Former WHS staff member recognised by Royalty

In recognition of her work to promote Computer Science, Sue Dearing - a former IT teacher at Withernsea High School - recently attended a reception at St James’s Palace where she was congratulated on her efforts by Prince Andrew.

Mrs Dearing, who taught IT at our school between September 2009 and July 2015, was accompanied on her visit to the palace by her three sons, Daniel, James and William – all of whom are either current or former students of the school.

In her six years at Withernsea, Mrs Dearing spearheaded a number of IT and STEM projects which led to our students competing with other schools locally and nationally in a range of programming challenges – including Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorms events. 

A particular highlight of her time here was the Mars Balloon Project – a project which saw our students send experiments high in to the atmosphere on a special Hot Air Balloon which was designed to reproduce the conditions found on Mars.

Mrs Dearing commented: “I have fond memories of the Mars Balloon Project where myself and Viki Foster (Senior Science Technician) worked with the European Space Agency to send various items in to near-space in order to measure the effects on them.

"Withernsea adopted the change to Computer Science early on and are now reaping the rewards. I’m delighted that my son William is now studying Computer Science at GCSE with Mr Elvidge (Progress Leader for ICT).”

Mrs Dearing left Withernsea High School in July 2015 to take up the post of Head of Computing at Winifred Holtby Academy in Hull where she is now encouraging a whole new community of students to get involved with Computer Science.

Mrs Dearing added: “My work with Computer Science is constantly evolving. Instead of getting an external company to send experiments in to space, I now do it myself.  We are going to two Lego tournaments this year and the Banana Piano (a computer which allows music to be played using the fruit as ‘keys’) is still a favourite!

"What I started at Withernsea has now snowballed and is continuously gathering speed. The sky really is now the limit for Computer Science.”

We would like to congratulate Mrs Dearing on her successes and we wish her and her students the best of luck with their future projects.


Mrs Dearing and sons (left to right) William, James and Daniel pictured at St James's Palace. William is currently in our Year 10 cohort, studying Computer Science.