The Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has recently announced that the Coding and Robotics Curriculum for South Africa Grades R-3 and seven were piloted in schools nationwide. The DBE has developed a state-of-the-art digital platform has for the training of teachers. Orientation materials, lesson plans and coding programmes are available on this digital platform.
What is coding and robotics?
Coding and robotics as a school subject focuses on teaching students the principles of designing, building, and programming robots and creating computer programs using various programming languages, fostering problem-solving and critical thinking skills essential for the digital age.
What is Coding and Robotics as a subject?
Coding and Robotics is a new subject introduced by the Department of Basic Education (get the Coding and Robotics Orientation Manual for teachers here). It aims to prepare learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by introducing technology, processes, and ways of thinking that allow them to live and work in a digitally-enabled society.
What is coding and robotics in Grade R?
In Grade R, coding and robotics introduce basic concepts like sequencing, patterns, and problem-solving through hands-on, age-appropriate activities, such as storytelling, games, and simple robotics kits, laying the foundation for computational thinking and future learning in technology.
What is Grade 7 robotics coding?
Grade 7 robotics coding involves teaching students more advanced programming concepts, logic, and algorithms, while they design, build, and program robots using various platforms and kits, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration as they tackle real-world challenges.
Coding and Robotics Curriculum
The DBE released draft curricula for Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase, currently with Umalusi for appraisal and quality assurance. The curriculum is divided into four terms per the South African school year, with each term further divided into topics. These topics are repeated and built on each term. Each topic has suggested example activities.
- Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving
- Algorithms and Coding
- Robotics Skills
- Internet and E-Communication
- Application Skills
Publishers have already developed textbooks to assist teachers with this new subject.
Coding and robotics classes
So what exactly will a coding and robotics class look like? By its very nature, this is a practical subject. The best way to teach this subject is through activities and tasks. These don’t need to be digital activities. For example, teachers can use paper-based games or exercises to teach pattern recognition.
Six Bricks and Coding in South Africa
The Six Bricks approach is an innovative and interactive way to teach coding and robotics at the Foundation Phase. It uses six colours of 2×4 bricks to introduce children to coding and robotics, making it a fun and engaging experience. In this blog post, we will explore how teachers can use the Six Bricks approach to teach coding and robotics to young learners. The methodology is based on an initiative from the Lego Foundation. More on this approach here.