Free Primary Computing Festival 9th July

Book on here: Free Primary Computing Festival 9th July

On Friday 9th July, the West Country Computing Hub will be launching it’s Festival of Computing. A one-day, online conference for primary teachers from across the South West.Whether you’re leading computing in your school, or are new to the subject, the conference will cater for those in different positions with their provision of computing, with content for both key stage 1 and 2 teachers.


Free to attend, all content will be recorded and available for delegates to access after the event, providing the scope to revisit and focus on key concepts, or catch up on sessions you were unable to join.
With various strands to choose from, including coding, online safety and cross-curricular computing, teachers will be able to choose a pathway of workshops that is best suited to their individual needs and continuing professional development priorities.


It is our intention, to provide a wealth of inspiration for primary teachers to take back to their own classrooms!

FREE CAD (Computer Aided Design) remote learning CPD – Second event

Thursday 27th May, 1pm- 4.30pm, FREE!

Excellent session on Sketchup . Made it seem much more accessible than I thought. It really helped actually being able to do it myself while following the session. 

KS2 Teacher

Due to popular demand, I’m running the same CAD course on Thursday 27th May, from 1 – 4:30pm. Please use the following link to sign up:

Park House Hub – CAD Course 27th May 1pm – 4:30pm

Brilliant – will be making a tank to go next to my air raid shelter! Hope you’ll be sending me info of your SCRATCH training next – brilliant interactive stuff. I’ve enjoyed this at correct level for me and pace great too! Thank you.

KS2 Teacher

I felt the session was really accessible. Phil was friendly, informative and open to questions. I’ve genuinely enjoyed this session and I am really excited to share this with my children!

KS2 teacher
Primary Computing CAD Sketchup Cow Plan
A Year 6 design in Sketchup for their Crumble Robot

Thank you for this really helpful course. The ability to follow in real time and the option to ask questions was extremely useful! As a CAD beginner, I now feel I can teach this to my Y6s and help the rest of the school get started with it! 

Year 6 Teacher

Due to popular demand, I’m delivering further online training for how to use, and get the best out of, 3D design software in Primary Schools. I’m going to be using Sketchup which is a powerful (and free!) tool which can either be downloaded and installed, or used within a browser (note: online use required an email sign up).

The ‘SketchUp’ training was very useful for myself, as DT lead. I have experienced using CAD software before but the depth of content offered definitely developed my skills. Providing links between SketchUp and Scratch was particularly useful and is something we will look at implementing in school in future. 

KS2 Teacher

About the course…

Using Computer Aided/Assisted Design (CAD) in primary schools is often overlooked. In KS2 especially, CAD usually and disappointingly results in pupils merely printing a 2D net, or creating a poster to advertise a product.

This session will reveal how true 3D product design is achievable (and free!) not just for the DT curriculum, but also to serve in background/ sprite design within Computing as well as helping to meet the requirement of pupils needing to be able to select and use a wide range of software for specific purposes.

Using Sketchup Make 2017 (free for users within education), this session will cover creating basic 3D models, annotating, creating scale models with measurements, creating 2D images of these models as multi-viewpoint plans and cross sectional diagrams.


Really good course.  Feel as if I can introduce this to my class straight away.  As always Phil was great at answering questions and going back over anything.

KS2 Teacher

This course was extremely helpful. I can see this working from Y3 upwards thanks to the clear progression modelled on this course. The pace was great and Phil was expert at answering any queries. Thank you very much!

KS2 Teacher
Primary Computing Santas Workshop CAD Sketchup
Year 4 Sketchup design for Santa’s North Pole Complex

Pupils should be taught to: select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information

National Curriculum – Computing KS2

Pupils should be taught to: generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design

National Curriculum – Design Technology KS2

A fab afternoon’s training, I can’t wait to get started with CAD in school. Great to be able to follow along as we were shown, and Phil was great at answering questions and going back over the trickier bits…pace was great. Thanks again!

KS2 Teacher

COURSE NOW FULL!! FREE CAD (Computer Aided Design) remote learning CPD

Thursday 13th May, 1pm- 4.30pm, FREE!

Wow, over 30 people signed up for this within 24 hours. We are at capacity! Please watch this space, I will get another date very soon!!

Back by popular demand!

Primary Computing CAD Sketchup Cow Plan
A Year 6 design in Sketchup for their Crumble Robot

Due to popular demand, I’m delivering further online training for how to use, and get the best out of, 3D design software in Primary Schools. I’m going to be using Sketchup which is a powerful (and free!) tool which can either be downloaded and installed, or used within a browser (note: online use required an email sign up).

This is a completely free course for any primary school teacher in the UK – Sorry, this Course is now full! Another date coming soon…

About the course…

Using Computer Aided/Assisted Design (CAD) in primary schools is often overlooked. In KS2 especially, CAD usually and disappointingly results in pupils merely printing a 2D net, or creating a poster to advertise a product.

This session will reveal how true 3D product design is achievable (and free!) not just for the DT curriculum, but also to serve in background/ sprite design within Computing as well as helping to meet the requirement of pupils needing to be able to select and use a wide range of software for specific purposes.

Using Sketchup Make 2017 (free for users within education), this session will cover creating basic 3D models, annotating, creating scale models with measurements, creating 2D images of these models as multi-viewpoint plans and cross sectional diagrams.


Primary Computing Santas Workshop CAD Sketchup
Year 4 Sketchup design for Santa’s North Pole Complex

Pupils should be taught to: select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information

National Curriculum – Computing KS2

Pupils should be taught to: generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design

National Curriculum – Design Technology KS2

DIY Crumble Cart!

Teaching Physical Computing is mandatory in UK Primary Schools (See my previous post on Physical Computing: Where do I start? for more information)

One of the best products out there to deliver this fun and exciting part of the curriculum, is Redfern’s Crumble micro controller.

Here are instructions and resources for you to build your own little handy Crumble Cart. Just big enough to carry around your battery pack, Crumble and maybe even a couple of crumbs!

You will need: Printed template onto A4 card (or make it yourself from the measurements!), a pencil and some blue tack to make the holes and some scissors.

This is designed for two Crumble Motors, which can be bought along with everything else, from Redfern Electronics.

Watch the video for instructions and an example of how you can use it!

Just in case you’re interested, here is the code I used to program the cart as seen in the final part of the demo video…

Crumble Code for the Cart Demo in the Video…

Print this full size on to A4 paper (borderless if possible) then follow the instructions in the video.

If you prefer to draw your own, here are the measurements!

Online Computing Training for Primary teachers – only £35

I will be delivering these sessions on behalf of the National Centre for Computing Education.

Course 1: Introduction to Primary Computing (aimed at complete beginners or teachers who are less confident in delivering computing)

Course content:

  • 01 | What is computing? – Understand computing as a subject, a future career path, and a set of critical skills for modern life. Consider what outstanding teaching of computing for all should look like.
  • 02 | The computing curriculum – Consider computing teaching and progression in your classroom and evaluate a range of high quality resources to help you develop towards outstanding learning.
  • 03 | Getting started with teaching primary programming – Understand how computational thinking underpins learning of computer programming, and how algorithms form the basis of all programs – using programmable toys and free online tools.
  • 04 | You don’t need to know everything – Navigate confidently through the vast range of support and resources available to help you develop your teaching of computing.

Click on the link below to book (all courses are remote, using online platforms)

Course 2: Primary Programming and Algorithms (aimed at teachers who are quite confident at teaching computing; going deeper into terminology and programming constructs)

Course content:

  • 01 | developing understanding in KS1 – You will understand algorithms and how they can be expressed in computer programs. You will learn strategies to support children to become confident and independent learners. You’ll also start to use programmable toys for early programming
  • 02 | Sequence and repetition – Use unplugged teaching approaches that help children understand the key building blocks of algorithms. Develop the programming knowledge of young people using accessible on-screen coding environments, as well as more sophisticated use of programmable toys
  • 03 | Selection and variables – Represent algorithm design in different forms including structured language and flowcharts. Use variables within more efficient programs, and develop effective pedagogy to teach programming throughout the primary age range

Select one of the following course dates (all courses are remote, using online platforms)

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