Tag Archives: algorithms


Year 2 have been having great fun programming robots through iPads. We’ve been using Blue-bots which are based on Bee-bots, but can be controlled through tablets via bluetooth. The children applied their knowledge of directional language and instructions to create algorithms for the Blue-bots to follow.

In common with many of the tools I use in school, the Blue-bot app is free and is available for Android and IOS devices. Click on the links below to find out how you can download it on to your device at home.

Blue-bot app – Android, Google Play store
Blue-bot app – IOS, App Store

Sonic Pi – week 2

LO: Can I apply programming skills to coding in Sonic Pi?

I can sequence instructions in an algorithm to create sounds
I can change variables in an algorithm to make a tune more recognisable
I can use loops and repeats to make my algorithm more efficient

Last week we looked at making sounds with code using Sonic Pi. We used the ‘play’ command combined with midi note numbers to create notes and chords. As you can see on the examples below, some of us managed to combine notes to create a recognisable tune.

This week we will develop our skills by using three key concepts of programming:

– Sequencing (mild chilli challenge)
– Variables (medium chilli challenge)
– Loops (hot chilli challenge)

Class 4B’s Scratch projects

4B have spent the last four weeks developing their own versions the Scratch maze game which 4L and 4O worked on earlier this term. Here are some examples of their work.

Abdullah and Zanira have used event blocks, move blocks and if/then blocks to control the movement of their sprite. They have also created a ‘score’ variable to improve their game. Next they need to move their game on to the next levels, which they have created, but currently are not coded into the game.

This is Aleem and Ayaan’s. They have added in sound effects to their project:

Hadia and Hafsa have coded their sprite to move, now they need to think about how they can use if/then blocks to make the obstacles work.

Year 1’s Scratch Jr projects

Year 1 have been using the skills they have gained in Scratch Jr over the last few weeks to create their own project. Their task was to make algorithms which would create an animation. The three levels of challenge were as follows:

Here some examples of their projects

Eilyah from 1H completed the medium challenge. She added three characters and got one of them to move when she clicked on the green flag…

Sahim from 1H completed the hot challenge. He added three characters and got them all to move at different speeds using the repeat end block.

Haider from 1H also attempted the hot challenge. He added three characters, and got one of them to move at a different speed. He also used the repeat end block

Zahra from 1H also completed the hot challenge…

Nicole from 1H completed the medium challenge and was working towards the hot challenge when this was filmed.

Finally, from 1H Eiliyah completed the hot challenge.

From 1L, Harry completed the hot challenge.

Jennifer from 1L completed the mild challenge and was working on the medium challenge when this video was taken.

Liam from 1L completed the hot challenge and added an additional character.

Jaiden from 1L also completed the hot challenge.

Kaylum from 1L completed the mild challenge, and was looking to get all his characters moving.

Finally, from 1L Aysha also completed the mild challenge and was working towards medium.

Year 4 and 5 Scratch projects

Year 4 have been developing their own games in Scratch games, based on a Maze game. The children have designed their own levels, programmed the movement of sprites, introduced levels and devised their own scoring system. In doing this they have used a wide variety of programming blocks, including movement, repeats, variables and if/then statements.

Here are some examples of their projects:

Kaitlin and Jamal from 5L:

Drew and Arsalan from 5H:

Ahad and Zara from 4O:

Inayah and Anthony from 4L:

Scratch Jr Projects

I have now completed 3 lessons of Scratch Jr activities with year 1. It’s great to see that a number of children have already downloaded Scratch Jr onto their devices at home. If you haven’t yet you can download it free from the App Store, or Google Play.

If you would like to have a go at some projects over half term, please click on the link below to access some activities on the Scratch Jr website. They are ordered from easiest to hardest, so it’s best to work through them in order.

If you try any of these, please leave me a comment to tell me how you got on.

Scratch Jr activities

Developing programming skills with A.L.E.X.

KS1 have been using a new app – A.L.E.X. to develop their programming skills. The concept is similar to Bee-bot in that you program a character (this time a Robot) to move around a grid. However, unlike Bee-bot the whole algorithm has to be input in one go. In addition, children can also design their own levels for the game. Both of these features make it a great next step from Bee-bot.

As with most of the tools I use on iPads, A.L.E.X. is free, ad free and available for both IOS and Android. Follow the links to see how you can download it. There is also a pro version you can buy for £0.79 which introduces more levels and challenges.

Creating algorithms with Bee-bot

Years 1 and 2 have been using the Bee-bot app to create algorithms or sets of instructions. This is a great introduction to coding for younger children and makes the link between input and output. I have also encouraged the children to predict what they think will work, before testing their predictions. This shows children that algorithms have to be tested, and that they don’t always work first time.

If you would like to try Bee-bot at home, it is available for free on IOS devices from the App Store.