Teaching Kindergarten to code might seem difficult – but it’s an everyday occurrence at St Michael’s Catholic Primary School Lane Cove.
The school’s STEM classes, which run as relief time for classroom teachers, invite every child in the school to meet curriculum outcomes in Maths, Science and Technology in an innovative practical way – including those yet to turn five.
Kindergarten come to school still asking why things happen, and that matches the outcomes of the syllabus so beautifully
Coding is part of student’s work with Beebots, friendly robots that can be programmed using block coding or arrow buttons. Children enjoy being able to tell the robots where to go as they move along a mat that displays a map or road.
‘Kindergarten come to school still asking why things happen,’ said STEM Teacher Janet Weir ‘and that matches the outcomes of the syllabus so beautifully, which ask them to observe, identify, and question.’
‘They certainly are very good at that, and the activities that I set up for them to do in STEM classes definitely bring out the best of those skills. As they get older, they’ll use some of the further resources that we have to put that thinking into practice, such as mBots and drones.’
Like all their tasks, children’s work with the Beebots helps them build creative problem solving and critical thinking skills they’ll use throughout their lives.
A recent Kindergarten STEM task asked children to observe and count downpipes around their school, then construct their own design that would allow Incy Wincy spider to hide inside and escape the rain.
The task encouraged students to use their counting skills, spacial thinking and knowledge of the water cycle, building on a unit on weather and incorporating sustainability elements by using recycled materials.
‘We drew Incy Wincy spider first, then drew the down pipes,’ explained Kindergartener Samuel. ‘Mine looked like a zig zag, so it got more energy..