Jamie Balfour

Welcome to my personal website.

Find out more about me, my personal projects, reviews, courses and much more here.

Mr Jamie Bonnar Balfour

Relevant Experience

Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Knox Academy
August 2022 onwards
Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Knox Academy

I finally got the school I had always wanted to work at in May 2022. Whilst working at Knox Academy, I developed many digital tools such as an interactive slideshow engine, an online polling platform that can be embedded as well as an online tracking and monitoring system.

Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Newbattle High School
August 2020 to June 2022
Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Newbattle High School

After becoming a fully qualified teacher in July 2020, I took on a role as a Computing and Digital Literacy teacher at Newbattle High School in Midlothian. This gave me the chance to work in a school which has been named Scotland's First Centre for Digital Excellence.

During my time here I have developed several digital resources including a very useful slideshow engine which provides many features to make teaching both more engaging and useful, as well as interactive worksheets for pupils. I took a leadership role in digital education within the school.

October 2019 onwards

In 2019 after developing my own tutoring portal, I decided to continue tutoring again. Lessons were carried out both remotely and in person.

Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) at Musselburgh Grammar School
August 2019 to June 2020
Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) at Musselburgh Grammar School

I officially became a newly qualified teacher in August 2019 after successfully completing my PGDE. During this time I worked at Musselburgh Grammar School in East Lothian after completing my teacher training placement here.

I also successfully completed the 'Scotland's Mental Health First Aid' course (SMHFA).

Class representative at University of Strathclyde
September 2018 to April 2019
Class representative at University of Strathclyde

My election as class representative for the third time means that it is my job to do what I did at the previous university - act as a voice for students' in the university. As the class representative, I attended meetings and dealt with concerns raised.

Executive and Technical Officer at Jambour Digital ltd
July 2018 onwards
Executive and Technical Officer at Jambour Digital ltd

Based on my knowledge of web development I was asked to do two large websites for two individuals. I realised at this point that I had a real talent that could lead to becoming freelance. I decided to start my own company, Jambour Digital and registered the company as a limited company in July 2018. Jambour Digital focuses on web development and also on graphics and consultancy.

In July 2023, I stepped down as Executive Director to hand over to Michael and focus more on the web handling part of the company.

One-To-One tutor at Heriot-Watt University
October 2016 to December 2016
One-To-One tutor at Heriot-Watt University

As someone who has an interest in teaching and has been recognised as such, Heriot-Watt University got in touch with me and asked if I would support a student with one-to-one tuition. The course I helped out with involved using the D3 JavaScript library, which I had used a year before. As a web developer who actively uses this library, I accepted the offer and began working with the student in October 2016.

Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University
September 2016 to December 2016
Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University

As a second-time lab assistant I was well prepared for what I had to do here. Taking up two courses (F27PX: Praxis and F28WP: Web Programming) gave me diversity in what I was doing. One course, Praxis, a first-year course, gave me experience working with writing tips, IT help and generally helping students with professional development. The other course allowed me to exercise my knowledge of web programming since that is my forte. I spent two hours a week doing this.

Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University
January 2016 to March 2016
Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University

In this role, I assisted students in the first year of the same Computer Science (G400) degree I was working towards in the Web Design and Databases course. I also assessed students' work to some degree and gave them feedback on their work. I believe that my contributions to this course were valuable. I helped students and the lecturers with my fresh new knowledge and helped to make things clearer for them. This job involved me using my knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP as well as MySQL for the latter part of the course.

Classroom Assistant at Ross High School
October 2015 to April 2016

As part of one of my courses at Heriot-Watt University I was involved in visiting a school to work with secondary teachers in Computing. This course meant that I visit Ross High School, Tranent, every Wednesday to work in the classroom.

All of my own run classes ran within three Wednesdays back to back. The three lessons were on web development. As well as this I assisted students with programming in all year groups, helped with ICT classes (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation packages and graphics) and gained an excellent understanding of what it is like to work in a classroom.

January 2011 to May 2012

In January 2011, I tutored a pupil who was studying the SQA 'Intermediate 2 Computing' course at school. I would meet him twice a week and prepared loads of materials that he could revise from. In the end, he received an A grade.

I took up the job of tutoring an individual again in September 2011, this time in SQA 'Higher Computing' which saw me meeting the pupil once a week to go through topics they were struggling with. I also prepared loads of helpful materials. In the end, the pupil passed the course with a C.

Voluntary Work

Volunteer at Code Club
September 2018 to May 2019

I noticed our local library was offering a Code Club for kids under the age of 16 and since I wanted to be a teacher and loved programming, I saw this as a golden opportunity. I volunteered on a Saturday morning from 10 am to about 11.30 am.

Classroom Assistant at Knox Academy
January 2016 to May 2016

STEM Net is a system in which schools and other institutes request help from ambassadors. As a STEM Ambassador, I saw a request at Knox Academy, Haddington, (not far from where I lived, and also where I wanted to work someday) and emailed to see how I could help. As it happens, I just missed the post. However, Mr Blair asked if I would still like to help and I accepted.

My role here was as a classroom assistant in the Computing department. I assisted in all levels from S1 to S6 ranging from basic ICT to Advanced Higher Computer Science. Both teachers said that having me there was really useful and that I was incredibly helpful.


Watt Club Prize

"The Watt Club Prize is awarded each year for exceptional distinction in the final honours year and as such recognises the highest achievement possible in undergraduate studies. No more than one prize can be awarded in each distinct discipline offered by a School." I won one of 8 out of all the students graduating from the university at the time.

Andrew Stewart Prize for Fourth Year Computer Science

"For the most deserving student in the fourth year of a degree course in the Department of Computer Science."

Andrew Stewart Prize for Second Year Computer Science

"For the most deserving student in the second year of a degree course in the Department of Computer Science."

Merit Award for First Year at Heriot-Watt University (average grade of 70%+)

"Issued to students who obtain more than 70% on average in the first and second years of the degree. I had an average grade of about 80%."

Merit Award for Computer Science at LEAPS Summer School

LEAPS or Lothian Equal Access Program for Schools is a system setup by Edinburgh universities (Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, Napier and Queen Margaret) to help those seeking to enter a university course and/or help them to get into the swing of it all.

I and one other received a Merit Award in the Computer Science course which I received for creating the best project (along with two classmates). Just two of these awards were given away in the class of 20+. I received it for my section of the programming as well as being the team leader. You can find out more in the completed projects section of my website.


October 2015 to May 2016

In October 2015 I began to work on my BSc Honours year project. As part of this, I developed an application to aid new web developers with web development called ClickIt. The main purpose of this was to help school children and new web developers learn HTML using a drag-and-drop system.


Strathclyde University - Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
August 2018 - May 2019

I was again voted as a class representative for my one year in the Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) course. This course is also known as teacher training. The course involves 4 modules which are all assessed at the Masters level (SCQF Level 11). I passed all modules at the Masters level. I did not pursue the Master's Degree, however.

Heriot-Watt University - Bachelor of Science (BSc) [Computer Science] : First Class Honours
September 2012 - May 2016

I was the class representative in the third year and fourth year of my studies for the Computer Science degree which saw me keeping the class up to date with the latest news and events related to the university, taking up issues with staff on behalf of fellow students.

I have worked on a number of projects at university, some of which I have documented on my website.

Below is a table of my results from my modules at university.

YearCourse name%GradeSCQF level
Year 4 Semester 2Final Year Project & Dissertation82%First Class Honours Degree10
Year 4 Semester 2eCommerce Technologies80%A10
Year 4 Semester 2Network Applications64%B10
Year 4 Semester 1Computing in the Classroom88%A10
Year 4 Semester 1Data Visualisation and Analytics70%A10
Year 4 Semester 1Industrial Programming83%A10
Year 3 Semester 2Foundations 269%B9
Year 3 Semester 2Language Processors79%A9
Year 3 Semester 2Operating Systems and Concurrency72%A9
Year 3 Semester 2Professional Development67%B9
Year 3 Semester 2Software Engineering67%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents60%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Computer Network Security64%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Foundations 163%B9
Year 2 Semester 2Database Management Systems58%C8
Year 2 Semester 2Formal Specification77%A8
Year 2 Semester 2Software Design60%B8
Year 2 Semester 2Discrete Mathematics37%E7
Year 2 Semester 1Data Structures and Algorithms69%B8
Year 2 Semester 1Interaction Design50%C8
Year 2 Semester 1Programming Languages55%C8
Year 2 Semester 1Web Programming81%A8
Year 1 Semester 2Introduction to Computer Systems66%B7
Year 1 Semester 2Software Development 279%A7
Year 1 Semester 2Software Development 375%A7
Year 1 Semester 2Web Design and Databases81%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Interactive Systems84%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Logic and Proof61%B7
Year 1 Semester 1Praxis80%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Software Development 192%A7
LEAPS Summer School - Computer Science and Physics : Merit & Pass
June 2009 to August 2009

This was an introductory course to university. LEAPS was also aimed to assist those who felt that they might not get the school grades to get into university since it would provide evidence that they have achieved success at university level. Whilst I did not need this support, it did give me a good introduction to what university was like.

I also achieved the Merit Award (given to one other) for Computer Science.

Course nameGrade
Computer ScienceMerit
Ross High School, Tranent
August 2003 to May 2009

I attended Ross High School, Tranent, for the full 6 years.

Whilst at high school, particularly in my sixth year, I was an in-class support pupil who would assist teachers with their classes. My duty was in a first-year Computing class which saw me running the class in two classes as well as generally giving help to the students around the class. This was entirely voluntary and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also was a paired-reading tutor, meaning that I was required to assist someone with lower reading capabilities than the normal levels for high school.

Below is a list of my most important school qualifications:

YearCourse nameGradeSCQF level
2009SQA Advanced Higher ComputingC7
2008SQA Higher Business ManagementB6
2008SQA Higher ComputingB6
2009SQA Higher PhysicsB6
2009SQA Higher HistoryC6
2008SQA Intermediate 2 MathematicsA5
2008SQA Intermediate 2 EnglishB5
2007SQA Standard Grade Computing15
2007SQA Standard Grade SVS15
2007SQA Standard Grade Business Management25
2007SQA Standard Grade Craft & Design25
2007SQA Standard Grade Physics25
2008SQA Intermediate 2 HistoryD5
2007SQA Intermediate 1 MathematicsB4
2007SQA Standard Grade English34
2007SQA Standard Grade German34
2007SQA Standard Grade History34