Session 5 – Beginning Computing in KS2

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Posted by Katie | Posted in Computer Programming | Posted on February 20, 2014

Currently, the National Curriculum for ICT has changed to Computer Programming. With this change to the curriculum it gives the children the opportunity to learn how to design and create their own games using a range of programs. For example, one of the programs that the children will be introduced to is called Scratch. This program allows the creation of games, which can be linked to any of the curriculum subjects. A major benefit of this program is that it is free for everyone to use!

This program allows you to do a range of things such as: choosing the background, objects or characters that are already on there. Having all these options on the program allows the children to create a game about any subject/ topic that they are currently looking at within other curriculum lessons, which enables effective learning.

Once you get the hang of this program then it is seen as a quite a simple process. Nevertheless, children will find it difficult to use at first depending on their age. Therefore, the process can be broken down into small parts for each lesson. For example:

Lesson 1 – can focus on introducing the program, showing all available options and creating a game as a whole class with children’s input.
Lesson 2 – allow the children to explore the different characters that are available to them and add movement.
Lesson 3 – allow the children to create their backgrounds.
Lesson 4 – allow the children to add in an enemy or an object with movement.
Lesson 5 – get the children to add in their finishing touches (e.g score box), play their own games and then swap over to play each others games.
Lesson 6 – allow the children to create a different game to show their creative side, explore different things to add in, share these games throughout the lesson.

It is extremely important that the children don’t follow a step by step guide when creating their game due to the fact that every child’s game would then be the same. It is vital that they put their own creative style to it. The ideas above do contain the process of showing the children how to complete each stage, however it allows for their own individual choices of background, characters, objects and finishing touches. The children do need to be challenged, therefore in lesson 6 – their last lesson of using that program – they have the opportunity to create another game, preferably more challenging through exploring other parts that weren’t explained before.

Below is the game that I created, so have a play and let me know what you think.

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I felt that this program was quite challenging at first and took me a while to create this game as I hadn’t used this program previously. However, when spending time exploring the program it became a lot easier to use. I believe that this program is excellent in terms of creating resources to use in the classroom. These games are great to use as starter activities, plenary activities or even as part of a main activity with a small group on the interactive whiteboard.