We have been using an online programme to support us in this called, “Tynker.”
Here’s a guide to what your children will be studying under the new computing curriculum; why there is more of an emphasis on programming skills and how you can support your children over the coming months.
We believe that learning programming skills will benefit children in other ways whatever their ultimate career – almost akin to the reasoning for giving children the chance to learn a musical instrument or foreign language.
We’re not just trying to encourage people to become developers. We’re trying to encourage children to become creative.
When you learn physics, you think about physics. But when you learn computing, you are thinking about thinking. About how thinking works. You have to try to imagine how this computer is going to do something for you. There are lots of transferable skills.
See below what Eithne in Class 4 has achieved. Her work has been recognised by the makers of Tynker itself.
There are three distinct stages for the new computing curriculum:
Key Stage 1 (5-6 year-olds): Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions” teachers may illustrate the idea using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to “create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 year-olds): Slightly older primary-school children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and getting to grips with concepts including variables and “sequence, selection, and repetition in programs”. They will still be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. And there will be more practice at using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.
What can you do to support your child?
Simply be interested. Just as you chat to children when they come home about what they have been reading, writing, drawing and discussing at school, so you can talk to them about what they’re doing with computing and coding.
Parents intimidated by the idea of programming, talking through what their children have been doing – particularly at primary level – may be a good way to demystify the subject. “I suspect children will be delighted to tell parents something they don’t know about!”
Parts of this are taken (with permission) from an article Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.