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Starting from Scratch

Scratch is widely used in primary schools to teach children basic programming. This resource goes deeper, making use of the familiar Scratch environment to take students deeper into programming concepts such as:

  • Algorithm design
  • Parallel and sequential instructions
  • Event-driven...

Divide and conquer

This activity provides a mathematical problem that is solved in a simple way. It relates to the way algorithms are used in search engines and links to problem solving in maths. The context is that of Santa trying to find his socks in one of 1024 boxes, which a...

Computational thinking

A comprehensive guide taken from the Quickstart guide to what computational thinking is and what it might look like in the primary classroom. It involves classroom activities which include:

  • Writing algorithms and looking for patterns (generalisations) in comparison to other students’ algorithms.
  • ...

Real-life algorithms: plant a seed

A lesson plan that takes the students through the algorithm to plant a seed. It consists mainly of a worksheet task to correctly sequence the steps in planting a seed, in doing so they must discard any superfluous information. The idea is then that they give their algorithm to another child for that child to follow...

Graph paper programming

The video explains the purpose of the activity which is to help students understand the principles behind coding. This is an unplugged activity meaning that students understand the computing principles without the use of a computer. By programming one another to draw pictures, students begin to understand what...

Heather Barnett: What Humans Can Learn from Semi Intelligent Slime

In this talk, courtesy of TED, artist Heather Barnett explains how she is inspired by biological design and self-organising systems. She works with Physarum polycephalum (commonly called slime mould), a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. Barnett used time-lapse photography to film the slime...

Algorithms

The video explains the purpose of the activity which is to understand that different algorithms will produce the same results, but some methods are more efficient than others.This is an unplugged activity which means that the computing principles are understood without the use of a computer. Students use tangram...

Computational Thinking

The video explains the purpose of the task which is to understand the concept of computational thinking. This is an unplugged activity which means that students explore the concept without the use of a computer.

In this activity, students attempt to understand the four steps of computational thinking....

Ed Armitage Explains Functions Procedures

In this video, a software engineer working on warehouse operations at Ocado, talks about his role.

He then explains functions - how they are used to abstract blocks of code that will be reused.

Real-life comparisons, such as walking across the classroom, are made - these help children to understand...

Ana Discusses Repeat Until and Repeat While Functions

In this video, a product owner at Ocado describes her role and how she uses data to plan efficient delivery routes.

She also describes how Repeat Until and Repeat While commands can be used to make programs repeat an unknown number of times.

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