Primary Physical Computing Training – Crumble in KS2

I had the honour of authoring the KS2 Physical Computing course for the NCCE over the Spring and got to deliver the course for the first time this summer term!

Getting to grips with the Crumble
Build, wire, code, watch!

The course aims to introduce teachers to the Crumble micro controller; a lovely piece of kit that is so open ended, pupils can create all kinds of robotic autonomous systems.

If you are interested in booking yourself on the course, have a look to see if there are any in your area:

Teach Computing: Introduction to Physical Computing – KS2 Crumble

If you want to know more in general about Physical Computing, have a look at my blog post:

Physical Computing: Where do I start?

Apart from having a lot to squeeze in to a short amount of time, the course was a great success and the participants (teachers from KS2 and KS3!) left with confidence to begin delivering physical computing lessons with their classes.

There will be more of these courses put on in the very near future; there will also be the opportunity to loan (for free) a class set of Crumble kits for your school from your local computing hub. Click here for more information: NCCE Physical Computing Kits for free hire

Year 5 Crumble Creations – 2021

My fabulous Year 5 pupils have been busy applying their skills and knowledge to design their own robotic systems!

Following the 4 levels of abstraction (see below for links on my approach to physical computing), they have gone from design algorithm…

To coding…

To building and wiring…

To finally running the code and evaluating!!

I am so proud of them and their creativity!! Let’s hope this inspires pupils and teachers across the world!

If you’d like to read more and see other examples of pupil’s Crumble creations, please take a look at my approach to teaching Physical Computing.

Free Training – Introduction to Physical Computing KS2 – (Crumble kits)

The NCCE has released another quality training course, this time aimed at getting KS2 teachers started on Physical Computing:

Pupils should be taught to:

design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts


The course is a 90 minute face to face workshop using Redfern’s Crumble kit and is free to attend for all primary state school teachers.

For teachers in the South East, there are three instances of the course on July 6th at Portsmouth University, starting at 10am, then again at 2pm, then finally at 4pm.

Please book on by singing in to the Teach Computing website and finding the right time for you:

Introduction to Physical Computing – Portsmouth University 10am

Introduction to Physical Computing – Portsmouth University 2pm

Introduction to Physical Computing – Portsmouth University 4pm

A Crumble kit and laptop with the programming software will be provided for all participants to use during the course.

If you would like to have a look at what physical computing looks like in primary, including examples of pupil’s projects, have a look at this blog post:

Physical Computing in Primary – Where do I start?

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

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