Primary Computer Science

I’m not opposed to Gove’s position that students should be learning how to program in schools, but what does that look like in a Primary? The thought of designing an iOS app seems pretty appealing, but then you open up Xcode and realise that Objective C isn’t entirely drag’n’drop. Where do we begin? What does progression look like? Here are some thoughts:

  • The oft-ignored and maligned ‘control’ part of the curriculum is probably the best place to start. BeeBots then lead onto Logo and learning to program a moving robot. If teachers knew how this was actually useful in the future (well for the coders of tomorrow anyway) then perhaps it would have more of a place in the school year.
  • LEGO Mindstorms is the natural successor to this, offering more advanced control features and programming opportunities. Best put that is my April bid then!
  • Purple Mash from 2Simple has a really cool ‘3D Game Maker’, which lets you design simple DOOM-like levels (albeit without fireball-throwing imps to contend with). This would be a good place to start when thinking about programming and designing a game or app.
  • Maybe I should learn Obj-C and run an Xcode club after school? I’m not sure how easy that would be…any thoughts?