University of Oxford features go_girl:code+create in their video series

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Final Go_Girl Project Ceremony and Certificates!

Today, we celebrated our final project event! We all came together at Kellogg College to share the stories of our journeys over the past go_girl year with friends and families and to present the projects to those interested. Everyone seemed really impressed by the journey made since the start of the project in September 2015.

The young women received their AQA certificates and Julia got a special recognition for having attended every single one of the 35 classes and all additional events and outings since the project started!


Ceremony programs designed by the young women


Mel welcoming everyone and delivering the opening keynote address


Niall talking about the idea behind the go girl project


Paula introducing herself and her role in the go_girl project


Julia presenting her scratch game


Rosie and Chloe presenting their go girl football fitness blog


Frances and Isabel describing their health and lifestyle website / app








The young women receiving their AQA certificates








So what’s next for the young women? CE will start Sixth Form in September and is planning to become a midwife. RH is planning to become a youth worker, citing Mel as her inspiration, and will start the courses that lead her on that path in autumn. Both I and F are planning to become teachers. JT will embark on a computer course in September to learn more about computers and maybe even coding. C will continue her work in the foodbank and is planning to get a licence to drive a fork-lift truck. SR is becoming a mom in the next few weeks. J is planning to volunteer for an NGO radio station. And SB is planning to retake her A-levels to get into Uni to fulfil her dream of studying for a science degree. We are so proud of all of them and wish them every luck for their next steps. Go Girls!

The go girl football fitness, in collaboration with Oxford United Women FC, which, initiated by Mel, developed from the go girl project, will resume in September and will continue. Mel will continue to follow up with the young women’s educational paths in the context of the weekly drop in session at the Early Intervention Hub. Niall and Anne will continue to meet and check in with the young women to hear about their plans and progress once a month until next year.


The young women with their certificates (missing in the picture are C, I, J and S)

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Session 35: Working on our individual education- and career goal roadmaps

Today was the last official go_girl session! It was very sad but wonderful to see how far everyone has come in the past year! We started the session with the usual check-in. With the final go girl ceremony, which is taking place next Wednesday afternoon at Kellogg College, only a week away, we had a full program.

The main goal of today’s session was to complete our roadmaps, which detail our educational- and career goals depending on our own plans and circumstances, and which outline the next steps that we need to take in order to achieve these goals.


Mel explaining the different fields on the road map and discussing their road map with each person individually

We used a template with a road that allowed us to plan for each next step where we need to get information from, to write down what challenges we might face and how to overcome them, and where to get support and help from should we get off the road. For each of these factors there were different fields to fill in for each step. Despite the official coding sessions of the go girl project at the Department of Education coming to an end next week, Mel will continue to follow up with everyone at the Early Intervention Hub for the next few months, to support them and help everyone achieve the goals they have set for themselves.


The roadmap of one of the young women who would like to get a University degree in future

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The roadmap of another one of the young women who is planning to go on to become a midwife

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The roadmap of another one of the young women who would like to go on and learn more about computers and take a computer course

Next week, we will showcase our projects and speeches to our families and friends in our final Go Girl Awards Ceremony, and will also receive our AQA certificates. It will be good fun!

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Session 34: planning for the ceremony

The session started today with the girls talking about their previous week and sharing what they have done over the recent weekend- JT shared with the group some photos of her cousin’s wedding she had attended Saturday.

The girls completed two questionnaire’s each- these were questions about their individual experiences with internet skills, confidence and internet safety. One of the questionnaires was for the girls to answer how they felt prior to go girl and the other was about there experiences now.






The girls then began to continue with the work they started last week in regards to the go girl ceremony on the 6th of July.

Pic2Chloe prepared the programme for the ceremony and Sabbah and Julia worked on completing the invitation. They found images of Ada Lovelace that they thought would be great to use on the invitation.

Frances and Isabel completed the flyer last week, the flyer is now ready to be printed and shared with family and friends.


Isabel and Frances continued to work on their app adding food diaries and fit tips.


Sabbah continued to work on her game- Dinosaur v Dinner adding script to the software and developing the character.

Chloe added to the go girl football fitness website- letting people know the dates and times of the next football sessions this coming September. The website is looking great and both Chloe and Rosie will continue adding to it over the summer period.

Great work girls looking forward to completing your projects next week in time for the ceremony!! 🙂

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Session 33: Go Girl show case at East Oxford Hub

Today the go girls got together  at the East Oxford Hub. The group discussed last weeks event at the symposium and shared their thoughts.IMG_20160615_163955The group discussed the next steps for go girl and what needed to be done for the go girl ceremony which will be taking place at Kellogg College on 6th July 2016.

The girls started to plan for the ceremony and got into pairs to design the flyer, programme and invitation for friends and family members.

Staff from the East Oxford Hub joined the group half way through the session to introduce them selves and gave the girls the opportunity to tell them about what they had been doing and their involvement with go girl. The girls also shared their individual projects which was great 🙂




The girls and young women appear to be more confident in expressing themselves and feeding back to others about all of the fantastic work they have been doing!

We will all be meeting up again next week to complete the invitations and planning for the ceremony 🙂

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go_girl: code+create Symposium

Today’s symposium on ‘Women and Technology: How can we challenge inequalities in higher and further education?’ started with an introduction by Niall Winters, in which he welcomed the around 36 delegates and set the frame for the day. Referring to the diverse talks and panels ahead, he emphasised the need to address issues of inequality for women in technology and the necessity for ways forward with regard to overcoming barriers in higher and further education particularly for young women from non-traditional academic backgrounds.


Niall opening the Symposium

Niall’s welcome was follwed by Mel Jewell’s introduction to go_girl:code + create. In an inspiring speech, Mel reflected on her personal experiences of raising two boys as a single teeange mom and on how, having learned how important it was for her to have a role model in her local youth worker, she came to be a youth worker herself.


Mel introducing go_girl: code+create


Mel introducing go_girl: code+create










Mel was  followed by short introductions by Anne Geniets and Paula Fiddi, and the introduction of Julia Hayes of Inclusion Creativa, who drew today’s brilliant symposium graphics. Anne and Paula introduced the aims of the go_girl project, which are: to understand barriers and challenges facing young women from non-traditional academic backgrounds when applying to HE/FE; to increase overall IT skill levels through media production (video, music, blogs) and creative programming and coding; and to increase academic confidence. And they outlined the three project phases, which are: Phase 1 – aspirations and life skills; Phase 2 – IT skills and creative projects; Phase 3 (current phase) – coding and mobile apps.


Julia of Inclusion Creativa in action, drawing graphics of today’s symposium

Brendan Tangney, Professor of Computer Science at the Centre for Research in IT in Education, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), was next up, introducing both the The Bridge21 and CodePlus Programmes for Girls projects in Ireland. Brendan emphasised that just improving coding skills of pupils won’t work if not simultaneously resources are invested into training teachers in IT skills and coding.


Brendan: “I’m always amazed that intelligence is distributed by postcode!”

Brendan was followed by a panel on ‘Widening Participation in Oxford’, which included Cliona Hannon from the Trinity Access Programme and the Lady Margret Hall Foundation Year and Jo Begbie from the Lady Margret Hall Foundation Year, Helena Webb from the Dept. of Computer Science, University of Oxford, and James Slattery from the Widening Participation Team University of Oxford. All of the participants emphasised the need for improved access to higher education and to Oxford for young people from non-traditional and low socio-economic backgrounds and women. Barriers and challenges were discussed for young people from non-traditional backgrounds, and how programmes like TAP or the LMH Foundations Year and efforts by the Department of Computer Science and the Widening Participation Team at the University of Oxford were trying to tackle these issues. There seemed to be a consensus that in recent years, there have been increased efforts to reach out to and to encourage young people from non traditional backgrounds and for women to apply, as evidenced by a number of initiatives at Oxford such as the ones presented by the panelists.

Next up were the go_girls! Introduced by Paula –  Julia, Sabbah, Chloe and Rosie did a fantastic job introducing their coding projects which are still ‘work in progress’ at this stage, and not yet finished. It took a lot of courage for them to stand for the first time in front of such a big audience, but all their hard work and month long preparation of their speeches and presentations completely paid off: Their stories really touched the audience! Frances and Isabel couldn’t make it, so Paula presented the power point presentation of their project which they had prepared in the run up to the event.


Julia presenting her game ‘The Power of the Hematite’ and the story behind it


Sabbah presenting steps of her game ‘Dinosaur vs Supper’ in Unity 3D and talking about her coding learning experience this year at go_girl









Rosie and Chloe introducing their gogirl football fitness website


Isabell and Frances’ presentation on their ‘Fit Fatties’ health and lifestyle mobile app







Graphic by Julia Hayes summarising the projects presented by the young women today

Imogen Casebourne, Director of Learning at LEO was up next, talking about the roles in the educational technology sector and reflecting on her personal experiences working in the educational technology sector.


Imogen talking about opportunities and personal experiences of working in the educational technology sector

After lunch, Bill Thompson from BBC Make it Digital kicked off the afternoon sessions. He introduced the BBC’s micro:bit initiative and he had brought along one of the micro:bit to demo and for the audience to try.


Bill from BBC Make it Digital introducing the micro:bit

Bill’s presentation was followed by Janet Gunter, co-founder of the The Restart Project, who reflected on her experience of working with women in tech to move beyond the throw-away economy. Janet presented startling figures about our electronic waste and made a very strong case for why women should try and tinker more and fix their own equipments.


Janet of The Restart Project sharing her experiences of working with women on sharing their IT and DIY skills

Next up were Kate Lindsay and Ylva Berglund Prytz from the IT Services of the University of Oxford, who reflected on the role of IT Services in widening participation and shared some of their personal experiences working as women in IT.

Kate and Ylva on the role of IT Services in widening participation

Kate and Ylva on the role of IT Services in widening participation

Rebecca Eynon, Associate Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Department of Education, and Katherine Fletcher from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford concluded the symposium by summarizing the day and by discussing together with the audience what role the technology can play in overcoming inequalities in Higher and Further Education.

Rebecca and Kate discussing what role technology can play in overcoming inequalities in HE/FE

Rebecca and Katherine discussing what role technology can play in overcoming inequalities in HE/FE

To conclude, the variety of perspectives of the day was very welcome and it was great to see the breath of work undertaken to address issues of inequality for women in technology and in further and higher education. Despite the breadth and width of perspectives, there seemed to be wide consensus among the audience that technology alone cannot solve the issue of inequality – indeed may even amplify existing inequalities, but rather needs to be understood as an instrument that may help address the issue.

Symposium overview created by Julia Hayes from Inclusion Creativa

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go_girl: code+create Symposium on ‘Women and Technology: How can we challenge inequalities in higher and further education?’

Symposium Programme

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