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Crack the new computing curriculum with an Hour of Code

This week, teachers and students around the globe are taking part in the annual Hour of Code. The one-hour online event, which can be accessed at any point between 8 and 14 December, is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Here, Jess Duncan from Code Club Pro provides the top tips on how to embrace the event and implement the new computing curriculum in your classroom.

Computational thinking teaches children vital skills such as problem solving and critical thinking, which can help them with a range of other subjects. By providing children with these skills, they can become creators rather than passive users of technology.

As the Hour of Code gets underway this week, here are some strategies you can use to embrace coding and implement the new curriculum in your classroom more widely. 

Use real-world examples to explain new concepts

Many of the new words in the curriculum are easy to explain if you use real-world examples. An algorithm, for example, is just a set of instructions to achieve a particular outcome, but it seems a lot less complicated (and more fun) when the algorithm is to make the perfect jam sandwich or form a human crane.

Be playful

Teaching computing does not have to be formal and it does not have to take place on a computer. Indeed, learning through play is much more effective, turning error detection tasks into games and binary into songs. Be creative! 

Start with Scratch

Using a software program like Scratch means that children can create animations and stories that mimic the structure of computer code. This means that they then can start coding straight away without theory to grapple with beforehand.

Go cross-curricular

There are lots of ways to integrate the computing curriculum into other topic areas, for example, researching the internet for facts about historical events. You can also set interesting class projects, such as learning about Morse code, binary and the creation of the internet.

Find free lesson plans, activities and teaching ideas in our dedicated computing curriculum collection.

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