Programming comes to life for Years 5 & 6

Year 5 and 6 have enjoyed a fantastic day of programming and app development using the micro:bit – a tiny programmable computer, designed to make learning about computer programming easy and fun.

Ali Maggs, a specialist micro:bit trainer who is also well known for producing games and applications, spent the day at Grace Dieu teaching the children how to use the micro:bit and just how fascinating it can be.

The pupils were challenged to programme their micro:bits to make a fitness tracker to count their steps and to show a message when they reached their step goal – which they really enjoyed! They also programmed the micro:bit to: show their names, to show a simple picture (made from 25 LEDs), to show a random number from 1-6 (like a dice), and to play a simple game.

“This was the first time that we have used micro:bit in the classroom, and it has certainly captured the children’s interest,” says Headmistress Margaret Kewell.  “Whilst all pupils enjoy computing lessons that cover a range of different areas, stand out days like today really do help to inspire the children to the possibilities of technology.”

The micro:bit is well regarded for being more approachable and practical than just coding, with research showing that 90% of students say that using the micro:bit helped them to show that anyone can code. This was certainly the case at Grace Dieu – the pupils were incredibly engaged throughout the day – with many saying “it was the best day ever”!

This is the first time that a specialist has visited Grace Dieu to extend the pupils’ coding skills, and the lessons learned during the sessions will now be built on by the class teachers.  All of the pupils will now be able to access the work they did today via their micro:bits and the website