reducing their teaching load, increasing their resource base for all students at Cedars.

The result is that all students engage with the Get Connected course, developing their digital literacy discipline, David Anderson, lead Cisco Networking Academy teacher for Cedars explains - “Our students have developed an appetite for learning - the style of the Cisco material has meant that many of our students enthusiastically completed the material in their own time, coming back demanding more.”

As well as using the Get Connected course for their year nines, Cedars is also exploring the more advanced content. Offering Linux Essentials in line with a nationally recognised GCSE - giving their students access to the globally significant operating system used in over 490 of the top 500 supercomputers.

It does not stop there, students in the 6th form are spending time on the IT Essentials course, learning about computer hardware and operating systems as well as studying complex networking technologies via the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) programme.

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