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San Sior pupils catch the coding bug

Coding – the art of designing and developing computer programs – is an increasingly essential skill in the modern world. In accordance with recent changes in the national curriculum, San Sior is helping pupils to get a head start by introducing them to the fundamentals of coding and programming, using creative learning tools to explore the many useful things that can be done through applying simple computing languages.

We recently took delivery of 30 ‘Codebug’ devices, kindly donated by electronics and technology distributor Farnell element14. These hand-held devices are designed to give young children a foundation in digital literacy through play and exploration. Activities include creating simple animations and conducting experiments, with step-by-step instructions and a range of difficulty levels to allow pupils to learn at their own pace.

Codebug was developed specifically as a learning aid for young children, and features an attractive, child-friendly design resembling a little green ‘bug’ – hence the name – with push buttons representing the eyes, six touch-sensitive ‘legs’ and a display of LED lights on the stomach, allowing pupils to create simple animations. Pupils interact with the coding language by dragging-and dropping a selection of ‘blocks’ onto an online workspace, encouraging trial and error and discovery.

Once children have got the hang of the basics, they can move on to more complex projects by connecting the device to a wide range of sensors, buzzers and switches using crocodile clips and wires, promoting core skills that will help to prepare them for the more advanced computing techniques they will be expected to study when they move on to secondary school.