My school day: introducing computer science ideas at KS1

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This flexible activity could be used for introducing a number of computer science ideas:

  • Abstraction: before introducing these cards, can the children draw or verbalise a simplified day in their life?
  • Sequences: can the children put the events in order?
  • Decomposition: can the children break each stage of their day into smaller parts than those shown, and add more detail?
  • Repetition: can the children create an algorithm to save repeating the full sequence five times for each day of the week.
  • Conditionals: IF it’s 3:15pm, THEN . . .
  • Operators: IF it’s Saturday OR Sunday THEN . . .
  • Debugging: If a friend can’t make sense of your algorithm, you need to work out where the problem lies and fix it


  • When looking at the stages in more detail, ask the less able computer scientists to work in pairs to create subroutines for brushing teeth, for example.
  • More able computer scientists could independently look at each part of their day in the school building.
  • Jigsaw all the algorithms together at the end, so everyone feels some ownership of the process.
  • Gifted and Talented computer scientists* could explore conditionals AND OR operators

Gary Setchell is the author of this resource.


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