Code-it Gold

Links to Modules of work
Gold Shape / Gold Game / Gold Apps / Gold Scene / Crumble Gold / Y7 Gold

Article on the positive and negative aspects of code comprehension strategies which code-it Gold uses

This is a single-shape module outlining the trajectory or learning journeys available

Code-it Gold Possible Progressions

There is always more than one way to use any resource. Below are a few possible ways of using these modules.

1, KS2 four-year algorithm and code plan

Yellow Gold Scene / Pink Gold Shape / Blue Gold Game / Green Gold App

The plan above has been written for primary schools using my earlier planning. Each Year group has a programming concepts theme outlined in the right columns such as selection in Year 5 and repetition in Year 4. Complexity is also increased by going from left to right. 

If your pupils are new to programming using a real programming language such as Scratch, you should first cover simpler concepts. For example, a Year 5 class with no previous experience would benefit from exploring count-controlled loops with the shape module or the Toy Give Away plan and indefinite loops with the Helicopter before moving on to selection in the projects outlined in Year 5 above.

Programming concepts covered in the KS2 four-year algorithm and code plan

2, Code-it Gold Shape progression for upper KS2+

An alternative progression involves teaching as many primary shape modules in upper KS2 as pupils can get through in the time you provide. Last year I taught all these modules with my year 5 class successfully. In that instance we all kept pace with each other but you could allow pairs of pupils to work at their own pace, gathering groups of pupils to deliver the concept introductions when they are ready to move on. Whilst simpler shape modules can be used in lower key stage 2, they also make a great gradual introduction to shape programming for upper KS2 pupils and a way of reducing cognitive load and easing reluctant teachers into programming. Their is easily enough challenge in the shape progression to extend even the most experienced primary programmer.

Code-it Gold Shape Modules

Code-it Gold provides multiple research-backed methods of teaching the same programming module to help develop teacher and pupil agency over programming concepts and ideas. If you think your pupils can achieve more in primary programming but are not sure how, then Code-it Gold is for you. The Code-it Gold resources are free, but if you need more training or inset, then contact Phil Bagge via the contacts page.

Research Influences

Introductory elements of many modules have been influenced by the cognitive load work of Sweller and others. 

Use Modify Create is the idea of Lee et al. and is an option I use in many modules.

PRIMM is Sue Sentence’s idea and an adaptation of Use Modify Create. It stands for Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify, Make. 

Four levels of abstraction. Jane Waite, reviewing primary teachers’ use of planning in programming, found that there was little understanding of the difference between an algorithm and code and no coherent planning structure. She suggested that we adapt Armoni’s work and use four levels of abstraction.

Ideas level – What do I want to create in general terms

Design level -Including an algorithm, objects to use & initialisation

Code level -Where we turn the algorithm into code

Run the code or execute level -Where we test the code

Some of my PRIMM modules offer an algorithm instead of code to help pupils become familiar with what these might look like. I also stress that when working at the planning level, we use a different language for algorithms than the language of code. 

The concept before code has been influenced by the work of Shuchi Grover.

The work of the everyday computing team has influenced the progression of programming concepts. Their excellent trajectories have informed the order of many of the concepts. 

Every module ends with a make/create section. The section includes suggestions to help those who prefer a starting point and very open-ended challenges for those whose imagination has been sparked by the module. These have been influenced by the work of Seymour Papert

As always, all misconceptions are my own.

Phil Bagge

5th June 2019

Teaching Primary Programming with Scratch: Research-Informed Approaches

Introducing a range of research supported programming methodology that works in the classroom in a way that a non-specialist teachers can understand. Details here