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Coding the future with Discovery Education

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Award-winning primary school St Swithun Wells uses Discovery Education Coding to teach the National Computing Curriculum in KS1 and KS2. Computing Coordinator Tiffany Bolton explains how the service helps students to build a love of coding and gets them ready for future success.


We’ve been using Discovery Education Coding for seven years and it just keeps getting better. When we first started out, we needed a solution which could be used by teachers who weren’t familiar with programming. Discovery Education Coding was ideal because anybody can pick it up and teach with it. In the last seven years, our confidence in coding has really grown and the service has grown with us, adding new programming languages and features along the way. Today it gives us more choice than ever when it comes to planning lessons.


We’ve just completed our first full cycle of learning, with students who have come all the way up through the school using Discovery Education Coding. They progressed from using simple block coding in KS1 to more complex HTML in KS2. This gave them a really solid grounding. A student who recently moved up to High School said, “Thank you for your coding lessons, they were amazing! I know exactly what I’m doing in Computing, because I’ve heard it all before!” It’s great that our students are applying the skills they learned with us in secondary school.


Our students absolutely love Discovery Education Coding. At the start of every Computing lesson they ask, “Is it coding today?” and they’re disappointed if it’s not! They enjoy using the platform because it’s simple and engaging. They can write their own code and bring it to life using the fun characters. It also gives them the freedom to do things themselves and come up with their own ideas. We use Rate My App and they love sharing and playing each other’s games and providing feedback. It supports peer learning and it’s fun!


Discovery Education Coding is well scaffolded to deliver progress. We can see our students improving with every lesson and building their confidence. Each unit is broken down into bite sized chunks so it’s not too overwhelming and it works for everyone. The service enables us to meet the needs of a wide range of learners, including lower ability pupils and SEN students. With each step they learn a new coding skill and if they need to revisit a level, it’s easy to do so. We feel confident that everyone is fully supported.


We’ve always used 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 Maths. 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.

Teach your pupils to code! With Discovery Education Coding, pupils will gain a thorough understanding of coding concepts like algorithms, sequences and variables - as well as developing computational thinking skills through decomposition, logical reasoning and problem-solving.

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The platform provides excellent support for teachers. Sometimes primary school teachers can lack confidence in computing, but this is a complete resource which allows them to teach with confidence, even if they don’t know anything about coding! There are lots of helpful videos and lesson plans which cover the learning objectives, success criteria and key questions to ask students. As curriculum leader, I feel confident that my subject is being taught extremely well because we are using Discovery Education Coding. It also makes coding an easy teach because the students love it so much!


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. Whatever job you have in life you always have to go through problem solving and logical thinking. The skills we are teaching them through coding, will set them up for any profession.


It’s so important that we teach children to code, because coding is the future! Today’s students are already tech savvy, but coding gives them a new dimension. It helps them to understand how apps and games work. It’s like telling them a magic secret! Lots of my students say, “I want to code when I grow up”, and Discovery Education Coding has inspired this. They’re excited by coding and talk about it constantly, which can only be a good thing. It’s opened doors to new possibilities and given them a sense of “I can do this!”


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 seven years is testament to how good this product is. We even picked up a prestigious ICT Innovation Award along the way! The children are the driving force behind our commitment to coding because they still absolutely 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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