From September 2014 “computational thinking” and computer programming/coding will be part of the national curriculum, across all the key stages.
We know this isn’t a challenge to be taken lightly so we’re here to help you meet it. And, perhaps, even make it fun
To support schools and parents introducing coding we’ve done two things (the first of many to come):
- Created a brand new ‘Computer Programming‘ Topic, which explains the fundamentals underlying programming.
- Teamed up with our friends at Tynker to add their programming games to GameUp UK.
Where should you start?
First of all, use the ‘Computer Programming‘ Topic to introduce the concepts around coding – essentially how to think and act like a coder.
Using these resources will build a level of comfort with potentially unfamiliar terms like ‘loops’ and ‘functions’. The movie also de-mystifies scary sounding words like ‘Variable’, ‘Condition’, and ‘Output’ – in the signature BrainPOP style, of course – which will prepare learners to tackle the accompanying ‘Identify It‘ activity.
But programming techniques don’t have to be taught digitally. In fact, a bit of hands on might work wonders.
Our accompanying Lesson idea “Program your Partner” brings a physicality to a digital concept that can help students grasp the concept more easily. Aimed at Years 4 – 12, this hands-on, movement-based lesson, students will use BrainPOP UK resources as they are introduced to the concept of coding and programming. They will create short programs and sequences and then follow the computer programs from their individual partners.
All you need are sticky notes!
Now to get really playful.
A great way to reinforce what they’ve learned is practice through play - from guiding a puppy to flying through space – using the four Tynker games in GameUp UK.
Bonus tip: You can also download the new free Tynker app so continue your coding practice on your Apple device.
After a day in the park, Pixel’s been left behind. Connect visual code blocks in the right way to help him avoid obstacles and get back home.
15 Block Challenge
Create your own animation with programming blocks! What’s the coolest scene you can code using only 15 blocks?
Lost in Space
Biff the spaceman has crash landed onto a deserted asteroid. Help him reach his moon base by solving these coding puzzles!
Program Snap the turtle to draw shapes and patterns using simple commands that he can understand.
But don’t stop there! BrainPOP’s computer technology section includes topics like:
- Computer history
- Cloud computing
- Data storage devices
- Video games
- Ada Lovelace
…and more. These topics can help students understand how the technologies they use everyday work and the inspiring people who made them.
We’d also recommend playing the Common Sense Media games ‘Search Shark‘ (helps you improve your search skills) and ‘Share Jumper‘ (making the right choices about sharing online).
We’ll be reinforcing the range of coding support in BrainPOP UK over time. Let us know if it inspires you to get coding!