If you are interested in developing computational thinking and coding in your primary classroom, there are a number of initiatives that you can explore.
If you want to learn about the programming language Scratch and you’re the type of person who prefers to learn with others, the following are some options.
CCEA Scratch workshops
CCEA is trialling training where if a few primary schools are willing to collaborate and get together a group of about 10 teachers, a CCEA trainer will come to you (if you have a suitable computer training room in one of the schools) or a training venue to deliver a half training session for beginners. The workshop will take teachers through the basics of Scratch and teach you how to create your own game or animation through coding.
Creative Learning Centres
Some face-to-face training may also be available from the Creative Learning Centres through twilight sessions and summer workshops. Check the websites for the centres to see when these dates become available. These are usually on a first come first served basis.
Scratch is a good choice if you want to develop classroom coding as it is designed for children aged 7 and up. There is an excellent website and if you search for activities online, you can find a wealth of ideas that you can try out in your classroom. CCEA also has a number of Using ICT tasks which you can use with Scratch.
Code Club is dependent on volunteers who give up their time to help teach pupils to code. They use the teaching materials provided by Code Club and these include Scratch projects.
You can contact Una McDermott, the Northern Ireland co-ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org to help you with any aspect of Code Club and to answer any questions you may have if you want to register your school.
Business in the Community
Time to code is an initiative being piloted by Business in the Community in Northern Ireland. They have aligned with Code Club to use the Code Club teaching materials but use Business in the Community volunteers to deliver coding during the school day.