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Education recovery: We've developed a special curated collection of CPD, resources and wider support to inspire your teaching, improve your knowledge, inform your assessment and save you time whilst you address lost learning.

Primary programming and algorithms - face to face

CP003 Face to face course

Discover engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking.

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Key stage 1 Key stage 2
Face to face course 1 day

  • Lincoln 30 September 09:30—30 September 2021
  • Reading 7 October 09:30—7 October 2021
  • Fareham 8 October 10:30—8 October 2021
  • Gosport 12 October 14:15—19 October 2021
  • Chorley 14 October 09:00—14 October 2021
  • Grantham 14 October 09:30—14 October 2021
  • Reading 19 October 10:00—19 October 2021
  • High Wycombe 25 November 09:30—25 November 2021
  • Grimsby 25 November 09:30—25 November 2021
  • Lincoln 29 November 09:30—29 November 2021
  • Milton Keynes 1 December 09:30—1 December 2021
  • Northampton 26 April 09:30—26 April 2022

Programming and algorithms are fundamental to the primary computing curriculum. Algorithms are clear and unambiguous instructions to solve problems which can often be translated using a programming language for a computer to follow. By thinking computationally, children can harness the power of computers to extend their capabilities.

Teachers may wish to attend Teaching and leading key stage 1 or key stage 2 computing before participating in this CPD

During this one-day professional development, you will discover engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking. You will be equipped to develop their knowledge of how technology works, and the skills to make computers follow instructions in simple programs. A range of approaches will be explored, including ‘unplugged’ activities that require no computer and multimedia activities that allow creativity and promote widespread engagement.

The professional development will highlight the differences and commonalities across Key Stages 1 and 2, helping all primary teachers to plan for age-appropriate learning while developing an understanding of progression through computing.

Do you prefer to learn remotely?

If so, take a look at:

Primary programming and algorithms

This course is delivered as part of the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who is it for?

Primary computing coordinators looking to develop their own teaching and that of their colleagues.

Any primary teacher or senior leader interested in teaching computing.

Teachers may wish to attend teaching and leading key stage 1 or key stage 2 computing before participating in this CPD

Topics covered

  • 01 | Essential Algorithm & Programming Knowledge apply computational thinking and help children to do the same. Recognise and describe algorithms using formal and informal language. Develop techniques to improve the resilience and persistence of children in the classroom.
  • 02 | Algorithms and algorithmic evaluation in KS1 consider the expectations of learners in terms of designing and implementing simple sequences of instructions on digital devices. Develop their debugging and evaluation skills to support independent learning.
  • 03 | Sequence and repetition in KS2 apply evidence-based teaching approaches to build children’s understanding of sequences and loops in programs.
  • 04 | Selection & Variables in KS2 gain experience and knowledge of programming projects that use variables and in which instructions branch depending on conditions. Relate these to unplugged algorithms to aid understanding.

How long is this course?

  • This course is a single day involving 5 hours of learning.  

How will you learn?

  • Hands-on programming
  • Unplugged and kinaesthetic learning of algorithms
  • Expert guidance and subject knowledge instruction


You will be able to:

  • Discover a range of different teaching techniques that are supported by research, to improve how your school delivers lessons that use algorithms and programming.
  • Learn about debugging, sequence, repetition, selection and variable use and the common misconceptions that hinder pupil progress.
  • Come away with lots of resources that you can use to develop how teachers in your schools understand, plan and teach computing.
  • Understand what computational thinking is and how it affects teaching programming

This course is part of Teach primary computing

Teach primary computing

Our nationally recognised qualification will support you to demonstrate your commitment to developing your own practice and to computing as a school subject.

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