Computational thinking feature concepts such as decomposition (breaking a problem down), writing algorithms (a list of instructions) and being creative.
The approach can enhance work in programming with Scratch or any other programming language you are using with primary children.
It will also align with Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities in the Northern Ireland curriculum.
If you are interested in introducing computational thinking to your pupils, it will also help you develop the Explore digital problem-solving element of Using ICT.
There is a lot of interest from the software industry and experts in computer science education in introducing computational thinking to young children. It’s seen as a way of developing a skill that is useful not only for computer programmers but also as an approach to problem-solving in other contexts.
The Barefoot Computing Programme has developed resources and training for computational thinking which have been tailored to the Northern Ireland curriculum by Stranmillis College. The resources and lesson plans are free and you can access a teacher training workshop in your own school if you register at barefootcas.org.uk/
Use the first three episodes of this BBC schools radio series to introduce younger children (5-7) to some aspects of computational thinking. The focus is on using jumbled-up numbers, words and letters and some ordered sequences and patterns based on 'recipes' (or 'algorithms').