Here at Featherstone All Saints C of E Academy, we acknowledge that ICT and Coding are fundamental to every child’s development. Due to the evolving importance of ICT in today’s society, it is key to introduce computing and ICT to children from an early age.
Being able to access ICT independently develops confidence, communication skills, digital literacy and maths; particularly problem solving skills. It also promotes the children’s internet safety awareness. When coding using the online apps, we always refer back to the SMART rules, which the children in our school can confidently explain.
With many children having access to coding apps at home, through the use of IPad’s, tablets and other gaming consoles, the children we teach are far more advanced than in previous years and can therefore pick up and retain the skills needed to code easily. In KS1, we have found that the best toys and activities to develop ICT skills are ‘Botley the Robot’ and the ‘Daisy Dinosaur’ app. These toys and apps are easily accessible, understandable and engaging for KS1 children.
Introducing the concept of coding and ICT in EYFS and KS1 begins with engaging and practical experiences such as dancing and playing ‘Simon says’. A recent example of this was when the children worked in pairs. One child was blind folded and their partner gave simple instructions to guide them around an obstacle course. We discussed how the instructions must be clear, precise and in order of how we wanted them to be performed. Afterwards, the children related this information back when using Botley, the coding robot. The children carefully thought about the order of the algorithms and how they could confuse Botley if they didn't delete the previous instruction. As a challenge with a link to maths, we thought about measuring the length Botley travelled in only one forward motion, to improve the accuracy of our algorithms when guiding Botley to a specific position.
Take a look at the range of ICT and coding products available from YPO that are designed to help you introduce these skills from an early age.