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Bee-Bots Basics

This introduction to using the small programmable robot, the BeeBot, introduces children to creating simple programs. They learn the importance of sequences of accurate instructions, and test their sequences out using a 'fakebot' or paper-robot. Children are encouraged to debug and develop their sequences before...

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...

My school day: introducing computer science ideas at KS1

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...

Scratch junior

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young students to create their own interactive stories and games. Students snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Students can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds,...

Printable Scratch blocks

Two different sets of printable Scratch blocks that could be used for display or for unplugged programming in upper key stage 1 classrooms as an introduction to programming.

Alec Jackson is the author of the Scratch block cutouts resource.

James Holmes, Gary Setchell, Keith Madderson and Cobie van de...

Lego building algorithm activity

In this adaptable lesson plan children create a simple model (out of Lego or similar) and then take photos to create instructions (an algorithm) for other children to recreate their model. By removing one block at a time they are decomposing the problem into manageable steps. Teachers may wish to split this lesson...

Guess the algorithm

A simple and easily adaptable idea to introduce how algorithms work by allowing students to work out algorithms by a guessing game without the use of a computer. The activity is based on function machines that are used in mathematics at primary school but the level of difficulty can be amplified depending on what...

Are computers clever?

This activity is designed to assess whether or not children understand that although computers can sometimes look clever, they do not actually display any intelligence. They are asked to compare a computer with a human and then describe how both the computer and the human cope with the unexpected.


Introduction to Algorithms

The algorithm song, sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, can be used to introduce the words algorithms and debug to key stage 1 children.

The ‘algorithm or advice’ PowerPoint is a mock quiz whereby children use their understanding of algorithms to state whether an image is an algorithm or just advice. Children...

Session One: Unplugged Algorithms for Moving Along a Route

A basic lesson that introduces the idea of algorithms and simple sequences of commands. The online Rapid Router environment is introduced, after the children use some 'unplugged' activities to develop their thinking.


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