A couple of days ago I visited St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Ipswich, where I did a day of robot workshops for their early KS2 classes (Year 3 and Year 4). I started off by introducing each class to a selection of robots with different abilities. Then came the main event.
The Y3 children did an activity based on free form drawing and programming the robots with Ozocodes, which led to some really creative work. Several groups of children decided to combine their track designs and put them together. Awesome! I was exceptionally pleased, though, with the Y4 children, where we managed, over the course of a couple of hours, to go from never having met an Ozobot before, to programming it with OzoBlockly to race several times round a quite complex track. Thanks very much to the team at ozobot.com for creating a great programming environment and making the Ozo Slot Car lesson available.
After the Y3 workshop I discussed with the teacher how it fulfilled multiple criteria for the KS1 and KS2 Computing National Curriculum, and we came up with quite a few:
- Understanding what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- Creating and debugging simple programs
- Using logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- Recognising a common use of information technology beyond school
- Designing, writing and debugging programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solving problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- Using sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; working with variables and various forms of input and output
- Using logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
It was great to see this in action. Here’s what the teacher had to say afterwards:
“Just to say thanks for the day. All the children seemed very enthused and pleased with the work and outcomes.
I’ve got lots of great pictures of them achieving the learning objectives we talked about and I learned a few things too.”