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Algorithms & Programming

Algorithms & Programming is...

Algorithms are sets of instructions. We use instructions every day to get things done. A chef follows a recipe to make her favourite dish; the recipe is an algorithm. A pupil may follow a set of instructions to carry out a science experiment in school, those instructions are an algorithm. 

Programming is the implementation of algorithms. We learn to write computer programs so that computers can follow our instructions to behave intelligently, Add a little creativity to programming and it often results in innovation. 

The workshops that fall under this category all have an element of programming, or at the very least algorithmic thinking within them. Pupils are taught to solve problems by writing and implementing their own algorithms, through dance and magic and more.

App in a Day: An Apps for Good Taster Workshop

“Apps have been changing the way people communicate, work and play. Traditional businesses, from media to retail, have been seeing their business models disrupted by start-ups that amass millions of users within the space of a few months with minimal marketing budgets.” (Vision Mobile, 2014) Apps have become an important part of our digital world today and the industry attracts developers and designers from across all age groups, from teenagers to 65+.

Beautiful Numbers: Mathematical Art

This workshop draws the link between Mathematics, Art and Computing and has been adapted from the workshop materials produced at Langley Grammar School. We look at the Fibonacci number sequence and the concept of the Golden Ratio and discuss how this has been applied to art and design throughout the ages, as well as being present in nature. Pupils are encouraged to explore the Fibonacci number sequence and how it is constructed.

Funky Maths Calculator

This workshop addresses the concepts of simple algebraic equations and variables by teaching pupils to create their own calculator using the Scratch programming environment.

Get with the Algo-rhythm

The ‘Computing through Dance’ project was developed by the Digital Schoolhouse and Langley Grammar School’s ICT Department to appeal to girls and incorporate computing in an innovative way into the curriculum. The project starts by creating flow charts of instructions to perform dance moves of a well know dance like; the Hokey Cokey, the rugby team (New Zealand And Tonga) Haka, Michael Jackson Moon Walk or a Tudor dance which many children study in Key Stage 2. The initial objective is to develop the understanding of a sequence and appreciate the importance of accurate instructions.

Just Dance with the Algorithm

Just Dance with the Algorithm was developed by Digital Schoolhouse in partnership with Ubisoft, and is based upon the original workshop ‘Get with the Algo-rhythm’. This workshop combines dance and video games to teach core programming and computing concepts in a way that appeals to a diverse range of students. The workshop begins by creating flow charts of instructions to perform dance moves from popular music tracks.

Let's Doodle: What will you create?

This is a computing lesson with a difference. This cross-curricular workshop developed with 3Doodler involves no programming, but covers every strand of the Computational Thinking Framework and allows pupils to accelerate and work towards Key Stage 3 strands in the Programmes of Study. The new Design & Technology Programmes of Study are also partially covered at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.

Let's Play Code Combat: Playing with Python

Code Combat is a multiplayer game to help people learn to program. Through solving puzzles and defeating ogres players progress through the game levels to learn increasingly complex programming concepts.

Let's Play Code Kingdoms

The orginal Code Kingdoms game reffered to in this pack is no longer active, however all principles used throughout this unit can be applied to other graphics-based learning environments. The Code Kingdoms developer is still active and can be used via:

Loopy Games: An Iterative Games Design Workshop

Loopy Games aims to help pupils design and create their own game using methodology that reflects the processes followed in the UK Games Industry. Developed in consultation and collaboration with Kuato Studios and the Video Games Ambassadors, this workshop brings industry expertise into the classroom.

Machine Code Mario

Machine Code Mario introduces students to binary in an innovative way. Starting with investigating why computers use binary, students explore how to represent decimal numbers in binary and then how to use this knowledge to create Super Mario courses using Super Mario Maker 2 that test the players understanding of binary representation. The design, exploration and development stages of the beginner workshop fit nicely into KS2.

Oddventurous Gaming: Play the Game, Be the Game!

We all play games; it’s one of the most popular leisure activities in the UK. Whether it’s playing video games or board games or even physical games; participating in them can help spark curiosity and develop important critical thinking & problem solving skills as well as address whatever issues the designer originally intended. This workshop aims to teach pupils key concepts of games design. Developed in collaboration with Disney and Playniac the Digital Schoolhouse brings knowledge from the games industry into the classroom.

Part-Baked Games

Often, learning how to create a game can be quite daunting, especially when you consider all the elements that are needed to build it. Part-Baked Games provides the learner with the opportunity to create five different games using Construct 3 that are inspired by the BAFTA YGD rule cards in order to teach learners how to build common game mechanics and therefore provide them with the tools needed to create their own game at a later date. Each of the games are provided in a ‘Part-Baked’ form which means that all assets required for the game have been added and laid out as though the game were complete. Learners simply follow the instructions to add the game mechanics needed to complete the game.

Part-Baked Games: Chef's edition

Part-Baked Games: Chef’s edition has been developed in partnership with Outright Games and introduces students to the concept of prototyping; both on paper and digitally. Learners begin by creating a paper prototype for their own version of Gigantosaurus and then a digital prototype based on these ideas. Students can use the recipe cards included in the resource pack for this workshop to aid them in building their games. They then compare this prototype to the released title and choose one feature to add to their own game. Students then modify their game.

Robo-Challenge

The Robo-Challenge workshop is based on materials from the IBM Robo-Challenge competition. A yearly challenge run for year 5 and 6 students in the greater London area. The intention of this workshop is to integrate these outstanding resources within the Digital Schoolhouse educational framework and allow more students to be able to benefit from them.

Scratch Stories: Storytelling…with a twist!

Storytelling is something that captures the hearts and minds of all children. Scratch Stories uses just that to engage pupils in a workshop that not only inspires them to write their own story but to do so in a way that furthers their own learning and development in programming. This workshop covers both the Computing and English programmes of study at Key Stage 2, and many of the learning outcomes (particularly 1 - 5) are taken from the Upper Key Stage 2 Programme of Study for English.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

This resource was originally developed by Magic Makers which is a Paris-based coding school developing creative programming workshop for kids. Since 2014, they have introduced more than 10, 000 children to the basics of coding, with the ultimate objective of contributing to the development of creative programming in France. In preparation of the launch of Starlink: Battle for Atlas on October 16 2018, Ubisoft and Magic Makers collaborated to create a dedicated coding program based on the universe of the game.

Surprise Stories

Surprise Stories brings together the programmes of study for English and Computing in a way that is sure to leave the class giggling. The workshop inspires and encourages creativity and brings together creative writing along with key programming concepts.

The Maths Quiz

Taken from the material originally developed at Langley Grammar School, this workshop combines mental maths skills with computing and algorithmic thinking. The day begins by encouraging pupils to think about about algorithms and introduces this concept through magic. Early on pupils are encouraged to decompose existing puzzles and tricks to identify the algorithm behind them as well as extend their learning to develop their own puzzles and magic tricks. Pupils then move onto the concept of variables and random numbers using unplugged activities before the quiz is introduced.

iRobot

This workshop asks and answers the question ‘What is artificial intelligence?’. Machines can do the most clever things, from beating humans at chess to flying planes and producing works of art. But machines carry these activities out by following computer programs. Programs written by humans. The machines are simply following the rules. So then where does the intelligence lie?

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