Computing resources for the New Year

By Rachel Jackson posted 20-01-2022 10:56


School’s back, and Christmas is well and truly a distant memory. The new term is a good time to have a look for new activities to use in class. Our STEM Learning eLibrary has a whole host of computing resources to support learning across the primary curriculum. If you’re looking for complete units of work, resources to supplement your computing planning, or just different activities then here are a few from the Teach Computing Curriculum and Barefoot computing to get you off to a good start in 2022.

Teach Computing Curriculum

You may already be using the Teach Computing Curriculum either trying out units to see how they work in your school or have already launched it fully within your school. If you have yet to have a look, then here are a few of the units to try out, which look at various aspects of computing across primary.

Digital painting

If you’re teaching digital painting this term, then this set of resources provides a whole package of work for children in Year 1. It starts by exploring a range of tools used for digital painting, then moves on to use the tools to create digital paintings, whilst gaining inspiration from a range of artists’ work. Children then compare painting with and without the use of digital devices.

Information technology

Aimed at Year 2, this unit of work explores information technology (IT) and how it is used at home and in shops, libraries, and hospitals. Children consider the benefits of IT and discus how to use it responsibly.


If you’re learning about animation, then these resources support this by using a range of techniques to create a stop frame animation. before applying those skills to create their own story-based animation, adding other types of media to their animations, such as music and text. There are lots of opportunities to link to learning in English or other subject areas when designing and making their own animations.

Computing Systems and Networks – The Internet

Aimed at Year 4 this unit of work develops knowledge and understanding of networks and the internet as a network of networks. Children also learn about the World Wide Web and online content considering ownership of online content and assessing how honest, accurate and reliable it is.

Data and information – Flat-file databases

These six lessons support learning about using a database to organise and represent data in graphs and charts. Also using tools within it to find information to answer questions and to help solve problems

Programming A – Variables in games

This unit explores the concept of variables in programming through games in Scratch. Follow the Use-Modify-Create model, children try out variables in an existing project, they then create their own projects. They then applying their knowledge of variables and design and improve their games.

Barefoot computing

Barefoot computing provide a whole host of resources to support delivery of the computing curriculum. From learning key vocabulary and concepts, to finding out about how computer systems and networks work there are some great activities for you to try out in your classroom. Many of the Barefoot activities use a cross-curricular context, such as this one which links to learning about the water cycle. whilst asking children to carry out ‘debugging’ activities.  Children use logical reasoning to locate and fix the bugs in a series of faulty programs based around the water cycle. 

In this cross curricular activity children design and make a sound monitor for their classroom. Linking to science content around sound, it introduces programming and control, linked to the outside world through sensors - in this case, the computer's built-in microphone or a peripheral microphone. Children design their monitor and write programmes using Scratch, which they then try out and improve.

This resource from Barefoot Computing helps children to understand how search engines work. By acting as a ‘web crawler’ and collecting information across a small selection of web pages, they learn what data is indexed by search engines and how this is used when a search query is received. As well as indexing using keyword counts, the children are asked to discuss ways to rank the results.

With a focus on sequences in algorithms and programs, this paired-programming activity supports children in creating an animation of a Viking raid. There is an existing Scratch file to build on, containing several sprites related to Vikings and a short example, which is used to discuss correct sequencing and movement. The task reinforces the use of co-ordinate systems and timing and requires consideration of audience and production quality.

With safer internet day coming up, then you may be looking for some games to reinforce safety messages with younger children. This snakes and ladders style game gives pupils the opportunity to practice their coding skills and refresh their knowledge of online safety. If pupils land on squares with online safety ‘Do and Don’ts’ tips they discuss these with their partner. If you don’t have Bee-Bots in school, then there is the opportunity to use an online Bee-Bot simulation.
Did you like this blog? Scroll back to the top and hit the 'Recommend' button!