Tag Archives: computer science

Sonic Pi

Year 6 have spent the first part of this term honing their programming skills using Scratch on the iMacs and the Cargo-Bot iPad app, which are both freely available if you have suitable equipment to run them. Both of these, and all the other tools I have used with them prior to this year are block based. This means the children can apply computational thinking to create programs without having to type any physical code.

This week, I have introduced Sonic Pi to bridge the gap between block based and text based programming. Sonic Pi is another free application which was initially developed for Raspberry Pis computers, but proved so successful it has also been ported to Macs and PCs. You can download it from the link on this post.

In simple terms, Sonic Pi creates music using computer code. The music can be as simple as individual notes or as complex as complete songs with multiple instruments and loops. You can either create your own music from scratch or adapt and modify other people’s projects.

We began by looking at some existing code and changing parameters to change the pitch and tempo of a beat – here is a quick video to show how this works:

The children then began to experiment with their own sounds. Here is Robert and Ayesha’s from 6C – can you recognise the tune?

LO: Can I create hyperlinks?

This week, years 3 and 4 will be learning that the internet is a non-linear place. This is technical way of saying you can go to anywhere, from anywhere depending on where you click. When you can click to get somewhere else, you are using something called a hyperlink.

Have a look at this Newsround page – how many different pages or websites can you get to from here and what can you find on them. Leave a comment below with anything interesting you have found on this page.

We will also learn how to create our own hyperlinks in Microsoft Word. To do this follow the steps below:

1. Open Word

2. Copy and paste the text from this post into Word:

3. To insert a hyperlink in Word:
– find the webpage you want to link to
– copy the URL (the address at the top, starting with http)
– then highlight the text you want to hyperlink in word
– click on go to the insert menu and choose hyperlink
– paste the URL into the ‘link to’ field
– click OK

4. Your challange is to insert hyperlinks into word to make the text ‘3 dimensional’. Watch the video at the bottom of this post to see an example.

Lemon and Herb – insert a hyperlink to a class blog
Mild – insert a hyperlink to a specific page on a class blog
Hot – link to multiple pages
Extra Hot – add your own text to link to other pages

The basic parts of a computer

Year 3 and 4 are learning about the basic parts of computers, and how there are different types of computers.

We will be using the learnfree.org website to learn about the different parts and then answering questions. You will be able to find the answers to all these questions on the website and on this video:

If you have time at the end of the lesson you can try the typing tutorial and the mouse tutorial.

Can I hack a website?

Yes, you read that learning objective correctly. For the next couple of weeks, years 5 and 6 will be learning how a website is built by hacking an example.

But wait, hacking’s a bad thing isn’t it? Well, not the reasons we’ll be doing it. In case you’re still not convinced watch this video from Mark “Mr C” Calleja of Hacklab. Mr C has been rated as an ‘Outstanding’ teacher by OFSTED and (like me) is a Raspberry Pi certified educator. All year 5 and 6 children will be watching the video tomorrow.

Still not convinced? You will be once you’ve seen the video. Oh, and it’s sponsored by a small software company called Microsoft!

To hack your own website you need to install Mozilla x-ray goggles. Click on the link and follow the instructions.

By the way, I forgot to mention. Did you know that I am going to be the new host of Top Gear?

Parts of a computer

This week, years 5 and 6 will be looking at the different parts of a computer. We will look inside old computers which we no longer use in school and identify the seven key components. The video below will help you find out what they are and their function.

Your challenge is to fill in your table with the names and functions of each part – can you…

Lemon and herb: name each component and find them on the computer in the classroom
Medium: explain what each component does
Hot: explain how the components relate to each other
Extra hot: identify any extra components which are not explained in the video