Young people develop digital skills with Exa

EXA - Networks Ltd

Exa has provided reliable internet services to thousands of schools since 2003. From connectivity to content filtering, monitoring and firewalls, we deliver a fully managed solution that can be tailored to your needs.

But we’re more than just an ISP, we’re committed to improving the learning experiences of pupils nationwide. In 2015, we launched The Exa Foundation with the specific aim to promote digital learning in schools, and encourage young people to consider careers in tech.

New KCSiE guidance means there is now more pressure on schools to prepare young people for a more digital, connected life. The new guidelines specify that schools should provide training for pupils and staff about online safety.  

Working with teachers, The Exa Foundation provides UK schools, academies and colleges with physical and digital events, conferences and workshops. Events and resources can be tailored to pupils, or teachers and staff seeking continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities.

National Events
Children and teachers across the UK can benefit from events by The Exa Foundation. Delivered by Alan O’Donohoe, Exa’s Specialist Leader in Education, the Foundation’s Learning Programme offers a variety of interactive and engaging activities that meet current curriculum requirements. As always, the aim is to inspire and educate students and teachers about computing and the world wide web.

The programme has two pillars: Protect & Connect®:

Workshops in the Protect segment highlight effective habits anyone can develop to lower the risks of online activity. Pupils and teachers attending these sessions will learn how to:

  • Protect and maintain their identity
  • Take proactive steps to manage their privacy
  • Act against harmful content and unwelcome contact, including cyberbullying
  • Respond appropriately to malicious behaviour and criminal activity
  • Identify unreliable content and false information

Sessions covered under the Connect segment explore the history of the internet and reveal the technologies that make it work. After these workshops attendees are able to:

  • Explain how and why the internet was created
  • Justify reasons for using a network
  • Measure and compare internet speed and bandwidth
  • Explain why protocols are needed to govern the internet
  • Use free tools to develop content for the web
  • Defend the morals and ethics of the internet and world wide web

Each session has learning objectives tied to the UK National Curriculum, and can be adapted for KS2, KS3, KS4 and KS5 - or for adults as part of a CPD programme.

Local Support
Exa is a proud Bradford company, and as a result regularly provides the local community with events that support young people in the city. Most recently we have delivered Careers in Technology events and a Digital Skills Camp as part of Bradford Skills Month. These events, which are led by Exa's Specialist Leader in Education, Alan O'Donohoe, can also be tailored to individual schools or multi-academy trusts nationally.

Careers in Technology
Specifically designed for schools and colleges with dedicated whole class sessions.

This event aimed to:

  • inspire interest in digital careers
  • challenge misconceptions about people in tech
  • develop understanding of work in the digital sector

Packed with engaging workshops, the sessions included topics such as networking technologies and cyber security. Participants gained an understanding of networking technologies, as well as heard about real industry careers and study experiences. The events were well received by school groups, with some sessions selling out a month in advance.

Digital Skills Camp
Young people from the local area also benefited from a Digital Skills Camp at Exa’s head office in Bradford. The event included a series of hands-on workshops, activities and masterclasses.

Attendees enhanced their digital skills and learnt to apply them to find solutions to real-world challenges. The programme aimed to help participants collaborate and learn about how digital communication and tech can be used as a force for good, as well as promoting careers in tech.

Participants had access to Raspberry Pi and microbit devices, as well as help from Alan and the Exa team.

Workshops built on the skills and interests of attendees, and included:

  • Software and games development using Python, Scratch and Minecraft.
  • Digital making using Micro:bit, Raspberry Pi and Monk Makes.
  • Presenting projects and ideas to an audience.

The Skills Camp culminated in a #DigitalSkillsFair, where participants exhibited their projects to an invited audience.

How do I book?
Exa customers can benefit from CPD for teachers and interactive learning experiences for pupils free of charge as part of their connectivity package. They are also available to non-Exa customers from £1,000 per day.