This guest blog post was written by Rachael Coultart, Computing Subject Leader at St. Nicholas Church of England Primary School and Nursery, in Stevenage.
As I mentioned in a recent blog post about apps for programming, we are rather spoilt for choice in the number of learn-to-code tools that are available today. Whatever your available platform, you are likely to be able to find a range of on and offline tools for teaching children the basics of programming. Some of these guide the user, step-by-step, through a learning journey, others are blank canvasses (often accompanied by tutorials) and some are combinations of both.
How can we make sure that children get the most from these tools and develop an understanding, through their use, of the key computer science / programming concepts that the national curriculum outlines? Continue reading “Six things we can do with programming tools.”
Over the last term or two I’ve noticed a growing number of schools showing interesting in, or actually implementing Google’s G-Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education.) Like many people, I’ve long used various Google services and apps for personal use, and recently I have been working alongside my colleagues in SITSS as they develop Chromebook and G-Suite services for schools. I have also recently had the pleasure of visiting a local Hertfordshire primary school that uses G-Suite, more of which later.
It seems that a new app for programming or teaching children to code appears every week, and we are rather spoilt for choice these days. Many follow an independent learning, step-by-step approach, most are games of some sort, and often they are based on directing virtual robots or characters around various mazes or challenges. Continue reading “Getting more from those early programming apps”
The new term and new school year has seen the release of the latest version of the Primary
Computing Scheme. Now in its fifth version, the scheme was first introduced in 2011 and has developed over time to stay in line with changes to the national curriculum and the Herts for Learning approach to assessment. Continue reading “Primary Computing Scheme”
The BBC Micro:Bit is the small (very small – smaller than a credit card) computer being distributed to every year 7 child in the country as part of a BBC initiative to help get children coding. The Micro:Bit website tells us that this little computer is in fact 18 times faster than the original BBC Micro computers from the 80s, which some of us (not mentioning any age groups) will remember, probably fondly. Continue reading “BBC Micro:Bit in KS2?”