19th March 2018

Boris Johnson makes fact finding visit to local international school

Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, today visited ACS Hillingdon International School to see the school’s state-of-the-art facilities and hear how the school’s pupils use technology in class and learn about coding in preparation for an ever-changing future.

The Foreign Secretary was interested to experience the school’s facilities first hand, which includes the brand new £10m Science Centre, and visited two classrooms specially equipped to teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) subjects.

Martin Hall, Head at ACS Hillingdon, commented:

“We know that many of our students will leave us here at ACS and go on to have jobs in industries that have not yet even been conceived. It is vital that we ensure our young people have robust scientific knowledge and encourage them to pursue their curiosity, develop creative thinking and hone their technological skills ready for the future.”

As part of his visit, Mr. Johnson met with students, aged seven to nine, using coding to drive robots; an iPad pre-loaded with the codes for the robots was presented to the Foreign Secretary by Owen, aged 10, giving him the chance to drive one himself.

Rhea, aged 12, also showcased the SWIFT Apple Coding Platform, Apple’s unique programming language, and explained the activities underway, including examples of fidget spinners being coded at various stages.

Moving on to the Lower School Lab, Maddie, aged 17 and a member of the school’s Advanced Tech Club, presented projects at various stages of completion, including an iMAC museum and Plotbots – a micro-controller robot that plots a regular pattern onto a vertical surface. Myles, aged 16, then demonstrated the school’s 3D printer kit and the coding he used to make it work.

In recognition of the Foreign Secretary and local MP’s well-known admiration for Sir Winston Churchill, the school presented him with an optical relief mapping image of his hero’s head, created on the 3D printer.

Receiving the unusual portrait, the Foreign Secretary said:

“I congratulate you all on what you’re doing here – it’s truly amazing. This was inconceivable when I was at school.”

The Foreign Secretary concluded his visit by spending a few minutes with ACS Hillingdon’s High School politics class and sharing his top tips for a career in government, saying, “to be a successful politician, you must read Aristotle!”