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Learning to code with purpose

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Hannah Tudor, Headteacher of St Mary of Charity Primary School in Kent shares her experience of teaching with Discovery Education Coding.

A COMPLETE CODING SOLUTION
We’ve been using Discovery Education Coding for two years. I don’t know how we would teach coding without it. We came across the resources after deciding to give our pupils focused computing time. Our staff had limited experience of coding and I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to train teachers quickly enough. We chose Discovery Education Coding because it offers a complete solution. It was a quick and instant fix.

ACCELERATING PUPIL PROGRESS
Before using Discovery Education Coding some of our pupils were behind where they needed to be. Our teachers didn’t have the expertise to progress pupils in a structured way, so we were delighted to find that Discovery Education Coding could do this for us. The catch-up units helped us to upskill our pupils quickly and boost their confidence. It also gave us the right resources to move lessons along at a pace that worked for everybody. Today’s children are technologically savvy, but their experience is often limited to hand-held devices. They can use a console, but they don’t know how to build a game of their own. Discovery Education Coding closes the gap. It gives teachers the tools to develop pupils’ knowledge and skills.

EASY TO TEACH
Discovery Education Coding is very easy to teach. The resources are so good that each lesson runs itself. Short videos show what’s needed and demonstrate programming to children in a way that they can easily understand. And if a pupil has a question, staff don’t need to worry about not knowing the answer. The resources help children to problem solve independently. Programming is a skill that was dropped into primary schools suddenly, but Discovery Education Coding helped us to meet this challenge. It completely underpins our computing curriculum and boosts teacher confidence.

FUN TO LEARN
The children love Discovery Education Coding. They enjoy building their own apps and games and sharing the finished result. The rocket and golf games are firm favourites. Our pupils got to grips with the simplicity of Discovery Education Coding very quickly. We knew that they would be able to use it confidently. They just took off!

BUILDING TRANSFERRABLE SKILLS
The resource has helped our pupils to develop their computational thinking skills. But the biggest thing for me is that these skills are often transferrable, particularly debugging. The debugging process of reviewing and thinking about why a program hasn’t worked benefits other areas of the children’s work. For example, in writing, where we talk about the need to go back and edit. Discovery Education Coding has developed this as a universal skill for pupils, because they can instantly see if something has gone wrong. The evaluation aspect is powerful.

PROGRESS WITH PURPOSE
The Discovery Education Coding resources enable us to show real progress in terms of the skills children build. With each new unit pupils refresh and build upon these. They also push themselves a little further, collaborating while learning from each other. What we love most about Discovery Education Coding is that each lesson builds into something. The children create a program that they can share and celebrate. This outcome for me is very powerful. Our pupils aren’t just learning lots of random coding skills, they are learning to code with purpose.

CONSISTENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE
Discovery Education Coding is a consistent resource and it works! It involves very little input from our ICT subject lead because it doesn’t change. Its a constant. As a leader this is invaluable. There are no unexpected surprises. It’s a complete solution and very cost effective. It’s also intuitive and the children make great progress using it. Our teachers rely upon it, why would we change it?

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