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Diary of a Lead Teacher: Our very first computing week!

Author: ejwebster

Half term is always a great chance to recharge, revitalise and review – and our very first computing week is quite a week to look back on!

Students and staff spent the entire last week of half term injecting computing into every part of their day: English, Art, Geography, even break and lunch times! Children were deeply engaged with games to improve their logic skills, computational thinking and problem-solving abilities. Teachers swapped chatter about half term holidays for sharing unplugged activity ideas and experiences from Digital Schoolhouse workshops. We also developed a strong collaboration with our secondary school through their committed Computing Lead and students that invested their time supporting our younger children. Prendergast Primary really was a hot bed for all things computing!

What was really special about the week was how aware the children became about the skills they were developing and their relevance to computing. During a visit from our executive head, children impressed with their explanation of algorithms (they’re basically just instructions!) as well as describing how solving puzzles will help them work with computers. Children knew exactly what they were learning and more importantly, why.

Our first computing fair was also a huge success. It followed an inspiring assembly in which a selection of secondary students presented their work on drones, 3D printers and robotics. Children were transfixed by these futuristic machines that will very soon become their everyday. The computing fair then allowed children, and parents, to play with the robots created by the secondary children. There was even talk of some new equipment being funded for the primary children to have a go!  

The fair saw children from all year groups present the work they were most proud of from the week. Stop motion animation, fairy tale world maps and directions, esports and game development as well as beebot programming from reception children. There were also a range of activities that encouraged parents to think about how they can support computational thinking in their children and realise the transferability of these skills.

Our first computing week was a project I’m really proud of. It was so great to see children understand (and accept!) that computing doesn’t always need a computer and that even making a sandwich can develop a talented coder!

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