Tips for teaching coding – Part 2

At secondary, pupils are encouraged to move away from Pseudo code (Block based) to recognised languages such as Python, touch develop, visual basic and javascript.  The eagle eyed among you will notice that some of this is touched upon in our list for upper Key Stage 2.  This is because we aim to stretch all children.  The most able at primary will be able to access the curriculum for Key Stage 3.

In secondary school, children will also be encouraged to learn to write code in HTML.  While not strictly a programming language, it requires children to have an understanding of how to combine the commands using the correct syntax.

LKS2

Y3/4

Scratch

Code.org (Hour of code) (Various languages)

Kodu

Logo

Pyonkee (ipad)

Cargo-Bot (iPad)

Hopscotch (iPad)

LightBot One Hour Coding (iPad)

Probots

Bluebots

Dot & Dash

Lego WeDo

Ozobot

Ohbot

BigTrak

UKS2

Y5/6

Scratch

Code.org (Hour of code) (Various languages)

Kodu

Flowol

Logo

Pyonkee (ipad)

Erase all Kittens (Html)

Code Kingdoms (Javascript)

Tickle App

Sonic Pi (introducing text based language)

Python with MinecraftPi (raspberry pi)

HTML5 Free (iPad)-stretching!

SPHERO / BB8

Makey Makey

Crumble

Codebug

Microbit

Rasberry Pi

Lego Mindstorms

Parrot Rolling Spider

Ohbot

 

What is the point?

Computing fits well within the STEAM group of subjects.  STEAM in an acronym for Science, Technology (Design and Information), Engineering, Arts and Maths.  These areas are something that Britain has excelled in traditionally.  Computing cuts across all these areas, with obvious applications in industries such as Formula 1, aeronautical engineering, space flight etc.

While not everyone needs to know how to write pages of complex code, there will be a need for people to have at least a basic understanding of how computers and associated technology works.  More and more devices are being automated and linked to the internet of things (internet connected smart devices).  Software for these devices will be written by the future generations of students and currently there is a skills gap.

A study carried out on behalf of O2 towards the end of 2013 found that Britain will need 750,000 skilled digital workers by 2017 – and if we can’t support that growth, it could result in costing the UK as much as £2bn each year.  Matt Cynnamon

The computing curriculum goes some way to addressing this issue but we are playing catch up with other countries.  Time will tell if the current primary pupils will leave secondary school with the required skills to meet the demand.

Computing, far from being an abstract subject is helping our children to make sense of the world around them.  To have an understanding of how technology works, while challenging them to think of ways to improve it.  It empowers our children and teaches them how to be self-critical.

It is also creative!  Children are only limited by what they can imagine.  They start by designing games and develop to designing apps and systems that are more advanced.  These skills make them more employable in the current and future digital dominated employment market.

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