Getting Girls Coding at Primary School

Getting girls coding at Primary SchoolEven though there are some fabulous resources available for learning to program at primary school, none of them are focused on getting girls into coding. The Made with Code project from Google aims to change this by getting girls excited about learning to code and helping to close the gender gap in the tech industry. The site aims to show young girls that the things they love are made with code and that the skills that they learn when coding can be applied to their own passions.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Coding Story Books

Coding Story BooksProblem Solving. Literacy. Maths. Coding. They're all here in the latest and greatest coding story books. From graphic novels to traditional picture stories, these engaging books get children really thinking about problem solving and how this relates to coding. These coding story books are available from ages 4 through to 12 and are lots of fun too.

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Getting Girls Programming

Getting Girls ProgrammingThere’s been a lot of talk about digital skills and preparing young people, especially girls, to be confident and thrive in a digital future, but where to start? The answer may be TechFuture Girls: a free out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT and technology.

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Scratch Extensions for KS2

Scratch extensions for KS2The popular programming language Scratch has now got a sister site called Scratch X. Scratch X contains lots of extensions to Scratch which allow it to do such things as control hardware and talk to external services on the internet. With Scratch X you can get Scratch to speak, control 3D environments and play synthesised music as well as controlling Lego EV3 robots and Roamers.

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HTML Projects for KS2

HTML Projects for KS2Those fabulous guys at Code Club have created some great resources to help KS2 children learn how to program in HTML and CSS. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a language for describing and structuring web pages and CSS is used to style them. Young coders can save their code online, allowing them to access their webpages both at school and at home.

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Scratch on ipads

Scratch on ipadsAlthough Scratch isn't officially available on ipads (unlike its little brother Scratch Jr) there is another app that is based on the Scratch source code and runs on ipads. Pyonkee looks exactly like the Scratch interface, reduced to fit on the smaller ipad screen with a different set of characters.

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How Technology Motivates Children

Technology has always had an effect on its user. Whether it buzzes, flashes, beeps or lights up, it attracts its makes you want to do something. Due to its interactive nature, it can motivate children in many ways by allowing them to learn from their mistakes, giving them rewards, helping with problem solving and allowing them to be creative.

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Printable and Editable Scratch Blocks

Printable and Editable Scratch Programming BlocksHere is a fabulous collection of Scratch programming blocks. They are editable and available in a number of formats, including svg, png, Smartboard and Powerpoint. They are useful for display purposes and for teaching with. The blocks can be edited by using a free vector editing program such as Inkscape.

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Scratch Jr tutorials for English and Maths

ScratchJr is a graphical language for young children (KS1/Elementary) to create their own interactive stories and games. We've been using it with our Year 1 and Year 2 children and have recently tried to incorporate other elements of the UK National Curriculum into our programming, such as creating letters and counting.

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Small Basic tutorials for KS2

Small Basic is a programming language, designed by Microsoft, to make programming extremely easy, approachable and fun for beginners. Small Basic’s intention is to bring down the barrier and serve as a stepping stone to the amazing world of computer programming. Its a lot more advanced than Scratch but certainly something to challenge the more able KS2 programmers.

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Primary computing questioning

Primary programming questioningHere is a list of questioning prompts, based on Blooms taxonomy, for teachers to ask pupils in programming sessions. The questions can be used by teachers and support staff to deepen children's understanding through questioning. They are categorised into knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation and there are around 5 or 6 questions for each category.

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Scratch Jr programming with KS1

ScratchJr Ks1This week, we started introducing KS1 children to Scratch Jr, a new simplified version of Scratch designed for younger children from age 5 through to 7. Scratch Jr is an ipad coding app in which children snap together graphical blocks of instructions to make characters move, interact, speak and transform on the screen. However, its not just a coding app - it lets children run wild with creativity as we found out :)

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Scratch Projects for KS2

Scratch Projects for KS2These scratch projects from Code Club are fabulous for giving the children step by step instructions for how to code their scratch programs. They also include online instructions that the children can open in another browser tab to follow and cross off while they are coding.

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Inspiring Children to Program Computers

Inspiring ProgrammingHere are some great inspirational videos to inspire children to get involved with programming computers. There are clips here featuring Mark Zuckerman, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and will.i.am, carrying powerful messages as to why children should learn to program computers.

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Progression in Programming at School

Progression in programming at schoolTeaching programming to children - where do you start? How can you make it fun and interesting, but at the same time develop the correct skill-set? This video shows the progression of visual programming from Primary school through to Secondary school, using both iPads and desktop computers.

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Kodu Programming Resources

Kodu Programming ResourcesKodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. I've been working with a group of KS2 children for the last few weeks developing games so I've put together a list of resources which I've found useful.

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Teaching KS2 children how to write scripts on the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Scripts Last week I worked with a group of 10/11 year olds at the Raspberry Pi command line, using my speaking weather script to show them what can be done with the Raspberry Pi at the command line. This week I went a step further and got them to write a script to create a menu which incorporated the speaking weather forecast and also showed them some other cool things that the Raspberry Pi can do at the terminal.

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ipad apps for teaching programming at primary schools

ipad apps I went to an IT conference for Primary Schools today organised by the hard working team at Wawne Primary School and discovered a lot of information about using ipads to teach children programming concepts, from early years through to upper KS2. When you're looking for apps it can be really time consuming so I thought I'd put them all in one place for an easy reference to save people time and effort.

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KS1 and KS2 Computing keywords display

Computing curriculum display images I've just come across this website which has a set of downloadable posters containing key words from the 2014 computing curriculum for KS1 and KS2. The posters are in "pupil speak" and contain computing keywords such as algorithms, debug, process and program. Very useful for the computing area in your primary school.

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2014 Primary Computing curriculum guide

Computing curriculum booklet Computing at School, in association with Naace and other partners have published a guide which explains how primary teachers can get started with the new 2014 Primary Computing curriculum. It provides many pointers to excellent resources and ideas for building an innovative and exciting curriculum and can be used in conjunction with the Government's publications on the new 2014 Primary Computing Curriculum.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall