• raspberry pi
  • National Centre for Computing Education logo

Teaching Programming to 5- to 11-year-olds

Increase your programming knowledge and develop effective lessons to teach programming to primary school pupils (aged 5-11 years).

4,643 enrolled on this course

Illustration representing the course, including a Bee-bot on a floor mat, a flow chart, a robot putting up a tent, Scratch code, and a teacher explainging to a young learner
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Build your subject knowledge and develop your skills in teaching programming

Programming gives children the opportunity to be creators rather than just consumers of technology. Instead of only using existing programs to complete tasks, children can use the programs they have written themselves to solve problems and develop new ideas.

This four-week course will help you become more confident in teaching programming to young children aged 5-11 years old. As well as developing your own understanding of programming, you’ll also investigate a range of strategies that you can use to help your pupils.

Delve into programming concepts

On this course you’ll learn about the key programming concepts of algorithms, sequence, repetition, selection, and variables.

You’ll experience a number of different programming languages suitable for young people, and use your new knowledge to modify and create programs in the block-based language Scratch.

The course will also introduce you to program design. You’ll learn about and experience all of the stages of program development from idea to running code.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to design and code your own Scratch programs, as well as being able to support your young learners as they begin their coding journeys.

This course is created to align with the Teach Computing Curriculum (TCC), a free resource containing all the content you need to teach computing to children.

As well as undertaking several activities from the TCC during this course, you will use the knowledge you have gained to review a TCC teaching resource and adapt it for your learners’ needs.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds What programming concepts do you encounter in everyday life? How can you design and create programming projects using Scratch? Do you want to teach programming to young children? This free course will help you develop your programming skills and become more confident in teaching programming to children aged 5 to 11. You’ll learn about the key programming concepts of algorithms, sequence, repetition, selection, and variables. You’ll explore programming languages suitable for young learners and consider effective pedagogy to help your pupils. This four-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and practical activities to modify, design and create your own programs.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds So whether you’re a teacher with students of your own or simply curious about programming, this course will help you to start teaching programming to 5 to 11-year-olds. Sign up now at rpf.io/primaryprogramming.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - Introduction to programming

  • What is programming?
  • What’s an algorithm?
  • Moving from an algorithm to code

Week 2 - Repetition

  • Identifying patterns in tasks
  • Implementing repetition
  • Different types of repetition

Week 3 - Selection

  • Conditions
  • Implementing selection
  • Controlling program flow with selection

Week 4 - Variables

  • What are variables?
  • How can variables be used in programs?
  • Adapting a learning resource for your class

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explain the key programming concepts of sequence, repetition, selection, and variables
  • Model these concepts using analogies from everyday life
  • Develop Scratch programs that use these concepts
  • Produce program designs including algorithms
  • Apply the Use-Modify-Create and levels of abstraction framework in your lessons
  • Modify learning resources to better fit the context in which you teach

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for educators of all types, in schools or informal settings. It has been designed to help you teach young children how to program.

What software or tools do you need?

All software used in this course is either free to download or can be accessed via the web. You will need access to Scratch 3, either online or installed on your computer. You’ll need to create a Scratch account to share and save your programs online.

Who will you learn with?

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

This course is part of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). Funded by the Department for Education and partners, we aim to change the way computing is taught in schools across England, and enable more young people to benefit from studying this important subject.

If you are a teacher in England you can get free upgraded access to this course, and use it towards NCCE certification. To do this, you must join the course through the Teach Computing website

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • 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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