Monday, October 7, 2013

Coding in EYFS

Kodable introduces EYFS to logic and simple code

Now let's begin by saying straight off that the iOS app Kodable will not teach a young child (or a child of any age) how to code. What it does do, and does very well, is to introduce a child to code through symbols and logical thinking.

EYFS (Kindergarten) may not be the first age group for many educators to introduce aspects of coding but I've found that it's a perfect age group due to the very inquisitive nature of young learners. The children in my class are 4 years old and using an app like Kodable to start them on their coding journey has been very straightforward. The app begins with a quick demonstration of what to do then leaves the user to it. Perfect for a 4 year old who wants to explore and discover. Through using logical thinking, the children in my class worked their way through each of the presented levels using their fingers to trace out the route and talking it through with each other. As an EYFS teacher this was the perfect opportunity for me to record pupil observations and I was amazed at how they solved each level, even levels that presented conditions in the form of  different coloured squares. Some children asked for help at this point whilst others worked the solution out for themselves.

I found myself using IF...THEN...ELSE statements during discussion with the children.

The new Computing Curriculum for KS1 and KS2 in England the first three attainment targets state that children should be taught to:

  • Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions 
  • Create and debug simple programs 
  • Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs 

I don't see the app as just a game but one that meets every target listed above, this is early years games based learning at its zenith. Kodable is not just a game, it's a game you use to learn about the basic principles of coding. And that's perfect for EYFS.