Subject in the Spotlight - Computing
Week commencing 20th February 2023
During this term, the children across the school have been learning about Computer Science, specifically developing their knowledge of coding, algorithms and sequences. Upper Key Stage 2 finished last half term using Inobots, they had to build blocks of code to allow their Inobot to progress through an obstacle course. Prior to this, they had used Scratch to make games and quizzes. In the coming half term, they will be using Spheros, another robot which can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks. Our first exploration of these devices saw robots weaving all over the Upper Key Stage 2 area!
Lower Key Stage 2 have also used Scratch to draw shapes and design patterns, combining their knowledge of computing and geometry to produce a variety of outcomes. They will now be deepening their knowledge of Scratch by designing a plethora of games, including changing sprites and backgrounds, adding variables, multiple player controls and score boards.
In Key Stage 1, the pupils have been learning about algorithms in, both by following sets of instructions and programming in Scratch Junior. This also linked to a writing unit where the children explained how to make a jam sandwich! They then applied this knowledge to Beebots, which they thoroughly enjoyed programming. They will also be exploring how the Spheros can be used in a variety of ways over the coming weeks, which will consolidate their understanding of algorithms, sequences, and the importance of clear instructions.
Week commencing 20th March 2023
During this half term, the children across the school have been continuing their learning in the subject of Computer Science, applying their knowledge of coding, algorithms and sequences to different contexts. Upper Key Stage 2 have been using robots called Spheros, a spherical robot that can be programmed using an iPad. These devices can be programmed by drawing a path for the robot to trace out, or by using blocks of code to provide instructions for them to follow. Once they grasped the basics, the students used them for a variety of challenges, such as playing Battleships, using the Spheros as “torpedoes” and completing obstacle courses. The light display on the Spheros is also fully programmable, so pupils had the opportunity to create light shows and even emojis on the Spheros.
Lower Key Stage 2 have continued to develop their coding ability using Scratch, as well as using the coding apps on Purple Mash to apply their knowledge to other coding systems. They then returned to Scratch, to design a game with an American theme for Key Stage 1 children. These games used looped algorithms, “if” statements to create controls, objectives, scoring systems and rewards, while sprites and backgrounds allowed the games to be eye-catching and unique. They also had the opportunity to use the Spheros, where the Digital Leaders supported them in their learning.
In Key Stage 1, other than excitedly waiting to play the finished games from Year 3 and 4, the pupils have been building on their knowledge of algorithms and programming. They have been creating scenes themed around the subject of space, using programmed sprites to act as spinning planets, moving spacemen and even aliens that change size! The Key Stage 1 Computing Club also took the Spheros “for a spin”, ably assisted by some experts from Year 5 and 6.