Hackathon at St Patricks Primary School – Corby

So with our new year 7’s getting ready to come to school soon, I really wanted to know what to expect from the different year groups. I emailed a few local primary schools and asked if I could come and visit their children and teach them some coding. St Patricks primary school had been using Kodu and they love it! They said they had entered the KoduKup this year and were super excited about learning something new! 30 students coding from year 2 to year 6, it was immense!

It was great that the school were able to give me such a range of ages because it really helped me see which age groups would work well with #touchdevelop. After running the session it was quite clear that the age groups who were particularly good with this were students aged 8 and up. Some of the younger students had difficulties with the TouchDevelop environment and we had to make sure we moved the user level down to beginner. This enabled them to see the code in a more colourful way. TouchDevelop is great for meeting all users needs. Particularly from an Ofsted point of view, it is definitely one way of showing ‘differentiation’ in your lessons.

During my session I must say that I was very impressed with the girls! They picked up quicker than the boys! I think they liked the appeal of the environment and one girl in particular managed to code her own controlled so that she could draw pictures using libraries such as ‘pixel art’ and ‘turtle’. I’m now looking to experiment with different schools and see how they handle using some of the game boards.

Here are some pictures below:

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About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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