The benefits of Coding

“Why play a video game when I can make one?” Year 6 pupil.

The Computing Room has been a hive of activity this term. After welcoming all pupils back with some activities on Internet Safety, children in Years 3 – 6 were challenged to create different styles of games using a coding software called Scratch. It is a free a block-based programming language created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab for children ages 7 and up. The software enables children to program their own stories, games and animations. Scratch is intended to help young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. If you’re wondering what a block-based programming language is, look at the pictures below showing the coding behind some of the games created.

Take a look at the range of excellent games pupils have made from Years 3 to 6. As you can see the challenges get harder as the children get older. The tasks enable those who are confident coders to bring in skills they’ve learnt in previous years on top of what they have just studied to create some fun and interactive games. My favourite line that ends every lesson is “if you could have created this when I was at school (in the early 90’s) you would have been a millionaire by the end of the lesson”. It has been extremely rewarding to see pupils begin their coding journey and the success they achieve when they actually begin to produce technology… not just consume it. It is this transition from consumer to creator that is so important for pupils to experience. As they say… ‘Stay calm and keep on coding’!

To play some of the games the children have created please click on the links below.

Pong Game

Maths Game