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Jul 12, 2018

Walton Hall's technology whizzes wow at ICT Challenge

After wowing judges at the National ICT Challenge, a Walton Hall Academy pupil has been chosen to represent the UK in the Global IT Challenge.

Three pupils from the Academy, which is part of the Shaw Education Trust, participated in the national contest which saw 21 disabled young people from all across the country compete in a variety of IT challenges.

Following an impressive display of ability, creativity and skill using different computer programmes, Walton Hall pupil Matthew Tonks has been chosen as one of four youngsters who will represent the UK at the Global IT Challenge, held in India in October.

Speaking of the achievement, Amanda Cameron, Principal of the Academy, said: “We are so proud of him. He’s over the moon – it is a life changing opportunity.”

The competition, organised by the Shaw Trust and supported by BT, provided participants with the opportunity to visit the BT Technology Research and Development Centre, where they viewed the future of technology and how it will change everybody’s lives.

Walton Hall wasn’t the only Academy representing the Shaw Education Trust at the event, with a pupil from the Coppice Academy also demonstrating some top-quality computer skills in the challenge.

With no expense spared at the event, the pupils thoroughly enjoyed their futuristic adventure exploring new technologies, including getting to use virtual reality, as well as being inspired by talks from Paralympian Aaron Phipps about the challenges and triumphs he has faced.

Walton Hall teacher Amy Dalziel, who initially enrolled pupils in the challenge, said: “The whole event was a great success and the pupils who didn’t get chosen for the international contest said that it doesn’t matter because they were so pleased to have had the experience of the national challenge.

“It showed them that, even with a disability, there are opportunities in ICT and to be a part of creating new technologies on a global scale.”

Basking in their well-deserved glory, Walton Hall are, as always, ecstatically proud of its pupils as they now eagerly await what’s in store for Matthew at the Global Challenge later this year.

Commenting on the Academy’s participation in the event, Mrs Dalziel enthused: “The opportunity for students from Walton Hall Academy to meet other students with similar interests and be able to showcase their talents seemed too great to miss.

“Matthew took everything in his stride and was a credit to the school and the Shaw Education Trust, as I am sure he will be in the international event.”