Coding in the Early Years

Since coding has become a priority for many schools, I have been contact more often about how to integrate coding meaningfully into an already crowded curriculum. Every school has a different approach – some hire outside companies to teach coding, others want to integrate it into the curriculum and not teach it independently, others still want to upskill their teachers to be able to teach it.

As with all things, the most effective method is somewhere in the middle. Teaching coding with no context and no connections to the students prior knowledge is not setting it up for success, while teaching it only within the context of other subjects does not always allow students the time and space to grasp the concepts behind coding as they are hidden behind subject content.

In my classroom, wherever possible, I like to teach  explicit coding lessons where children learn the skills that they need to then apply it in a cross-curricular context. Sometimes this means using a coding tool (eg. Scratch) to create a story/show a maths problem etc. Other times it simply means using the same computational thinking skills that they applied in coding to another context.

I have created a Coding Unit for Year 2 that shows how I plan for a term long coding unit. If you teach a similar year level, you may be able to take it as is and apply it to your classroom, as it matches the Australian curriculum. If you teach another year level, you may be able to use it as an example to plan a coding unit for your own level that involves both explicit teaching of coding skills, and other curriculum connections.

Rebecca Davies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *