This is a guest post from James Protheroe, a primary school teacher at Darran Park School.
On Monday 8th December, the Year 5/6 pupils from Darran Park Primary joined the millions of people all over the world in an Hour of Code. Myself and the Digital Leaders led the session which helped the children and their parents get a better understanding of coding through designing their own programmes and games. Throughout the week other classes also enjoyed taking part in the Hour of Code - with 140 children completing the activities!
The children were really excited about completing the Hour of Code. At first I was a little daunted at the prospect of delivering the session but the Code.org website made planning and delivering the session really easy. Also through my involvement with the Microsoft IT Academy I understood the importance of introducing pupils to technology to help them thrive in today's ever changing age of technology. Some pupils chose to use Kodu during their Hour of Code and created some interesting and exciting games. The Hour of Code is an excellent opportunity to get children thinking about how the computer games they love to play are created. It encourages pupils to be creators rather than consumers of ICT. It was also a great opportunity to invite parents in to try coding for themselves. The Digital Leaders also helped to deliver the session by supporting pupils and parents.
As an IT Leader I was able to share the Hour of Code with other teachers throughout the school, who also ran sessions in the week. The pupils enjoyed the coding activities so much that we have decided to start an after school coding club.
Mr Protheroe (Year 5/6 class teacher)
Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of the Hour of Code, it was great to see the children using the different electronic devices to program different games. It really gives pupils the chance to develop skills they will need to be successful in the 21st century.
Angharad Walters (Student)
I really enjoyed the hour of code on Monday because I could tell my mother what to do for once. I used Code Combat to programme my own game character to travel through levels to collect diamonds. I would really like to become a game designer and earn a fortune by doing something that I enjoy. 🙂
Louis (Owl Class)
I thought the Hour of Code was an incredible experience because I could create games for my friends to play. I really like ICT as we get to use the latest technology. I used Kodu and Scratch (Kodu was the best).
Hari (Owl Class)
I thought the hour of code was a great experience to help with my ICT skills because before I completed this session I didn't know how to code. In the future, I want to work for Microsoft (the best company ever).I would recommend this session for other schools to use.
Jordan (Owl Class)
When I was asked by Mr Protheroe to join in with the Hour of Code, I jumped at the chance, because after helping with our after school Media Club, it was a great opportunity to see how the games and apps my own children and those our pupils use and play are created. The Hour of Code was also a great opportunity for the pupils themselves. With technology advancing so quickly, this workshop gave them an insight into how the games and apps that they have come to love are created. I really enjoyed this hour (it went too quickly) and I know the children really enjoyed, so it will be great for the children to learn even more with the introduction of the coding club. l hope I am able to join in and learn more myself. So I would like to say thank you to Mr Protheroe and the Digital Leaders for delivering this very informative workshop.
Darren Hurley (Teaching Assistant/Parent)
I thought that the Hour Of Code was a great experience and will surely help me in future ICT projects. As a Digital Leader, I believe using coding programs and different technology is very important to learn throughout everyone's life. Also, I enjoyed helping other pupils (and Parents) to use the range of games and programs, such as: Kodu, Scratch, ect. I must say how truly disappointed I was when I realized the website crashed but we still managed to participate in most games and programs! Even though I started this at my house before the session, I still enjoyed the hour of code.
Caitlyn (Owl Class, Digital Leader)
I thought that the hour of code was a great experience for my ICT skills and I have learnt a lot from the hour of code. I was a digital leader I had to go round and help the children and parents, if they were stuck. Even though though the website crashed, we still managed to play on Kodu and Scratch.
Lewis (Year 5, Owl Class Digital Leader)