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Life in a Can

A cross-curricular resource for primary and lower secondary schools that investigates life and how it can be maintained in the harsh atmosphere of space.

The engineers and scientists who built the International Space Station are faced with huge challenges - everything needed to keep astronauts alive must be...

Session Four: General Solution Using Repeat until and if...do...

This Rapid Router lesson uses the Blockly language to develop ideas about selection, repetition, and conditionals. Children progress from specific instructions to spot patterns that can be made into generalised solutions. This important step helps learning about abstraction and pattern generalisation, two...

Abstraction Unplugged

This short activity for primary school computing uses art to introduce the concept of abstraction. During a ‘guess what’ game the children are asked to represent a word on a card using drawing or modelling – in doing so they unconsciously concentrate on just the most important aspects of the idea they are...

Dinosaur Fossil Animation Sequence Activity

This Barefoot Computing animation project for primary school computing teaches the concept of sequencing within programs. Children use costumes and a range of commands in Scratch to produce purposeful multimedia. They are encouraged to debug and improve the program, and can extend the challenge by recording sound...

Logical Number Sequences Activity

Combining maths and computational thinking, this Barefoot Computing activity for upper primary uses linear number sequences to introduce algorithms in computing. Children work collaboratively to apply logical thinking and pattern recognition - key concepts used across the Barefoot Computing project. While using...

2D Shape Drawings Activity: an Introduction to Debugging Algorithms

This Barefoot Computing activity for upper primary goes deeper into the concept of algorithms, using logical reasoning and debugging to find errors and to improve accuracy and efficiency. By following instructions, children create diagrams constructed from simple shapes. They are asked to identify errors in the...

What is Simulation?

This guide sheet from the Barefoot project explains simulation for the benefit of teachers, including what it is and why it is used. The use of simulations in the primary computing curriculum is explained, with links to the National Curriculum in each primary school key stage. The guide links to, and supports, a...

What Are Search Engines?

This 'concept card' explains search engines - *How they work, *What they do *How they rank results *Why they are important It relates knowledge of search engines to the requirements of the National Curriculum, and highlights specific activities that can help children to learn about these omnipresent, but mystical,...

Shapes and Crystal Flowers Activity

A cross-curricular programming activity, using loops in Scratch to draw patterns. Learners first design an algorithm to draw a simple 2D shape, and then use the 'repeat' block to generate artwork. It is advised that children have some prior experience of programming in Scratch. Experimentation and debugging is...

Patterns Unplugged: Reusing Recipes Activity

This 'unplugged' activity introduces pattern recognition and the idea that algorithms can be repurposed. Cooking recipes are analysed to find parts that are common to more than one. Reusable parts are then borrowed to create new recipes which the children share with the class. Additional teacher guidance is given,...

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