LEGO WeDo at Radcliffe Primary School
Last term we were lucky enough to borrow 12 Lego WeDo kits from Manchester University CAS Hub. Our topic was ‘Beside the Seaside’ and we had recently visited the seaside town of Lytham St Annes. During our topic we looked at traditional arcade games where the user would put in a penny to watch an animated mechanical character move. Using the Lego WeDo to create similar animated characters fitted ideally within our topic.
Our school had (I can use the past tense as so much has changed in the last 6 months) very limited access to computing equipment so this was the pupils’ first opportunity to programme a three-dimensional model.
Our year five and six children worked together in pairs to assemble and programme the models, working effectively together to overcome problems and debug incorrect coding. We found that the children could work virtually independently with very limited teacher intervention. Once they had constructed the models and programmed them using the given coding, teachers challenged them to change their initial design and alter the programming. Each team made different adaptations, changing elements such as speed, adding sounds and direction of movement.
It was great to walk down the main corridor in school and hear two children explaining in detail to the headteacher how their model worked, which elements of the programme controlled which movements and how they had adapted the original brief.
As we were restricted to using one laptop, the children videoed their models in operation and proudly presented these to their parents and school governors, alongside the stationary models, during our class assembly.
Keeping so many small Lego pieces together will always be a challenge but I had a host of willing pupil volunteers happy to complete stock inventories and ensure all pieces were correctly stored.
We are now the proud owners of 30 new laptops in our ICT suite and each teacher has 7 iPads permanently in class. This recent investment in new technology will enable the children to experience a much wider range of the Computing curriculum – watch this space for more news from Radcliffe Primary School.
Our next project is to make Mars space rovers using Lego WeDo2 kits to fit with our Commando Joe Respect Curriculum. The whole class are keen to emulate Tim Peake by creating and programming the models.
We look forward to sharing more photos with you.