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Teaching Programming in Primary Schools

Understand key programming concepts and apply them using Scratch, with this introductory course for primary or K-5 teachers.

33,191 enrolled on this course

Teaching Programming in Primary Schools
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Understand key programming concepts and apply them using Scratch.

This free online course will provide a comprehensive introduction to programming, designed for non-subject-specialist primary or K-5 teachers.

Over four weeks, we’ll introduce you to key programming concepts. You’ll have the chance to apply your understanding of them through projects, both unplugged and on a computer, using Scratch as the programming language. You’ll discover common mistakes and pitfalls, and develop strategies to fix them.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction to Programming

    • Introduction

      Welcome to 'Teaching Programming in Primary Schools'.

    • Algorithms

      Learn what an algorithm is, and discover examples of algorithms in the world around you.

    • Programming using Scratch

      This section introduces you to programming in the Scratch environment.

    • Sequencing

      Learn how programs are made up of sequences of precise instructions.

    • Final Challenge

      Apply your knowledge of sequencing by creating your own drawing.

  • Week 2

    Repetition

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Week 2, where you'll learn all about repetition.

    • Creating Art

      Learn how to use repetition to create your own unique shapes and patterns.

    • Making Music

      Learn how to use repetition to create music with repeating patterns.

    • Final Challenge

      Apply your knowledge of repetition by creating your own animation.

  • Week 3

    Variables

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Week 3, where you'll learn all about variables.

    • Voting App

      Learn how to use variables to create an app allowing users to vote on their favourite animal.

    • Story Time

      Learn how to use variables to create custom-generated stories based on data provided by the user.

    • Final Challenge

      Apply your knowledge of variables by creating your own ghost-catching game.

  • Week 4

    Selection

    • Introduction

      Welcome to week 4, where you'll learn all about selection.

    • Capital Cities Quiz

      Learn how to use selection to create a quiz.

    • Animal Classification

      Learn how to use selection to create an animal classification program.

    • Final Challenge

      Apply and combine your programming knowledge by creating your own project!

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explain key programming concepts; algorithms, sequencing, repetition, variables and selection.
  • Produce programs using the Scratch programming language.
  • Reflect on your learning and create ideas for your classroom practise.
  • Explore programming concepts through projects, both unplugged and digital.
  • Apply a cross curricular approach to programming.

Who is the course for?

Teaching Programming in Primary Schools is designed for non-subject-specialist primary or K-5 teachers. You do not need any prior experience of programming to take part.

What software or tools do you need?

Learners need access to Scratch. Some aspects of the course use Scratch blocks that require the use of a keyboard.

What do people say about this course?

"I thoroughly enjoyed this course, having previously taught Year 5 students. I was unaware of the immense activities involved in Scratch and all the exciting creations that you can have fun with. I will certainly be using this in the future. Thank you!"

"I appreciate the way the course instruction was designed. The design fostered confidence because the steps we learned and practiced were clearly outlined. This aspect gave room for exploration and creativity. I look forward to practicing all the things I've learned and then share it with faculty as part of their ongoing professional development."

Who will you learn with?

I am Director of Informal Learning at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, previously a secondary ICT and Computing teacher.

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

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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