By Steve Dale, Innovation Consultant, The Innovation Centre Bradford
Coding or programming is the big new topic of the computing curriculum. Getting pupils to design and build computer games is a cool way to get pupils interested in programming!
There are several free programs that can support your teaching and help to engage your pupils in coding.
1. Scratch Jr
Suitable for KS1 pupils, Scratch Jr allows pupils to build a very simple games by using a block style programme language.
With this program, pupils can build 3D games using a block style programming, similar to that of Scratch Jr. Most suitable for lower KS2 children, this game can be used with an Xbox controller!
3. Code Studio
To get pupils up to speed with programming and games we recommend the site Code Studio (again free) that allows pupils to explore and program games like Star Wars, Minecraft, Plants V Zombies, Angry Birds and Frozen! This website allows you to set up classess and track their progress. It’s quite hard to get the pupils off this site they have been shown it!
Scratch is a very powerful tool that allows you to make sophisticated games and allows a variety of control methods including video. Again a block system of programming is used and pupils have made some really great games.
5. Construct 2
Finally for extending you more able and talented pupils and to take them beyond Scratch we would recomend Construct 2. This is an industry standard 2D games construction tools and allows pupils to make a large variety of game genres including platformers, falppy bird and Angry Birds. It has a slightly steeper learning curve but will push and engage your more able pupils.
By using any of these programs to teach coding by creating games, you can make your lessons a lot more engaging.
These resources support the teaching of coding using Scratch and Kodu.
Why not take a look at these CPD activities that are being run at the National Science Learning Centre?