I always like it when new adverts go out. Even as First Coding approaches its first birthday, I still find it exciting to see things in print. See if you can find us in the latest edition of Raring2Go.
This week saw the launch of another computer club at Leehurst Swan school. This half term focuses on game making, paying close attention to character animation, level design and scoring systems with the aim of providing pupils with enough knowledge to make their own games over Christmas.
Whilst trying out Scratch 3, pupils have been giving their chatbots a voice. The responses are random to give the chatbots a bit of character. We’re going to look at ways to incorporate the Microbit next.
It’ll soon be Christmas once again and as First Coding likes to offer free tutorials to download, I’m busy working on some great little projects for all to enjoy. Last year we shared our cheap(ish) arcade cabinet build and it was really well met. However, after feedback the cost of materials put a few people off so this year they’ll be another tutorial to build your own arcade cabinet, but this time we’re downsizing and recycling an old Ikea CD drawer as the housing.
As our game designing courses progress, there have been a number of really good points that have emerged from discussions and the projects we’re making.
The most important one so far has been to concentrate on what you’re good at when it comes to game design. If you’re more of an artist than a coder then focus on the art, there is a huge resource out there to help with the coding side of things. Likewise, if you’re a good coder but poor at art then why not consider purchasing some assets. This is we’ve done in this case and the best thing is, we’ve found a character that almost matches exactly our concept drawing!
As our game is going to be a vertical scrolling ninja game, we’ve been working on a suitable name for it all weekend and we’ve hit upon “Night Fall”.
Our creative coding workshops are coming to the Southampton area this October! First Coding will be running our popular Scratch game building workshop on Saturday 27th October at The Pavilion on the Park, Eastleigh, SO50 9LH.
A task will be set (based around a treasure hunting problem) and with guidance and help, pupils will build their solutions before going head-to-head at the end of the session to win a prize.
I’ll be running the after-school computer club again at Leehurst Swan starting next Thursday. I really enjoyed running the club before the summer and I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas the pupils come up with this term. We’ll be covering Scratch and Python, so I’m sure it’ll challenging and fun for all.
First Coding is always developing new ideas for app. Here’s one we recently published to the app store, it’s a simple variation on the Simon game from the 1980s. Titled The 4 Dots this game will test your memory and it’s free to download from the Play store for people to play. Just click here.
First Coding is very happy to reveal that after a summer of hard work our teaching resources are now online and available. Our resource packs are a subscription based online resource for primary and secondary school teachers as well as parents to aid in the teaching of computing within schools and the home. Not only does it provide teachers with classroom handouts, working project examples and PowerPoint presentations but subscribers have access to a monthly podcast of ideas for setting up coding clubs as well as a support forum and video seminars to help deliver great lessons.
The Scratch coding competition that was run over the summer holidays has now finished and I have had great fun judging the entries. After failing to find suitable competition to encourage my students over the holidays, I decided to set one up myself and the response has been great. It’s allowed me to speak with teachers, educators and parents all over the world and it’s also been great fun playing all the fantastic entries the First Coding received.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to build a game and enter it. It was really difficult to choose a winner but if you didn’t win this time around, maybe enter another one the next time we hold a similar competition.