New world of computer learning for Upton children

Upton youngsters use the Lego education ‘spike prime’ sets

Young computer whizz-kids at Upton Juniors in Broadstairs are exploring new resources to expand their learning.

Children in Year 5 and 6 were the first to have hands-on experience with 18 Lego education ‘spike prime’ sets that have been provided by the school to add an extra dimension to lessons.

Pupils were amazed by the versatility of the kits. Year 5 use the equipment to explore ‘conditioning’ and ‘selection’ and they constructed machines and coded them to sort the bricks by their colour.

The Year 6 group were challenged to first build a machine out of Lego before coding it with variables so that it could count the number of sit-ups.

Teacher Chris Rowe said: “These will be invaluable in teaching practical coding as part of their computing lessons as well as being fun to use.”

The idea behind the kit is to help develop wide-ranging skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and pupils will be required to define problems, make prototypes, test their designs, evaluate their projects, as well as debug, recognise patterns and create algorithms.

Learners can use the set to program sensors and motors, seeing their robotic models come alive and react to their programs. The associated app uses coding language based on Scratch, an intuitive, drag-and-drop style of programming, making it easy for teachers and pupils to get going.

The kits help teach complex problem-solving as well as debugging, programming, engineering, designing, building and communication

Head of School Darci Arthur believes it is important to provide top resources wherever possible. She said: “We pride ourselves on offering the best educational opportunities across the board by investing in the future of our children.

.“It was clear that these new kits would be a substantial value-added for pupils in our computing lessons and we have already seen how this resource is enabling them to expand their knowledge.

“The feedback from our children has been totally positive and they are really engaged with exploring how much further the kits can take their studies.”