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Discovery Education: Award-Winning Coding

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Discovery Education is proud to work with St. Swithun Wells’ winners of the 2019 prestigious ICT Innovation Award. Presented by Education Business magazine the award recognises the schools outstanding commitment to coding and the progress shown by pupils. Computing Coordinator Tiffany Bolton explains why St. Swithun Wells’ chooses Discovery Education Coding and how the service delivers teaching and learning success.

We’ve been using Discovery Education Coding for four years, since the National Curriculum for Computing was introduced. We needed a solution which could be used by teachers who weren’t familiar with coding, and this provided a simple and easy-to-use framework. The joy about Discovery Education Coding is that anybody can pick it up, and anybody can teach it. They don’t need to be a coding expert.

Our teachers love Discovery Education Coding because it’s easy to teach. It’s a complete scheme of work which is well planned out to ensure pupil progression. The lesson plans are very detailed and include helpful videos which teachers can watch before each class. Our NQTs find this particularly useful. As Computing Co-ordinator, I feel confident that my colleagues can meet the Computing Curriculum and teach it with confidence.

We have designated coding teaching time each week, and it makes up half of our Computing Curriculum. Our pupils absolutely love Discovery Education Coding, because the content is so engaging! It’s very simple for children to use. There are lots of great details which appeal to children, especially the fun characters that they can create. They really enjoy designing their own programmes, apps and games and sharing with friends. We even have gaming lessons which the children love!

The service is well thought out in terms of the skills it delivers. It offers a really strong foundation, embedding coding skills that children can easily transfer in the future. We notice how it helps with pupils’ logical thinking and reasoning. When the children come across a problem, they debug it, reasoning out where the code or instruction might have gone wrong and finding a new solution.

We use Discovery Education Coding as a cross curricular tool, linking Computing to other subjects. When the children create games, for example, they use art and design skills. The directional language they learn in coding links to geography. And the characters and stories they make link to literacy. The logical thought process of coding helps pupils to plan their work in other subjects. It introduces the concept that there is an end goal in every lesson, a result to plan towards. Coding gives children a real sense of achievement, because there is always a finished product –even if it’s just one line of code, they are successful.

Discovery Education Coding is designed to deliver pupil progress. We can see our pupils improving with every lesson and building their confidence. Each lesson is made up of a number of separate steps, so it’s not too overwhelming. Some of the children go through the steps quickly, others take a little longer, but it works for everyone. With each step they learn a new coding skill. It’s progressive and it’s fun!

The service enables us to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. It’s accessible for lower ability pupils who can work at their own pace. Our teachers have also become more confident in extending learning for higher ability children. Year 6 have now moved on to HTML coding and are writing and building their own web pages. Discovery Education Coding is preparing them well for secondary school. They’ll move up to High School with a really strong foundation.

Discovery Education Coding is the complete package. Anybody can pick it up and teach it, and the support is there if you need it. The fact that we have used it for four years, culminating in receiving the ICT Innovation Award, is testament to how good this product is. The children are the driving force behind our commitment to coding because they love it, and this enthuses and motivates our teachers. Best of all, we know that we’re equipping today’s young learners for the future.

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