Artificial Intelligence gathers STEAM

Date Posted: Friday 20 October 2023

AI is already an important influence on our children’s lives and is certainly going to form an important part of their future. It therefore formed the focus of this year’s STEAM week.

As a whole School we questioned what AI is and how it is used. We then moved on to consider deeper questions in relation to AI. Should children be allowed to use AI to complete their homework? Does AI do more harm than good? Should AI replace teachers? Some teachers were a little concerned about our last question (and their job security) but by the end of the week most of our children thankfully decided that we are not replaceable (yet)!

The week began with a whole school assembly where we learned about the many things that AI can do, including natural language processing, image recognition and speech recognition. We also started to look at the many advantages of AI but also the possible disadvantages. To illustrate the point, we tested Alexa to see just how clever “she” is and some of our questions had very unexpected responses!

Our children in in PrePrep created their own AI robots, studied simple algorithms and programmed our blue bots around the fairground and Africa. There were maths lessons on sequences, patterns and algebra and in music we studied serialism and computer-generated music.

With the help of our STEM scholars, the children in our Prep School trained machine learning models to recognise text, numbers and images. As we all know, the best way to understand the capabilities and implications is to be able to build this technology for ourselves.

During the week we were very lucky indeed to have Dr Hajian and Mrs Cradick, working with our children.

Dr Hajian has over 20 years’ experience designing solutions and platforms that can help companies solve their ever-changing business problems through the deployment of technology. Dr Hajian shared how AI is pushing forward developments in the automotive, banking and medical industries. He also took our older children through the inner workings of AI systems and compared the human brain to a computer brain. He was also kind enough to run an ‘AI drop-in clinic’ over lunch, where our children could ask him ANYTHING AI related. After the clinic the children decided that he knew even more than Alexa does!

Mrs Cradick, an award-winning Senior Communications Professional, visited classes in both the Prep School and PrePrep to host workshops using Google Bard. The children were thrilled to see and hear their story ideas appear on screen in a matter of seconds. Year 1 were particularly delighted with the story Bard created with their specific requirements – an adventure story about a meerkat and a giraffe, where the colours pink and orange played a central role and there were fairies – lots of them!


We also thank Mrs Ketley who provided some invaluable information on AI from one of the world’s greatest tech giants.

Our STEAM week ended in spectacular style with our first Inter-House debate. We were privileged to have our local MP Greg Clark not just judge our debate but also speak to the whole School. He shared his experience of working as part of the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee and in particular his work on diversity and inclusion in STEM. He also gave us an insight into his thoughts on AI and how this will revolutionise the workplace. Mr Clark was joined by our Chair of Governors Nevil Phillips, a renowned barrister, and our own Ms Neville to judge our Inter-House debating competition.

Our children debated three motions: Should children be allowed to use AI to complete their homework; Does AI do more harm than good; and should AI replace teachers? We were absolutely blown away by the maturity and depth of our children’s arguments and how eloquently they were delivered. Our guest judges, being expert debaters themselves, gave every child that participated invaluable feedback on their debating skills and commented that they were very impressed that such insightful debates were delivered by prep school aged children. We are very proud indeed of each and every child who took part. It was an illustration of how the best education is delivered by a school’s community working together, allowing our children to shine.

Mr Agnew and Mr Izzard

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Rose Hill School
Coniston Avenue,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
United Kingdom