Primary Programming and Algorithms CC455 / C16

Start date
17 Jun 22
5 Hours
Learning Method
Remote Delivered CPD


Programming and algorithms are fundamental to the primary computing curriculum. Algorithms are clear and unambiguous instructions to solve problems which can often be translated using a programming language for a computer to follow. By thinking computationally, children can harness the power of computers to extend their capabilities.

Teachers may wish to attend Teaching key stage 1 or key stage 2 computing before participating in this CPD

During this one-day professional development, you will discover engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking. You will be equipped to develop their knowledge of how technology works, and the skills to make computers follow instructions in simple programs. A range of approaches will be explored, including modelling ‘unplugged’ activities that require no computer and multimedia activities that allow creativity and promote widespread engagement. Developing these teaching techniques in computing, will support you in embedding this within your own setting.

The professional development will highlight the differences and commonalities across Key Stages 1 and 2, building your knowledge of how children learn programming and helping you to plan for age-appropriate learning while developing an understanding of progression through computing.

Do you prefer to learn remotely? If so, take a look at: Primary programming and algorithms

This course is delivered as part of the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who is it for?

Primary computing coordinators looking to develop their own teaching and that of their colleagues.

Any primary teacher or senior leader interested in teaching computing.

Teachers may wish to attend teaching and leading key stage 1 or key stage 2 computing before participating in this CPD

What topics are covered?

01 | Essential Algorithm & Programming Knowledge apply computational thinking and help children to do the same. Recognise and describe algorithms using formal and informal language. Develop techniques to improve the resilience and persistence of children in the classroom.

02 | Algorithms and algorithmic evaluation in KS1 consider the expectations of learners in terms of designing and implementing simple sequences of instructions on digital devices. Develop their debugging and evaluation skills to support independent learning.

03 | Sequence and repetition in KS2 apply evidence-based teaching approaches to build children’s understanding of sequences and loops in programs.

04 | Selection & Variables in KS2 gain experience and knowledge of programming projects that use variables and in which instructions branch depending on conditions. Relate these to unplugged algorithms to aid understanding.

How will you learn?

Hands-on programming

Unplugged and kinaesthetic learning of algorithms

Expert guidance and subject knowledge instruction

How long is this course?

This course is a single day involving 5 hours of learning. 

Who is the course leader?


You will be able to:

Discover a range of different teaching techniques that are supported by research, to improve how your school delivers lessons that use algorithms and programming.

Learn about debugging, sequence, repetition, selection and variable use and the common misconceptions that hinder pupil progress.

Come away with lots of resources that you can use to develop how teachers in your schools understand, plan and teach computing.

Understand what computational thinking is and how it affects teaching programming


1 Primary programming and algorithms17 June 202209:00-14:45Virtual

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Additional information

Our remote CPD courses for teachers are delivered across a series of sessions run at specific times and dates. Information on all course sessions can be found under the description of each course. To complete a course, all sessions are mandatory.

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