Pupils from a school in Helensburgh have taken a podium position in an international coding challenge.
Two classes from Lomond School in the Argyll and Bute town placed in the final results of the annual Hour of Code initiative – a global event which takes place during Computer Science Education Week every December.
Lomond’s 3F.COM computer science class finished second overall in the High School category, while the Primary 7 class made the top 10 in the Primary category.
More than 140 countries took part in the event, with Lomond School the only establishment in the world to have two classes ranked in the final results despite being up against almost 4,000 other schools and 8,900 classes.
The competition saw pupils work in teams using Blocks or Python code to create solutions to maze-type puzzles, gaining up to three Gold Stars for solutions classed as “optimum.” Entries were graded in terms of quality, time taken and whole class participation, so every pupil’s effort counted.
Alongside the international ranking and coding kudos, Lomond School – a private, co-educational, day and boarding school – also won a year’s supply of licenses for pupils to use the Codementum online coding resources, which will be deployed throughout the school year.
3F.com team member James McPherson (14) said: “I really enjoyed taking part in this competition and was surprised we did so well as we were told that schools from all over the world were taking part. I’m looking to study engineering at university so taking part in coding competitions like this is really valuable as well as being a fun experience.”
Principal teacher Claire Chisholm said: “Though unsurprised, given the talented pupils here at Lomond, I’m utterly thrilled by this achievement from our T2 and S3 pupils. STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are a huge part of Lomond School life and it’s wonderful to see our pupils recognised on the global stage like this. They should all be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved.”
Calum Gordon, teacher of computing science and organiser of the event, said: “When you see the number of classes, schools and countries that participated from all over the world, this was an amazing achievement for a small school like Lomond School and one that we can be very proud of.”