UK Hour of code

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the World Wide Web with the UK Hour of Code!

3-9th March 2014

[caption id="attachment_2512" align="alignright" width="300"]Elm Park Primary Children from Elm Park Primary using Scratch with the 'We are Programmers' unit[/caption]

During the Hour of Code every student and classroom can learn how fun coding is in just one hour.  Are you ready to get your pupils coding?

What is coding?

Coding runs through a lot of the new curriculum. It is possibly an area that a lot of teachers do not feel as confident using.  Code is 'written computer instructions'. The term code is somewhat colloquial. For example, a programmer might say: "I wrote a lot of code this morning" or "There's one piece of code that doesn't work."

Code can appear in a variety of forms. The code that a programmer writes is called source code. After it has been compiled, it is called object code. Code that is ready to run is called executable code or machine code.​​

Teach coding with our pick-up-and-teach units

We can help you get coding with two free Switched on Computing units, for Year 3 UK Hour of Codeand Year 6, that give you step-by-step lesson plans and instructions for teaching your pupils to code using Scratch and Kodu.

Download them now and get started!

Switched on Computing sample

Unit 3.1 'We are programmers' and Unit 6 'We are game designers'.

Both units include:

-8 pages of step-by-step planning
-E-safety checklists
-Extension ideas
-Assessment guidance
-Software in 60-seconds walkthrough demos
-Additional CD-ROM resources

Click to download them from dropbox.


[caption id="attachment_2495" align="alignright" width="270"]Benhurst Primary School Benhurst Primary School using Scratch and the 'We are programmers' unit[/caption]

Switched on Computing is written for the 2014 computing curriculum and offers creative units using the latest software in a format that is designed for teachers of all levels of experience to pick up and use.  Switched on Computing teaches programming in every year so it's full of resources to help you teach coding.  These two free units will get your pupils making animations and games using Scratch and Kodu.

More tools to practise coding

There are lots of free and low-cost resources to help with coding.

Mozilla offer a range of tools:

  • Thimble enables you to see the code on one side and what it would look like on the web on the other.
    There are also a range of projects that you are able to re-mix.

  • X ray goggles lets you re-mix web pages so that you can then see this - ​can you spot the changes?

  • 16 steps lets you go further with code in 16 steps – great for pushing higher attainers.

For the iPad there are the following apps that can also let children code:

  • Hopscotch is a free visual coding app that looks similar to Scratch.

  • Catos hike (£2.99) is a universal game for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to teach kids and young children basic programming skills.

  • Hakitzu (69p) is a game that helps you learn the basics of JavaScript. No previous coding knowledge is required.


Switched On Computing, switched-on-computing

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