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Primary programming and algorithms

CP455 Face to face course

Learn essential subject knowledge to become a skilled teacher of primary computing. Be prepared to teach algorithms and programming to all ages of children, helping them develop their understanding through effective pedagogy.

Key stage 1 Key stage 2
Face to face course 6 days

  • Remote delivered CPD 10 June 13:00—23 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 10 June 14:30—23 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 15 June 10:00—25 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 15 June 14:00—26 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 17 June 10:00—30 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 22 June 13:00—2 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 8 July 13:00—21 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 8 July 14:30—21 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 13 July 10:00—23 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 13 July 14:00—23 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 15 July 10:00—28 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 20 July 13:00—30 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 5 August 13:00—18 August 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 5 August 14:30—18 August 2020


Programming and algorithms are fundamental to the primary computing curriculum. Algorithms are clear and repeatable instructions to solve problems that can often be expressed in a programming language for a computer to follow. Using their knowledge of algorithms and programming, children can harness the power of computers to extend their capabilities and change the world.During this CPD, you will discover engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking. You’ll help them develop their knowledge of how technology works, and the skills to make computers follow instructions through simple programs. A range of approaches will be explored, including ‘unplugged’ activities that require no computer. You’ll also gain confidence in leading programming 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.

Book now and you will be automatically registered for the scheduled sessions for the course. Remote CPD courses have live, facilitator-led sessions and are not available for instant access. Please refer to the schedule of dates publised for each course instance.

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 The first teacher to participate in this CPD, from each primary or all-through school, will be eligible for a bursary.

Course content

  • 01 | developing understanding in KS1 You will understand algorithms and how they can be expressed in computer programs. You will learn strategies to support children to become confident and independent learners. You'll also start to use programmable toys for early programming
  • 02 | Sequence and repetition Use unplugged teaching approaches that help children understand the key building blocks of algorithms. Develop the programming knowledge of young people using accessible on-screen coding environments, as well as more sophisticated use of programmable toys
  • 03 | Selection and variables Represent algorithm design in different forms including structured language and flowcharts. Use variables within more efficient programs, and develop effective pedagogy to teach programming throughout the primary age range

How will you learn?

  • Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner.
  • Flexible facilitator-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content.
  • Hands-on programming using popular, free online tools.

How long is the course?

This course is approximately 5 1/2 hours in duration, split across several days.

Please note that this course contains an additional pre-course task which will be distributed ahead of the first course session.

Other primary computing CPD

Primary programming and algorithms

Teaching and leading key stage 1 computing (module 1)

Teaching and leading key stage 2 computing (module 1)

Teaching Programming in Primary Schools

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

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

This course is part of the Teach primary computing certificate.

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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Also part of Teach primary computing:

Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Approaches to Supporting Learners with SEND in Computing

Explore ways to make your computing lessons more inclusive for learners with special educational needs and disabilities.

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Programming 101: An Introduction to Python for Educators

Explore the basics of Python. Guided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, you’ll learn to code your first program

Free online course

Programming Pedagogy in Primary Schools: Developing Computing Teaching

Investigate a range of pedagogical approaches for teaching programming to primary pupils

Free online course