Education = Transforming + Informing

Building ICT for the future

The Cabinet Office “Government ICT Strategy” paper from March 2011 outlines the need for government to “exploit the benefit of new technologies”. The same document outlines government moving to a greater online presence, and increasing the emphasis on the use of ICT to simultaneously improve public services, whilst reducing costs to materially impact the structural deficit. Current government ICT faces a major hurdle in achieving these objectives, namely Legacy systems.

-Building ICT for the future from ORACLE

Download teachingcomputing.com app here: http://appsgeyser.com/getwidget/teachingcomputing.com


September 11, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Defining Web 2.0

Web 2.0 – innovation at its best. Ideas, implications and technologies available for use in Education.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

“Big Society” comes to Purley

Launch Date: 5th July, Purley Cross centre, Purley. For more information please see flyer – Big Society to Life

May 7, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

“Big Society” – Students networking suite for charity project!

Tevin is afraid of this doggy

With the money raised from a celebrity charity quizzing night (for both Children in Crisis and this local charity), students are now directing and managing the implementation of a fully equipped networked suite at the Purley Cross Centre. The process is well under way and you can click on NETWORKING PROJECT (on the right) or here to see more. The individual components were all ordered from Aria.co.uk and each PC is literally being put together from scratch! Students will then put together a server, install all the necessary software, do the actual networking (cabling) ensuring users have remote access, access to shared peripherals such as printers, unique user names and passwords, wirless internet access, etc – and of course get the room looking beautiful!  I had better make special mention of a dog named Tinker that has been an integral part of the process.  More details on the networking project page with info about each stage that students are directing.

Tuesday, 8th March

Brief Meeting/update with Wendy Nodding. [Geewai and Rodard leading on the crimping, cable preparation, network plans, measurements. Students all thought through and discussed different possible topologies, network plans, diagrams, connection points – decided on a star network. Networked two machines as a test and it worked! Assembled the server – well done Alistair and Tevin for getting that working with an entirely new case] Kevin Ahronson, the Communications Director for the Purley Baptist Church and a professional photographer (www.ahronson.com) came in for a brief photoshoot. The pictures, along with an article, will be going out in a special newsletter. Here is one of the pictures …














Highlights from Thursday, 3rd March [assembling the server, the rest of the PCs, installing software, figuring out how to crimp and cut cable!)

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Highlights from Tues/Wed, 1st & 2nd March (unpacking, checking order, checking out the parts, panicking at not being able to locate the internal connectors, assembling the first machine and getting it working under the patient and expert direction of Alistair Wick)

March 3, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Wolf Review

My two pennies worth on how worthwhile the Diploma in IT is (when taught effectively and learners are provided with opportunities to leave the classroom and learn “valuable” skills) pg 116-117

Link to the Wolf Review here


March 3, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

£5260 raised for charity and next ICT Project!


Handing over cheque to Charities CHILDREN IN CRISIS & the Purley Cross Centre

Diploma in IT students from Archbishop Tenison’s School, Croydon, have raised £5260 for charity – with the help of A to Z Author Trevor Montague, the BBC Eggheads and Chess Grandmaster William Hartston – who attended a celebrity charity Quizzing Event on the 1st December 2010. Despite adverse weather conditions and many cancellations this very commendable amount was raised. Part of the funds went to support global Education (Children in Crisis) and the remaining amount will go towards the design and implementation of a local networking suite (for the elderly and local businesses) Students have already come up with a 3D flyby (proposing what the new centre will look like), a network diagram and detailed budget for the purchase of components and network parts. Directed and managed entirely by students (with teacher supervision) this project (for Unit 5, Managing Technology Systems, of the Diploma courses) will help students learn invaluable skills about team work, networking, (hardware and software) budgeting, working practices and business recommendations.  Wendy Nodding, director of the Purley Cross Centre, commented that this is what Mr Cameron’s BIG SOCIETY is about. Employers helping to inspire and engage young people, as well as encouraging citizenship and enterprise through giving back to the community. Watch the video (promoting the quizzing event and illustrating the proposals for the networked suite (created by Tevin Matthew, year 12)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3iIfrgV1Hc

Geewai with Lucy (Children in Crisis) and Wendy Nodding (Purley Cross Centre)

February 21, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment


ICT and Computing are fast becoming two of the most important subjects of study in the world. Every area of our lives is impacted by Technology and understanding how it works in conjunction with business and society is crucial. In the current climate, Enterprise and a focus on Business is equally important and innovative teaching methods that bring learning to life – with an industry and “real” focus are key. Innovation and Enterprise can be built in to any Business-IT course.  Please scroll down for posts that reflect Enterprise in Education and ideas for whole school events that seek to engage and inspire learners.  Links include information about courses, free video tutorials, articles, downloads, games, ideas, information on competitions, resources and more.    Also see    www.teachingcomputing.com

Enterprise » Big Society » Learning to Life Resources » Education abroad, a comparison »  Programming » Blogs  » Links  » Videos  » Contact

February 21, 2011 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Be Inspired!

What a wonderful evening – with a turnout of hundreds of students and a wide variety of exhihitors, we know there was a lot of “inspiring” going on! A huge thank you to everyone for being there.  A few pictures from the evening below.  MORE TO COME

STUDENTS:  Tell us what you think! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3QFB5T6 (2 minute survey)

For more uncut VIDEO FOOTAGE from the night CLICK HERE

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Turn up your volume :=)

For more uncut VIDEO FOOTAGE from the night CLICK HERE

February 11, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

“Be Inspired” Event – Thursday, 10th Feb 2011 7-9PM

Book this date now!

Focusing on the future and being aware of what options, pathways, education and careers are open to our young learners, is the key to inspiration and enthusiasm in Education. Despite the recession and the the gloom and doom that the media seems to portray there is a world of opportunity out there and our students need to have the opportunity to explore!

1. As a School/College – please indicate that you would like to bring a number of students and give us an idea of how many will attend

> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/799CCW

2. As a potential exhibitor (do you have something exciting to share with students?) please fill in the following one minute survey to get involved and book a stall for the evening. > http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P2SDRXS

Tenison’s is hosting a “Be Inspired” Event (Careers, Further Education, promotion of job sectors fair) on Thursday the 10th of Feb at Archbishop Tenison’s School, Selborne Road, Croydon, CR0 5JQ. It is open to Croydon students from years 9-13 who are considering subject options, further education or want the chance to find out more first-hand about different careers.

World Foods Stall - exploring cultures

We have a number of exciting exhibitors that have already signed up and it will be a wonderful evening for all including refreshments, a live music (acoustic) band, raffle, world fashion show (past, present and future) and world foods stall with a chance to explore different cultures and sample exquisite food! We would require students to attend in uniform (accompanied where necessary by their parents/carers) and the evening runs from 7-9PM

Exhibitors will have stalls (decorated desks) and have the opportunity to chat to groups of students/parents, answering questions or simply talking about their chosen sector. Many will bring freebies, leaflets and information to hand out.

Croydon MP

Gavin Barwell – who will be an exhibitor under the “Government and Politics” banner is only 38 and already MP for Croydon Central! He went to Trinity School and then studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was also local councillor for 12 years. What a wonderful opportunity to ask him questions about both politics (how he got to where he got!) and what the job of an MP entails. Vidhi Mohan, local councillor, is also attending.

Best selling A to Z series author

In addition to that we have best selling A to Z series Author, Trevor Montague, who will provide plenty of inspiration and insight into the world of publishing, creative writing (he was written and published a number of fiction novels) and Quizzing (Wikkipedia describes him as being the individual who has done more for quizzing than any other in the United Kingdom). Croydon College and Norbury Manor are among the local Croydon colleges/schools that will host stalls highlighting some of the wonderful vocational and other alternative courses on offer at their institutions.

We have confirmed representatives from a number of wonderful universities including University College London, University of Greenwich, Queen Mary, University of London, University of Surrey, London SouthBank University and Kingston University. Other sectors that will be showcased include Accounting and Business, Legal, Engineering,

Science and Technology, Art & Design, IT & Computing, Healthcare, Management & Leadership, Job Hunting, Interviews & recruitment, Social Work, and Sport & Leisure (come and meet Ritchie Venner – Table Tennis Champion).

So there you have it. There’s something for everyone (even parents) so please do come along and BE INSPIRED.

At this point there are two things you can do.

1. As a School/College – please indicate that you would like to bring a number of students and give us an idea of how many will attend CLICK HERE –> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P2SDRXS

2. As a potential exhibitor (do you have something exciting to share with students?) please fill in the following one minute survey to get involved and book a stall for the evening. CLICK HERE –> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/799CCW6

Note: If you do plan to attend (open this to your students) we do need approximate numbers in order to cater for refreshments and other considerations on the night.

Look forward to seeing you all there. Any questions please feel free to e-mail me at ruthcbenjamin@gmail.com

To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all.”  Mark Sullivan quote

“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give”  – Winston Churchill

Things to look out for on the night …

Bring spare change! Not to be missed!

Explore different cultures through food – the WORLD FOODS Stall

FASHION SHOW – in conjunction with local Fashion business (TBC) and info on Fashion/entertainment related careers.

Live Acoustic Band – find out more about the music industry and what it takes to be a musician

Volunteer opportunities – interested in making a difference to the community? Find out from people who have been doing so for years …

and much much more …



Download Promo Poster here – – > BE INSPIRED POSTER

Watch the Be Inspired PROMO Video below …

January 12, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Diploma in IT sudent -Omar Banharally and Mr Beachcomber …

Omar Banharally, student from Archbishop Tenison’s, interviewed Mr Beachcomber himself. See the edited version (more to come) on youtube here. Version #1. Scroll down for the Daily Express article and read the Educated Musings blog here

How amazing is this?!

December 22, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Daily Express Wed, 22 December – Beachcomber column

Pick up the Express this Wednesday and look out for a mention of our “Quizzing event of the year”  in the Beachcomber column.

Beachcomber – the word – brings peculiar (entirely un column-writing related) things to mind.  In my imagination I see some sort of creature (prehistoric bird-like) piously raking through the golden sands of an idyllic beach with a giant comb.  I did of course look the term up:  Wikkipedia, not Wakkipedia provided a definition that didn’t include mythological bird like creatures, but did make mention of combing (searching) a beach! “Beachcombing and Beachcomber are words with multiple, but related, meanings that have evolved over time. A beachcomber is someone who “combs” (or searches) the beach, and the intertidal zone in general, looking for things of value, interest or utility.”

Further note on Beachcomber: In 1924 John Cameron Audrieu Bingham Michael Morton took over authorship of the column “By The Way” in the Daily Express. He inherited the pseudonym ‘Beachcomber’ from his predecessors on the job (the column had existed since 1917), but he was to make that name forever his own by virtue of his astonishing output and success: Morton wrote the column for over 50 years, six times a week, until 1965 when the column became a weekly feature, and continued to the last column in November 1975.

J B Morton used an eccentric cast of regular characters in his sketches, which frequently caricatured self-important and high-brow public figures [from http://www.edwards.eclipse.co.uk/beachcom.htm]

Omar. B with William Hartston

William Hartston, former British Chess Champion and founder of Wakkipedia, is the current author of its revived form. Wakkipedia is an absolutely fantastic site.  It includes a “Wakkiversaries” section as well as the “Wakki Fact of the day”.

You can take the Wakki quiz or search by topic/subject for wakki wisdom on almost anything! Today’s interesting wakkiversary – “Dec 20, 1957 Elvis Presley was called up to join the army.”

Tagline: “a worldwide wastebin of wonderfully weird and wacky wisdom” and “an encyclopedia of pointless information”

Definitions of pointless on the Web:

  • not having a point especially a sharp point; “my pencils are all pointless”
  • otiose: serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being; “otiose lines in a play”; “advice is wasted words”; “a pointless remark”
  • pointlessness – The lack of meaning, purpose, or ideas; the characteristic or condition of being pointless en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pointlessness

A Wakkipedia fact states that: “‘Albert Einstein’ is an anagram of ‘Ten Elite Brains'” and that “According to a diary kept by Einstein’s friend Johanna Fantova, he was given a parrot as a present for his 75th birthday. After diagnosing the parrot as suffering from depression, Einstein told it bad jokes to cheer it up.”

On the other hand …

Wikkipedia (and other scientific journals) will tell you that one of Einstein’s great insights was to realize that matter and energy are really different forms of the same thing. Matter can be turned into energy, and energy into matter. E=MC2

In the grand, grand scheme of things, what sort of facts mean more?

Coming soon: Omar Banharally’s interview with William Hartston. In it they discuss the wonderful game of Chess as well as the inspiration behind Wakkipedia.com …

December 20, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The L.I.F.E Experience group on Enterprise, the Eggheads event and the Diploma in IT

The L.I.F.E. Experience is an organization with a social purpose.  Our primary mission is to prepare the youth today for life tomorrow, whilst complying closely with the Department for Education (DfE) Government initiatives. We work hard to inspire and increase the self-efficacy of young people, whilst supplementing curriculum based education, effectively.  The services delivered have continued to improve and change the outcomes of young people, from an educational and social perspective. This has been successfully achieved through delivering personal development workshops, one-on-one mentoring and keynote speeches in schools, universities and community spaces.

“The programme really helped during my GCSE’s. The skills they taught us are the types of things we don’t learn in the classroom, but relate directly. I would definitely  recommend it to all students!”

Tim Tella, Archbishop Tenisons

We have additionally managed to build up a roster of several corporate business contacts. This has created scope towards involvement in enterprise/business link programs, such as the IT Diploma.  As a result, our involvement within the Diploma allowed us to embark on an adventurous journey to the Croydon park hotel, braving the elements!! On the night, The L.I.F.E. Experience table had a few empty seats, as some of the guests fell victim to the adverse conditions. This did not dampen spirits however, as the overall turnout was commendable.  Croydon TV covered a very well organized event, as we prepared to take on the other tables of guests, and not to mention the BBC’s very own Eggheads! As the evening progressed we began to realize that the competition was extremely stiff… After a valiant effort we found ourselves near the bottom of the league table, though managed to win an ‘A-Z sport’ book in the true/false round. Some form of consolation! The Eggheads were unsurprisingly impressive, coming in first place, but fine food and some great banter made the night a real success.

Apart from the obvious spectacle of the Eggheads, the real stars were the students. Their levels of organization, alongside Miss Benjamin and the other members of staff involved were outstanding, even with the snow and so forth. They initially displayed excellent confidence and presentation skills, notably Omar and Roddard. The other students worked diligently behind the scenes, showcasing their IT/media skills throughout the quiz! A very inspiring group of students and the L.I.F.E. Experience team can’t wait to work alongside them, on the IT Diploma. Moving forward the L.I.F.E. Experience feel that programs such as the IT Diploma will be very relevant.  From the perspective of student development, they incorporate theory based and practical learning which can be a major asset. Business links and getting out into the “real world” helps them grow into young adults and gives them invaluable life experience. We aim to continue our personal development workshops (in the process of gaining accreditation from mentoring & befriending foundation) and deliver Edexcel accredited programs, whilst continuing to work on future IT Diploma, Enterprise and applied business/IT projects.


Twitter: @lifeoflondon


Facebook: The L.I.F.E. Experience 




December 16, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Integrated Quiz System from the night + Promo Video

Whether or not you were there on the night, this is a fantasic piece of work entirely created by Alistair Wick, Year 12 student at Archbishop Tenison’s system.  Geewai Chiu collaborated on the scoring system – an original idea and implemented to perfection on the night! The Integrated Quizzing System was created in the latest version of ppt and included embedded music, other features and stunning design adapted for viewing on a large screen.

Tevin Matthew created this video using Windows Live Movie Maker.  A promo video for the Evening with the Eggheads Quizzing event. It includes information about the charities and a 3D depiction of Alistair Wick’s proposal for the Purley Cross Centre (done as part of the students networking project and proposals) There were comments that his work was  better than any of the best professional promo videos seen (done for charity events) in the past. Well done Tevin! Turn up your sound and enjoy!

December 14, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Eggheads come to Croydon – reflection by best selling author of the A to Z series and host for the evening, Trevor Montague

Trevor’s Blog (he likes to write A LOT!)

BBC Eggheads Came to Croydon

Sometimes you feel there are defining moments in your life, pivotal times when your hopes and aspirations have the propensity to be dashed beyond recall and only God’s grace can save the day – last evening was such an occasion.

To satisfy the module requirements of the Diploma in IT, a new schools initiative which combines A-Level theory with real world practice, seven local students from Archbishop Tenison school had spent most of the Autumn school term meticulously planning a quiz night at the Croydon Park Hotel in aid of Children in Crisis and the local Purley Cross Centre.

Being an old family friend through church of Ruth Benjamin, the school’s diploma line lead, I was recruited as part of the steering committee and during our first meeting Miss Benjamin suggested the idea of a quiz event and I subsequently had the idea of getting the famous BBC Eggheads on board. We had no idea what a journey it would be – especially for the kids – gaining many wonderful experiences (spiritual as well as physical) along the way. Miss Benjamin wrote one of the schemes of work for a Diploma practical (enterprise, team work and event management) unit which includes all the things we did along the way. The IT used was significant and the business skills developed quite amazing for 16-year-old children – children who I witnessed growth into young adulthood as the weeks went by.

After several planning meetings at the school over the course of the past few months we felt we had catered for all eventualities and there was a real buzz of excitement as D-Day approached. What could possibly go wrong? The Magnificent Seven and their equally splendid IT teachers, Ruth had managed to sell a room full of tables, persuade me to front the event and also book (free of charge) the famous BBC Egghead team as the guests of honours. Lucy Porter, the events organiser for Children In Crisis, had gifted us some spectacular raffle prizes and we also had a damned good quiz using some intricate powerpoint technology in line with the course description.

HOWEVER, to quote Robert Burns (one of the answers in the quiz) the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry – and who would have thought that Wednesday 1st December 2010 would experience the worst weather conditions ever seen on the first day of December in living memory!

On the morning of the event the Seven and their teachers arrived at the hotel bright and early to make their final preparations and were immediately hit with the bombshell that Daphne Fowler could simply not get out of Weston-super-Mare due to heavy snow falls and so now we were an Egghead down and morale was definitely low. Everything was set and in place. The tables were laid out immaculately and the raffle prizes filled a whole room. Grahame Harding, the co-founder of CiC had kindly donated a night at the famous London Ritz for two people; the Duchess of York, Grahame’s co-founder, had donated two brand new Dolce and Gabbana dresses from her own collection; there were golfing breaks and paintball experiences; solid silver bracelets, Egghead memorabilia (including one of CJ’s more colourful shirts worn on the show), books signed by myself, William Hartston (the former British chess champion who now writes for the Express in the guise of Beachcomber) and Paul Donnelley, a very well respected reference book writer of numerous trivia books – and too many more great prizes to list here.

Reports came through about the worsening conditions. I set out from my Crawley home mid morning and arrived at the venue just after 1pm and as I left my car who should I see walking towards the hotel but my dear old friend Chris Hughes. My spirits are always lifted when I see Chris and more so on this occasion when I considered that he had managed to travel down from Crewe that morning. Chris and I settled down in the bar area with Andrew Tringham, the head of IT at Tenison’s, while awaiting Chris’s room to be availed and although news began to filter through of a table cancellation due to the ever-worsening weather, we were again heartened when Kev Ashman wandered in after having an horrendous journey from Paris causing him to miss a crucial match in the Quiz League of London the night before.

News of two more table cancellations came through before the earlier than expected arrival of Mr CJ De Mooi looking as fresh-faced and vibrant as ever. CJ had cut short some filming to accommodate the students and had driven from Wales in blissful ignorance of the severe weather in the south east region. When I spoke with him the night before he was full of cold and with a three-month-solid schedule ahead beginning next week with panto rehearsals for his starring role as the all-knowing Emperor in Aladdin at the Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea, and ending with some film work in New York, I didn’t think it prudent to discuss the weather – very un-British of us!

Pat Gibson arrived next – he had travelled down from Wigan and although it was difficult for him to find a train running south initially, he eventually had a fairly uneventful journey. Pat and I chilled for a while in his room as I had not seen much of him since his extraordinary run of quiz successes in recent years culminating in him becoming the first legitimate claimant to Kevin’s crown as the world’s best quiz player. Pat won this year’s world quizzing championship by a staggering eleven points and to use a snooker analogy is catching Kev in the same way that Ronnie O’Sullivan is eating away at Stephen Hendry’s record tally of century breaks.
Although I have been close friends with Kev for many years and love and respect him like a brother I think it is probably healthy that he no longer dominates the world of quiz in the fashion he once did and if anyone was ever going to rival him I must admit I am over the moon it is an Irish man – so no more Irish jokes please!

So now we were all feeling slightly more relieved that at least 80 per cent of the ‘talent’ had arrived and Barry had messaged through that although he had managed to make the trek from Leeds he was running late and would not be arriving until approximately 6pm, which was cutting things fine.

We were all a little panicky at this point as John Ruskin College, Norbury Manor School, and Croydon College, all wonderful institutions that pioneer vocational learning and prioritise enterprise and dynamic learning, and all of which had bought and paid for tables, were forced to abandon ship as the roads were hardly navigable by now. I know the students and organisers were grateful for their support and I’m sure there will be mutual support of any upcoming collaborative events. A huge thank you to them for supporting this important event and I’m so sorry they couldn’t be there!

I know it seems bizarre that the Eggheads managed to make the trek from all parts of the country whilst locals in Croydon struggled but in severe weather conditions the most difficult part of your journey is often escaping the street where you live.

Only three tables had actually confirmed at this juncture and as the meals were all pre-booked the ever-ingenious team were conjuring up all sorts of contingency ideas. The hotel would not let us approach their guests however and there just wasn’t anyone around on the streets we could usher in to offer a free meal, although I understand Andrew Tringham managed to coerce a family member or two along – good man!

Grahame Harding arrived now with his delightful partner, Paula. It was an absolute joy to see them as they are the kind of people that go about their business in a very unassuming manner forever doing good deeds and yet are at the very top of their profession, hence unbelievably busy and focused. Grahame’s company First City Care is responsible for the security of the Bank of England and he himself was responsible for the security of Diana, Princess of Wales in the latter part of her life. I know the children and staff would like to thank Grahame for his very generous raffle gift of a night at the Ritz for two and also for his and Paula’s general support.

By now there was no more time for contingencies as 6.30 approached and the reception was due to begin and there was still no sign of Barry Simmons. I now did what I always do before any situation where I feel helpless and a little apprehensive – I prayed. Not that I hadn’t been praying in church prior to the event and indeed on several occasions during the day but this was just my little special prayer to ask God to take away any glory that might be inadvertently directed towards me as the front man as I was only too aware that my input was negligible in comparison to Ruth and Preya’s and totally insignificant compared to the efforts of Alice, Alistair, Geewai, Matt, Omar, Roddard and Tevin, our Magnificent Seven.

And so we began. I had already spoken to Bill Hartston earlier but we exchanged a few words now. Bill was a huge star in the world of chess in bygone days and had a very popular television series introducing chess for beginners. Bill is the radical thinking Beachcomber in the Daily Express and his latest project of developing his Wakkipedia website has already proven popular with the school students. Although Bill was an old friend I first met at the Mind Sports Olympiads over a decade ago, Paul Donnelley was someone I only knew through our mutual friend, the late great Jeremy Beadle and it was a delight to meet the man that Jeremy ranked so highly in the world of reference books. My final words were in the company of Chris Hughes and Miss Benjamin’s parents, Chris and Monica before I took the short walk into the hall to ask everyone to take their seats.

Now was the moment of truth as I did a Brian Hanrahan and counted them all out as they entered the room. Once I had counted one hundred I breathed a sigh of relief. The weather that had done its best to defeat us, had lost.

I introduced the Eggheads individually and before introducing CJ I told the story of how the Eggheads came about as a result of a project called the Dream Team that I took part in the year before the series started. I remarked that when they were looking to replace me for the Eggheads gig the producers were looking for another multiple quiz show champion who was a member of Mensa and also incredibly good looking and I suggested as this was impossible they were forced to settle for CJ. Although this received the ironic laughter I had planned the truth is of course CJ is a member of Mensa and a multiple quiz show champion like myself and I have to very reluctantly admit that some might find him a little more aesthetically pleasing on the eye than myself – but please don’t tell him so.

At this point I was informed that Barry was waiting in the wings and so a hurried introduction as the winner of the 2008 series of Are You An Egghead? was made followed by the observation that as Barry had danced with Diana Ross and alongside Princess Anne in the past perhaps we might catch him on ‘Strictly’ next year! Anyone working on the show take note!

Before commencement of the quiz Roddard gave a short inspirational speech and then CJ, who really was most helpful throughout the evening, and at this point the worst nightmare of an MC occurred, the microphones began to die creating that all too familar Norman Collier staccato sound where only every other word is heard – which can be tricky when asking quiz questions. Jeremy Beadle had always taught me to check the mikes before the event and I used to take considerable time in doing so for him but I’m fairly sure the problem was with the direction of the two speakers and the raised platform in between them creating a feedback effect. However we soldiered on manfully, refusing to let this diminish the proceedings in any way and a great time was had by all.

The Eggheads were briefly headed by Harding’s Heroes after Round 2 but by the end of proceedings normal service was resumed although the last Wipeout round meant the Heroes, who won the main quiz proper, could have defeated the Eggheads with a full house but alas took one chance too many and blew out at the final hurdle. Archbishop Tenison’s resident genius – Richard Jenkins – was on the celebrity table and there were a number of comments about how much he knew!

There are so many people to thank for ensuring the evening was such a splendid success, not least of which are the seven children who worked so tirelessly all evening to supply my every demand and producing facts and figures as if by magic. In alphabetical order the Seven are: Alice who did the entire design for the raffles, all the packing, organisation, selling, lifted spirits, maintained order with the boys, didn’t sit down for a second, worked so hard and had to leave early so received no on-night praise. Alice is quiet, consistent, reliable and positive. Alistair is a technical genius. He created a number of templates from flyer to quiz PowerPoint better than many professionals could ever hope to do. He integrated the music with PowerPoint, ran the entire quiz at the helm, flawlessly, didn’t even stop to eat (stuffed a sandwich down his throat during the main meal) and is one of the most talented IT people on the planet! Geewai did the entire scoring spreadsheet system that worked beautifully, transferred scores precisely and meticulously. He is a mathematician, is persistent – he got Centrale on board for sponsorship – and modest. Matt is confident, calm, positive and organised. He drew up the guest lists, liaising with hotel staff, organised the tables, rooms, music, and sorted out all the technicalities. He was always willing to do anything, is helpful and always cheery. Omar is an excellent communicator. He gave a moving speech at half time, and is generally dogged and determined. He is a good motivator, positive, hard working and inspirational. Rodard gave a great opening speech. He was the lead negotiator, organiser, motivator, communicator and sales person. He exudes an air of calm authority and is very mature for his young years. Rodard made such an impressive pitch to a company (during a sales round) that he was offered a part-time job (which he took!) The company staff apparently booked a table but were unable to make it due to the snow unfortunately. I even spied Rodard selling raffle tickets on the night. Tevin lifted people’s spirits on the evening. He is a creative wonder and created the promo video that was better than any professional promos I’ve seen and even Lucy at CiC admitted he produced something that she would find difficult to match. Tevin produced a lot of the technical stuff for the quiz and spent many hours downloading music and clipping them for integration. He worked tirelessly.

Another integral part of the team was Ms Mary Dalman who offered great support in the last week when numbers *due to snow threats* were dwindling. Mary checked the quiz, proofed it, prepared contingency plan when four tables cancelled, did the scoring, marking and didn’t stop all evening and was completely invaluable and amazing. I had total confidence in her ability and I can tell you, having undertaken marking duties myself in years gone by, it is one of the most demanding jobs of all as the time pressure is enormous. Miss Preya Syal worked tirelessly all evening – walking for miles to get there from Sanderstead in the first place- and ensuring every detail was being looked after – from speeches to raffles – to collecting money and scoring. Wendy Nodding and Pam Bryan from Purley Cross Centre worked closely with the students and encouraged and supported them from start to finish. Although our paths never crossed during the run-up to the big day I had met them both several years ago when I attended my first Alpha Course at their church. What a small world it is. I’m very pleased to say that Pam won the Night at the Ritz – yippee. Robin Walker is the Croydon TV director. In a meeting with him at his South Norwood offices prior to the event I was most impressed with his set-up. The small but very functional recording studio annexing the office was particularly impressive and was complete with travelling matte, probably better known to most of you as a ‘blue screen’ although if memory serves me Robin’s back drop screen which can create almost any image you desire, was green. Robin is keen to encourage enterprise and collaboration between schools and schools and businesses. Robin gave a short talk on the evening and I must apologise on behalf of the hotel for his microphone dying on him midway through his speech. Of course we can watch back their edit of the night on Croydon TV when it is out and hopefully some of the mike problems will be magically eradicated. Jim Parrish is head of sixth form and gave a short conclusion at the end. Good to have him there and supporting his talented sixth formers. Joy Langley the Deputy Head Mistress who walked for miles to the venue, generally supported and even made phonecalls herself at the last minute in an effort to retrieve the situation when we had four tables cancel in rapid succession! Miss Langley motivated staff and students all the way through and was ever present. So important I feel for members of Senior Leadership to support students in innovation and enterprise – and this was done magnificently.

I understand Richard Parrish – the headmaster -was stuck in Three Bridges but his support was very much appreciated.

I’d also like to thank on behalf of the school Alan Potter – Director for Education who was a great example by braving the conditions to support such a wonderful schools initiative. He was on a table with other Croydon Council employees – notably Paula Dunkley and Mike Smith (consultants in the 14-19 group) who were involved in providing support and inspiration for the Diplomas through 2009-10. Their help was invaluable and again, the fact they were there was amazing.

I know I’ve mentioned Lucy Porter previously but Lucy arrived early and was always encouraging and helpful before during and after the event and had to brave the elements to travel to the Oval immediately after the quiz.

Another lady I have already mentioned in passing but feel I have to give a special thank you to is Ruth Benjamin for being involved in every aspect of the planning of the event, being encouraging, inspirational and hard working well above and beyond the call of duty. This lady, who I know will not thank me for singing her praises.

And of course I must not forget the Eggheads themselves who always made themselves available for photographs and travelled vast differences in ridiculous and obscene conditions (and CJ for one had extreme difficulties getting home after his car had to be towed off the M4 at considerable cost to himself). I know each one of them sacrificed a lot to attend but it is a mark of the importance people like them attach to education that made me know that they would want to be involved. A huge thank you to Chris, Barry, CJ, Pat and Kevin. I hope they all managed to arrive home safely today as they are in the middle of a long winning streak at present : ) It is just a shame we didn’t have more time as Chris was going to entertain us with a song as he is a thrice weekly attendant at his local karaoke (you really don’t know half the stuff these megabrains get up to) and I had organised a surprise game of table tennis between Pat Gibson, who was the captain of his university team and Ritchie Venner, the national vets champion who was part of the winning Harding’s Heroes team. Having watched Ritchie play on innumerable occasions I had planned to make a killing on the fixed odds betting. It would have been such pleasant payback for all the times Pat pummels him on the Grand Prix circuit.

So that’s about it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone but I would just like to add a few words of my own regarding the evening. I have lost count many moons ago at how many quizzes I have hosted and co-hosted with the likes of dear-departed greats such as Jeremy Beadle and Magnus Magnusson. Things have not always gone smoothly even with those class acts and on the only other occasion I personally had microphone problems I was heckled mercilessly and the comedian I had booked for the auction refused to go on and it ended in a near riot. I immediately had flashbacks when the unthinkable occurred but I needn’t have worried as every single person in that room was so kind, focused and giving I can honestly say it was the most satisfying evening I have ever experienced in so many respects. To share the evening with old friends who I love and respect was reward enough but to make so many new friends on the night is something I don’t usually experience at such gatherings so from a personal point of view I would like to thank all those at Archbishop Tenison who made this an event worthy of its name.

God Bless you all

December 3, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Video Draft

Check out the Video (click link below)

via Quizzing Event of the Year – Eggheads come to Croydon!.

Article in the papers (Croydon Guardian, Omar Oakley) http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/8733479.print/

The quotes were mistakenly put down as being mine! And the spin on it wasn’t at all what we wanted (there goes our planned press release) but oh well …

Students will create post-event videos as part of their Multimedia Unit.

December 3, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

post-event thoughts – Mary Dalman

Ms Dalman walked for a few miles to get to the event (and then back again when it finished) and was part of the crucial scoring team.  Now working with the languages department at Tenison’s, she was an experienced events manager, and we were so grateful to have her expertise – thank you! Please read her (very nicely encapsulated) blurb on the event below.


Wow, what a success!  A fabulous atmosphere, lots of laughs and smiles, a good meal, fabulous raffle prizes, a dedicated event team, a fantastic Quiz, a skilful Quizmaster and a table of impressive Eggheads!  The students had worked tirelessly focussing on different aspects to bring together this complex event and demonstrate their astonishing IT skills.  Enthusiasm and IT expertise produced superb music and TV theme rounds whose technical complexities would have daunted most of us, and left me in awe; the whizzy electronic scoreboard was simply great with accurate data entry under extreme pressure; the coaxing persuasion of the raffle ticket sellers, the wonderful collection service for quiz papers, and the focus on customer service as table hosts to make the evening special for our guests were all integral to the ‘Quizzing with the Eggheads’ experience.  The way the students were able to alter things so quickly to follow the Quizmaster’s lead when it was necessary to shorten the programme was simply fantastic, it was done before anyone noticed that anything was happening!  Thorough planning, a calm approach, enthusiasm and drive, all bound together with excellent communication and outstanding teamwork … the essential ingredients for a successful event, especially such a dynamic one as this.  The IT Diploma team certainly got the mix right!

It was wonderful to hear the way students spoke from the heart and so movingly about what they had learnt and the causes they identify very strongly with and were raising funds for.   They appreciate how relatively lucky they are with their own lives and clearly all share a strong desire to improve things for others.  There cannot have been anyone in the room who was left unmoved.  It was a very good advert for the Tenisonian values, as well as Tenaciter!

The scoring corner was often ‘heads down’ and the concentration makes the pictures look very serious, but we had a great time!  We had to be on our toes, react to changes very fast in order to keep the scoreboard up to date.  This was a particular challenge when the answer sheets came flooding in during the second half as the tempo was increased, it felt like the Grand National played on ultra fast speed! However, all the fences were jumped cleanly and we all know that every race has a winner …….. and that was the success of the event with the money that is has raised.

I felt privileged to have been able to help the team in any way.  It was great to work with them, the team spirit simply shone through!  When I joined Tenison’s a year ago one of the things I was looking for was a school where I could contribute to a real community feel, as well as take up a role with new exciting challenges …….. I have certainly found it!

The students and their IT teaching staff deserve to be very proud.  I just wish the whole school and their families could have been there to experience it and to share in their sense of achievement and amazement at the money raised for such wonderful causes.

Note from organisers:

We are still waiting on payment from a few parties, and these are payable by cheque to the school.

Please note that you are still able to donate to these two worthy charities on the JUSTGIVING site:



So – a wonderful evening, despite some of the worst weather conditions EVER!

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More to come – Just a few pics from the evening!

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More pictures (gallery) here: http://s1217.photobucket.com/albums/dd387/MissBenjamin/

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

23:48 – from preparing for max 20 people to a nearly full house (despite cancellations)

WELL DONE EVERYONE! More on the wonderful evening we just had (against ALL ODDS!) and the roller-coaster ride leading up to it – as soon as I manage to find a way to write about it! Students – you were so incredible it’s impossible for me to describe (but I will – soon). Thank you Miss Syal, Mr Tringham and Ms Dalman – all the details came together perfectly because you were there. The Eggheads and Trevor – we are all in your debt. Thank you for making the evening such a success! I’ve ALREADY had so many texts to say how amazing everyone thought it was. Pictures…Video….and More soon. Croydon TV is bringing out their production of the event shortly. Link posted here.

Many of us were at the hotel (school closed) from about 12. The Eggheads started to arrive and we were assuring them of putting on a good evening although preparing for perhaps a max of 20 guests (because of the snow). It was odd preparing for both the worst case scenario and the best! Students just got on with it. In fact – they were so positive and focused (despite all) it was an inspiration.

Here are some of the before-the-event-pictures.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Event going ahead – despite Snow!

Yep – we’re covered, against all odds and many prayers, under a blanket of snow. Most teachers (including me) have had to leave their cars at the school and take public transport home. It’s well and truly treacherous and set to continue in to tomorrow and Thursday. (according to all eternal pessimists and the MET Office) So where does that leave us? I sent an e-mail out to all table contacts reminding them that this was all for charity and these weather conditions simply could not have been foreseen. Furthermore the hotel has already made the catering order and taken payment with the suite (and accept no negotiations or rescheduling) which means going ahead is our only option. Events insurance (We were looking into this a week or so ago) doesn’t cover cancellation due to weather (unless the weather posed a threat to LIFE OR LIMB (which we’ll never be able to prove) so taking out that would have been useless. On the bright side – what a great experience this has been. Lots for students to write about from a legal point of view (Croydon Park Hotel’s contracts + cancellation rights + data protection + payment etc) and even more interesting twists and turns to add to their reports (once we are back under controlled conditions) I think the students have been through it all in the preparation and planning for this one event! (a range of emotions, situations and incidents) I suppose if it had all run like clockwork it would have been boring!

IT MATERIALS PREPARED FOR THE QUIZZING EVENT – available soon as a free downloadable pack

So – operation “Go ahead against all odds in fiercely hostile weather conditions” looks like the only plan we have going! All the IT materials for the quiz are in place. Notably, the quizzing Template (it’s truly amazing) with integrated questions, music rounds etc (created by the incredible Alistair Wick) – He can add this to his growing professional portfolio of copyrighted creative designs.  Geewai’s scoring system (very complex and perfectly implemented) along with the answer sheet packs beautifully designed and printed by Alice. Omar and Rodard have both contributed to the questions and general organisation/negotiation of the event but are also integral to the evening with their prepared speeches.  Tevin tireless worked to get the music downloaded, clipped, trimmed and integrated. He also designed the programme for the evening and a very moving video that will be played at the start. Matthew and Alice stayed behind on Monday after-school for a few hours to organise all the raffle prizes, list them, put them into appropriate bundles and wrap them too! What a huge task – and thank you for doing this without even a hint of complaint! All these items will be available for use for all event attendees and presented as a downloadable pack from http://www.teachingict.net


Despondent (but strangely positive and wonderful) students met me outside the staffroom at lunch and we made a brief plan for tomorrow. No run through took place (like planned) so it’s going to involve a bit of winging it on the night … Alterations to the quiz and programme will also need to be made to cater for people wanting to leave early.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Philosophical Question: What about when God doesn’t answer prayer …

[Warning: This post reflects my own personal opinions/views!]  Higher Ways – Steven Curtis Chapman

So I prayed that it wouldn’t snow (so our tiny [in the scheme of things] quizzing night could go ahead smoothly) and others like Mr Baldwin’s young daughter prayed that it would! The cartoon above is an interesting one simply because it’s often these little things (these unanswered prayers – big or small) that are the reason that people stop believing! I once asked a Year 8 kid why he (a once Christian) now called himself an Atheist – his response – because he once prayed for Chelsea to win, and they didn’t! (which confirmed, in his mind, that there was no God or even if there was a God He wasn’t worth believing in)  There are so many people who feel just like Calvin, only they have prayed for things much more important than a few inches of snow (or for no snow!). I can’t help but think of Charles Darwin – who started off  in Cambridge studying to become  an Anglican clergyman and a believer in the literal truth of the Bible. He learnt John Herschel’s science which, like William Paley’s natural theology, sought explanations in laws of nature rather than miracles and saw adaptation of species as evidence of design

He had ten children: two died in infancy, and his darling daughter Annie’s death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on him. In 1849, Anne caught scarlet fever along with her two sisters, and her health thereafter declined; some authorities believe that she suffered from tuberculosis. I imagine he must have prayed …

… but she died.

Truth is – God always answers prayer. In His [Higher] way. Ways that we aren’t always likely to understand with our pea-brains. Also, we don’t get to dictate how life pans out – but I’d like to think we are right to ask, and pray and trust. (even for the small things). That’s what it means to be in relationship. It’s one thing to trust God when he answers our prayers (big or small) but it’s an even greater thing to trust/praise him when he doesn’t.

Our quiz is a tiny thing in the huge arena of far more important events/incidents, but the philosophical implications associated with any sort of hope/request/prayer are interesting to consider …

Higher Ways – Steven Curtis Chapman great song [lyrics] by Steven Curtis Chapman

If I could only fly
I’d go up and look down from the sky
So I could see the bigger picture
And Lord if I could sit with You
At Your feet for an hour or two
I’m sure I’d ask too many questions
‘Cause there’s so much going on down here
That I must confess I just don’t understand

But I have prayed
And at your feet my whole life has been laid
So I wont worry I wont be afraid
‘Cause my soul is resting on Your higher ways
Let the road ahead become unclear
I am Yours so what have I to fear
If my soul is resting on Your higher ways

Your higher ways teach me to trust You
Your higher ways are not like mine
Your higher ways are the ways of the Father
Hiding His children in His love

So let it rain
And if my eyes grow dim with tears of pain
This hope I have will not be washed away
‘Cause my soul is resting on Your higher ways

Someday I will fly and
Maybe then You will take me aside
And show me the bigger picture
But until I’m with You
I’ll be here with a heart that is true
And a soul that’s resting on
Your higher ways

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”
G. K. Chesterton quote

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To be or not to be … in control … (snow, illness)

Just when you forget that you were never in control in the first place, something happens to ensure you remember! All the planning and hard work in the world are no match for things that are simply not in our hands. Illness is one, and the weather is another. Today two IT teachers were taken ill (both integral to the event) and even though I’m much better and will (God willing) be fine for Monday, there is more … the weather forecast predicts heavy snow for Tuesday and Wednesday! (the exact days that are crucial) Now is that a coincidence or is that a coincidence? The hotel wrote an entirely confusing e-mail (trying to cover their own back and ensure no losses) and it’s another one of those disheartening times. Realistically, what is there to do at this stage? Events Insurance was never an option as the policy (I’ve looked at a couple) all outline that cancellation of an event due to weather is not covered. We could cancel, but the weather could end up being perfect. Cancelling now (by some) would be viewed as “cutting our losses” but I can’t help but think it would also be an entirely faithless thing to do …

How ironic – that we are fully booked (against all odds) and then are faced with a potential severe weather warning that could ruin the event. (Remember, the Eggheads are coming down from all over the country – Kevin, in fact, is flying down from Paris on the Tuesday)

I had a chat with Trevor Montague – the quiz master for the event – he is currently writing the quiz. We decided the only way to be was positive and to believe things will work out for the best. Now what we do is hope and trust that there will not be snow (as predicted) but that the winds will change direction and it’ll be sunny OR that even with the snow it’ll be perfect with no disruptions whatsoever! Hope is a wonderful thing (especially when there are no other options).  Trusting (when you know it is not in your control) is another wonderful (but very difficult) thing to do –

Watch this space …

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

150 people confirmed and good planning meeting

So….quite miraculously….out of the blue…..we appear to have 150 people confirmed. Two tables confirming literally yesterday (Thursday 25th November). Full capacity….and planning is well under way.  We have more auction/raffle items than we know what to do with (way too many books) and it’s interesting to note that a few weeks ago we all were ready to give up. Loads of interest but no confirmed bookings and it all looked completely and utterly impossible. Trevor came down to meet the students and we had an initial run through of the evening. Omar and Rodard had written two absolutely stunning speeches. Everyone else had met the deadline for their various (all equally important) contributions. Notably Tevin and Alistair with the music and actual quiz presentation (ensuring it will be seamless), Geewai with his design for the scoring system, Alice and Matt with a script for the in-house filming and other important design/layout/print considerations for the evening. We also went down to Croydon Park Hotel for a meeting with the events manager there.

Rodard, Alistair and Geewai led the negotiations there and we came to an agreement (not ideal and not what had been agreed verbally) but an agreement nonetheless.

Difficult Negotiations with the Croydon Park Hotel (on the details of technicalities, budget, resources, staff etc)
















…hey, but they have a great Christmas tree out front.

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Centrale agrees to sponsor the Eggheads Charity Event – Thank you!


After a few weeks of deliberation and the persistence of Geewai Chui from Team Light, SHOPPING CENTRE CENTRALE  has kindly agreed to sponsor the event. This means they will be paying a rather considerable sum of money to the school to go towards covering costs (breaking even) that will be incurred by the event (i.e venue hire, catering, etc). This is absolutely amazing news and what an achievement for Team Light! The story  started a month or so ago when Team Light (Alistair, Tevin and Geewai) (accompanied by Miss Syal) went on one of their “sales rounds” to Centrale.  The receptionist there was extremely helpful and allowed the students in to the marketing department. The team made their pitch and left the marketing dept with their contact details and the event’s promotional leaflet (created by Alistair).  Centrale did of course have to consider the proposal but Geewai ensured this was definitely happening by touching base with the Marketing Head there during half term.  And then this evening, I received the e-mail we were waiting for from the lovely Sony Mistou who has been such a support and encouragement to our students.

Thank you Centrale for your support and sponsorship which will go a long way towards making the evening a success. More importantly it will ensure that most of the profits from ticket and raffle sales will go to the two worthy charities we are working on behalf of.  Children in Crisis and the Purley Cross Centre.
Team Light – well done! And Geewai – congratulations.

A few quotes below on PERSISTENCE …

“Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time.”  Napoleon Hill (American author, 1883-1970)

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” Calvin Coolidge (American 30th President of the United States, 1872-1933)

G.K Chesterton (a favourite author of mine and the guy who inspired C.S Lewis) puts it more simply:

“Energy and persistence just may conquer all things.” -G.K Chesterton
and finally…

“If  success is the destination … Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” -William Eardley, IV

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Importance of Supporting Each other: The Lessons we are learning…

“The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labor for”.   -Thomas More

Even for me as a teacher, the twists and turns this course has taken has been a learning curve. Organising, planning and selling tables for a somewhat high profile quizzing event is no small thing.  The students have had all sorts of crazy experiences with businesses and companies they approached and how valuable for them to have had these opportunities at so young an age. You’ve got to try and sell “on the floor” to understand how corporations work, and our students have certainly gained an understanding into the business world.  (good things and bad) The complexities of getting past the “gatekeeper” (often the secretary or PA) and the dejection that comes from rejection! But Life, work and challenges would be quite worthless if things came easy and required no effort.

As a class we agreed that one of the most irritating things in life are people who are intrinsically un-supportive or unhelpful. The customer service staff that hang up or turn up their nose the moment they realise we just may be “selling” something. One thing we’ve decided is to let the experience turn us into people who DO help and DO support others.  The key thing in this unit (Mark Band B!) is team work and what an important part of life learning to work effectively in a team is.  Whether leaders or followers, team work consists of doing what is right for the greater good. A wonderful thing I’ve noticed with our students is that though the two teams have been working in this enterprise unit in competition against each other, they have also broken down the barriers on several occasions and simply helped each other out. A good example of this was Rodard (in Team Archten) who helped with some of the pitches that Team Light made.

These things – that show character – are far more important than success. How do we act under pressure? What do we do when things aren’t going great? Do we give up? Are we positive, supporting and an asset to our team members or a hindrance?

“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone succeed”  -Alan Loy McGinnis

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”  -John Andrew Holmes

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


One of the things students are doing is raising money for the Purley Cross Centre. It is anticipated that the centre will then be used to cater for different groups in the local community including the elderly, disabled and local businesses who may benefit from having a training centre/base. Archbishop Tenison’s Students (as part of their networking unit) were able to analyse this realistic scenario, come up with a proposed solution and make a presentation. Some students attempted the creation of a 3D model. We are still in the process in raising money to make this a reality, but in the meantime have a look at this…..

The joys of sketchup, 3D design and rendering (see the final design with the light effects!) ICT has the power to transform…

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diploma in IT – Promo Videos!

Making a difference (Quizzing Event Promo)

Diploma in IT (General)

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pics: Presenting Network Proposals for the PCCentre

The candidates on this years BBC Apprentice show could learn a thing or two from our amazing students….Well done!

Team Light: Tevin, Geewai and Alistair (Left to Right)

This afternoon both teams presented their network proposals to Wendy Nodding and Pam Bryan from the Purley Cross Centre (Rachael was unable to be there). A small conference room in the Purley Baptist Church premises had been booked for the purpose and the students didn’t fail to impress. Team Archten went first and their presentation was thoroughly researched, comprehensive and very thoughtful. They considered all alternatives and justified their choices with well-reasoned arguments. Each member of the team made a meaningful contribution and their presentation was professional, confident and most importantly technically viable. You’ll notice some of the pictures below which show Team Archten’s presentation. Omar’s presentation was chosen for the final team proposal and his research (painstaking detail included) was exceptional. Alice impressed us all by considering the fine detail and taking the users (elderly people) into account. Rodard was able to explain some of the technical aspects of the proposal efficiently (such as the function of a server and common misconceptions about what it is) and Matthew had developed quite an interesting 3D sketchup model with two different alternative solutions for the interior design of the place. All in all an excellent presentation.

Team Archten: Matt, Omar, Alice and Rodard

Team Light was next and once again they were perfectly prepared both in terms of their actual presentation and the resources they had at hand to deliver an effective proposal. Alistair introduced the team and went through the different technical items, explaining each and the reasoning behind the proposed purchase. Tevin succinctly captured the benefits of open source software, in this case a Linux operating system and made a compelling case for the centre dropping the idea of a Windows Server! I think he made his point quite well as Wendy seemed convinced by the end! Geewai explained the budget (the team had used his budget for the final proposal) and it was impressive to see how comprehensively each possible alternative had been considered. He had three different proposals, sorted by expense, and the most reasonable was proposed as a final solution. He had also built in a number of features that took discounts and other factors into account. Team Light concluded their presentation with what I would say was the highlight of the afternoon – a 3d animated movie of a model Alistair had created of the actual Purley Cross Centre facility. This has been created from scratch (using photos taken on our last visit) and was designed to the exact cm in measurement! The model included the team’s proposed furniture, equipment and intricate detail that took absolutely everything from

Alistair's 3d model of the P.C.Centre facility. A professional couldn't do better.....

disabled access, fire-exits, projector mount and access space in to account. What’s more he took rendering and lighting control (from an ordinary 3d model) to the next level by including this in the 3d fly-by. The result was stunning not to mention professional and visually appealing. Video link here.

The thumbnails below show pictures of the afternoon including images of their proposed budgets and their animated 3d models. Wendy explained that another government funded company had set up a router with four laptops in the centre while we fund raised, and I have included the budget their company came up with as one of the thumbnails (black and white). It goes to show how comprehensive and well considered the budgets our students came up with were….

To say we are proud is a bit of an understatement. I can’t remember the last time I saw people (let alone young learners) make such a professional, well researched and excellent presentation. Huge congratulations to both teams. The staff at the PCCentre will analyse the presentations, 3D models and proposed budgets/suggested equipment and get back to us in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, students are raising money that will enable them to buy the equipment for this centre and make the networked suite a reality. Please donate and support their cause here http://www.justgiving.com/quizforcharity You can also contact us about purchasing a ticket which will go towards Children in Crisis as well as this worthy cause. eggheadscharityevent@gmail.com

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

14-19 Education Consultants at Tenison’s for Student’s presentation

Diploma in IT students with Educational consultants Kate Ambrosi and Paula Dunkley. Thank you for your time and support.

Kate Ambrosi and Paula Dunkley from Croydon Council gave up their afternoon to come and visit the Diploma students and listen to team presentations on the project work they have been doing so far. Both teams chose a unit each and made compelling presentations explaining how the Diploma has truly allowed for “learning to come to life”. Team Light (Alistair, Tevin and Geewai) talked about the Networking Project and went through all the research they have been doing. Team Archten (Rodard, Omar, Alice and Matt) then talked about the enterprise and team working unit and explained the current business challenge which is about raising money for charity and organising a high profile quizzing event. Team Archten talked about selling and the experiences (good and bad) that they’ve had. It was interesting to note the knowledge of corporate structures that has been acquired through selling to organisations, often starting with customer service staff and working their way up through the firm. Paula and Kate were very impressed with the students and offered to help out by selling the quizzing event at their various steering group meetings, asking senior Croydon Council members to purchase a table and also arranging for a widget and link to the quizzing donation page http://www.justgiving.com/quizforcharity to be put on the CC intranet. Students were keen to promote how different the Diploma has been and we were all agreed that it has been wonderful to see our students get out in to the real world and take part in projects and experiences that will set them apart from their peers.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Press release draft

The Eggheads come to Croydon

Roll up! Roll up! All you socially conscious local firms – the magnificent seven BBC television Eggheads are coming to Croydon for Christmas and you can join in to support worthy causes and enjoy an evening of spectacular entertainment. As part of the new 14-19 National Diploma Initiativeseven enterprising students from Archbishop Tenison School have organised a charity quiz night for Wednesday 1st December 2010 at the Croydon Park Hotel with all proceeds from the evening going to Children In Crisis. Part of the ticket sales will go toward a community networking project at the Purley Cross Centre, Purley.

The children are working together to raise funds and are asking for your support to ensure that the event is a success. Omar Banharally, Geewai Chiu, Matthew Gilbert, Rodard Kasongo, Tevin Matthew, Alice Thomson and Alistair Wick have worked in teams to produce everything from the budget to the flyer and promotional website. The award for the best flyer went to Alistair Wick (Yr 12) for his original and professional design. They are also working in competition with each other to bring in the most funds through sponsorship, ticket sales, raffle and auction items.

Ruth Benjamin, Diploma in IT line lead says “This is an exciting and dynamic qualification that aims to bridge the divide between vocational and academic; providing students with a qualification that equips them with applied learning and an insight into the corporate and business world. The course is equivalent to 3.5 A Levels and includes 10 days of specialist work experience. There are two external exams and various practical units where students work together to meet real and meaningful objectives that impact the community. We are so proud to have our own ‘magnificent seven’ committing and throwing themselves wholeheartedly into this project that will undoubtedly impact both the local community and our larger global family in a positive and meaningful way”.

Once the students had decided that their event was going to be a quiz night they contacted local best-selling author and founder of the British Quiz Association Trevor Montague and recruited him as quizmaster for the event. Trevor grew up in Croydon and is passionate about both quizzing and education in general. For many years he co-presented charity quizzes alongside the late and great Jeremy Beadle and before the demands of his writing career took over he was an ever-present on radio and television quiz programmes. When approached for help Trevor did not hesitate. “The whole concept of this event is very close to my heart and our mission is to ensure the Croydon Schools Diploma event is financially successful but also a lot of fun. The evening’s entertainment will begin with a champagne reception followed by a table quiz (10 per table) for 20 teams. The starting bids for each table will be £500 (£50 per individual). The students have some fantastic ideas for making the best use of the seven Eggheads, including auctioning their talents, although one student’s idea of throwing rotten eggs at them if they get a question wrong is perhaps a bridge too far!. However apparently Tenisons have their own school Egghead who they swear could easily become the 8th member of the celebrated team so that might be an interesting clash! It promises to be a great night and the charity is a most worthy one and the winning team will need to be just as worthy.”

The networking project is being directed by two of Archbishop Tenison’s top Year 13 Computing and Maths students – Richard Jenkins and Adrian Bocai. Both students have notable experience and enthusiasm in the field of networking and will be overseeing the research, preparation and finally the installation of a network in the Purley Cross Centre. Diploma in IT students (mentioned above) will be drawing up the network plans, 3D interior design proposals as well as a complete budget. The quizzing event ticket sales and sponsorship will go towards making this local community initiative become a reality. Richard and Adrian are pictured here with Office Manager, Wendy Nodding and Deborah Baggot.

Children in Crisis was established by Sarah, Duchess of York in 1993 to help transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. World wide one in six children are denied a basic education, over half of those are in countries devastated by war. The charity works in some of the most challenging places, including Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where most children have never had the chance to go to school. In the 17 years since Children in Crisis was established, they have built some 51 schools, trained more than 13,000 teachers and made a significant contribution to the education of over 1.3 million children. With your support, they hope to change the lives of a further 110,000 of the world’s most vulnerable children this year. To sign up to take part, be sent a flyer, or sponsor the event please e-mail eggheadscharityevent@gmail.com You can also phone Archbishop Tenison’s (Ruth Benjamin, IT dept) for more information.

Quizzing Event of the Year_leaflet (PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER)

Original Design by Alistair Wick, Year 12 (Well done Alistair!)

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Project #2 Networking: Research and Planning

The first picture here is of the group in the chip shop. I handed out the final leaflets (well done Alistair Wick – they were amazing!) and the group got to brainstorm (over coke and fanta!) about how they would use these as part of their promotional and marketing strategies.

Back to the PCC networking project: Deb – who has had lots of experience with IT systems and networks herself – gave the group a talk about the importance of taking ALL factors into consideration. We discussed health and safety as well as disability access, which is a key issue. Students took notes and also measured the room and asked questions about the “needs” of the centre. It was established that a server of some sort would definitely be advantageous.  Deb also mentioned the fact that the room would primarily be used as a training centre so this would have to be taken in to account. For instance, this would bring in the potential need for other components such as a projector and whiteboard. As the premises themselves are quite small, working out a feasible structural and network plan will be an interesting task.  It was suggested that the server go in the small reception room at the front.  Teams will be drafting their plans, coming up with interior designs, 3D flybbys, network diagrams and budgets in the next two weeks! They are also (simultaneously) working in teams to raise the all important money for the quizzing event (ticket sales) and general sponsorship where possible. Here are a few pictures to remind us of what we saw.

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment