The BBC’s news videos usually aren’t embeddable until a day or so after their first release, so you’ll have to go to the BBC News website to watch this, but it’s well worth the click.
Our good friends Dr Sue Black of the GoTo Foundation, and Pete Wood from RS Components, took a class of seven to nine year-olds (years 3 and 4) at St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School in Surbiton, Surrey, and got them programming the Raspberry Pi in Python as part of a GoTo Foundation event. The results were pretty fantastic – the kids were buzzing, got playing with embedded hardware as well as software, and gave us all a neat demonstration of just how tractable and enjoyable programming can be for children, if they’re only given the opportunity to dig a little into it.
Some kids of this age have trouble with the dexterity needed to type accurately (which is one of the reasons we recommend Scratch for younger students), and this is reflected in the video; it can be very frustrating to type a piece of code in over and over and keep getting it wrong. But others were flying with the Raspberry Pi, and were clearly more than ready to tackle some Python, getting lots out of the experience.
We’re really proud to see so many happy faces from the lesson. Work continues on getting stuff ready for the schools release (which will also include cases for the Raspberry Pi) later in the year. We hope to see lots more of this kind of teaching session to come.