I’m really chuffed that my first whole term of coding with primary school children has proved more successful than I had dared imagine. I’m feeling proud of the time I dedicated into getting the materials ready to use in class; it totally paid off. I’m particularly impressed with the children, who’s enthusiasm was infectious.
What the children learnt
The focus of Week One was introducing the Scratch Interface, followed by some simple examples of motion. The idea was that the children could make something really quickly whilst having fun creating.
In Week Two, the children learnt about events, loops and conditional statements. The children animated characters by firing keyboard events.
In Week Three, we learnt how to set up a variable, and the children soon created ‘the elephant game‘, where they could control the movement of an elephant character… and avoid getting hit by a tennis ball!
In Week Four, the children learnt about ‘sensing’ and used this knowledge to create a ‘bat game‘, where they could control the bat’s movements, avoiding objects around the screen.
In Week Five, the children learnt about the ‘drawing’ blocks and created their own gallery.
Finally in Week Six, we created more games and the children invited their parents (who lurked outside) into the classroom to have a play. I could sense a high level of achivement around the room.
I had an autistic child in my class. I received plenty of positive feedback from both his carer and his mother. The boy loved the coding sessions and was able to interact with other children, something that doesn’t happen often. He created some fantastic work and he is back for a second term!
Exactly half of those children who attended the course decided to come back for a second term, bringing with them some new friends. At the end of each session, their parents have to drag them out of the computer room. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Special thanks go to James Irwin for all his help during the course.