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Programming Pedagogy in Primary Schools: Developing Computing Teaching

Investigate a range of pedagogical approaches suitable for teaching programming to primary school pupils (aged 5 to 11 years old).

3,890 enrolled on this course

Programming Pedagogy in Primary Schools: Developing Computing Teaching
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Learn how to run a successful computer programming class

On this four-week course, you’ll examine a range of teaching methods suitable for teaching programming, particularly block-based programming languages, to primary school pupils.

You’ll look at general pedagogical concepts like Bloom’s verbs, semantic waves and cognitive load, as well as programming specific approaches such as Parson’s Problems or designing lessons using levels of abstraction.

You’ll have the chance to reflect on your current teaching practices, and how you can adapt your own lessons to take advantage of these approaches.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds Are you a teacher who wants to develop your pedagogical knowledge to create more effective programming lessons? What taxonomies and learning theories can you use to teach programming to primary school pupils aged 5 to 11? How can you model a learning sequence as a semantic wave? This free course will teach you about pedagogical concepts like Bloom’s Taxonomy, cognitive load theory, Use-Modify-Create, and Parsons problems. You’ll take part in practical activities to design lessons using levels of abstraction, guided exploration, and targeted tasks. This four-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and feedback on your knowledge as you progress. You can learn whenever and wherever you want.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds So if you’re an educator looking to improve how you teach programming in your school, this course will help you to understand the principles of primary programming pedagogy. Sign up now at rpf.io/primarypedagogy. [CLICK]


  • Week 1

    Introduction to pedagogical concepts

    • Welcome to Week 1

      Welcome to Programming Pedagogy in Primary Schools: Developing Computing Teaching!

    • Self Reflection

      Reflect on what makes you a teacher and the ways you teach.

    • Pedagogical Content Knowledge

      What is Pedagogical Content Knowledge and how is it is used in the primary computing classroom?

    • End of Week 1

      Reflect on your learning from this week

  • Week 2

    Targeted tasks

    • Welcome to week 2

      An introduction to week 2 of the course

    • Learning theories and scaffolding

      How can you usefully apply scaffolding to tasks in the classroom - and what learning theories may affect your choices?

    • Sequence and repetition

      Teaching these two key coding ideas using an unplugged activity and Parson’s Problems

    • End of week 2

      Share your ideas as you reflect on the week's learning

  • Week 3

    More targeted tasks

    • Welcome to week 3

      An introduction to the week, and to cognitive load theory

    • Selection: UMC and PRIMM

      Investigating selection through the use of the Use, Modify, Create and PRIMM approaches

    • Variables, and levels of abstraction

      Introduce your students to variables, and use levels of abstraction to plan an activity using variables

    • End of week 3

      Share your ideas for teaching about selection and variables

  • Week 4

    Applying pedagogical approaches

    • Introduction to week 4

      Reflect on your learning from the past three weeks

    • Planning your teaching

      How will you decide what strategies to use, and embed your new knowledge in your teaching?

    • Peer Assessment: Create a learning sequence

      Demonstrate your new skills by creating a learning sequence, and assessing one from your peers

    • End of the course

      Congratulations on completing the course!

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe a range of pedagogical approaches, including unplugged approaches, 'Use-Modify-Create', and Parson's Problems
  • Investigate the key programming concepts of sequence, variables, selection, and iteration, and how these can be taught
  • Model a learning sequence as a semantic wave
  • Apply different pedagogies into a lesson plan
  • Evaluate the use of these pedagogical approaches in your classroom

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers and subject leaders responsible for teaching programming to primary school children (5-11 years old).

You will need some basic programming knowledge but the course does revise the key programming concepts of sequence, variables, selection and iteration.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Learning Manager for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In addition to creating educational resources, I enjoy looking at birds, clouds, stars or anything else in the sky.

I work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation on the Primary team delivering educator support through the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

National Centre for Computing Education courses

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