Friday, 10 May 2013

Apps for Computer Science

As part of the new primary curriculum for ICT, there is a significant emphasis on computer science. Below I've included what the children should be taught and a selection of apps which can be used in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. 

Key Stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  1. understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following a sequence of instructions
  2. write and test simple programs
  3. use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs

Key Stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  1. design and write programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  2. use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output; generate appropriate inputs and predicted outputs to test programs
  3. use logical reasoning to how a simple algorithm works and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs

The apps included range from basic skills in programming a Beebot to more advanced skills in programming such as selection, repetition and variables using games and simulations in apps such as Hopscotch and Move the Turtle.

I’ve written lessons for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 using a selection of the apps mentioned below, to introduce 7-11 years olds to programming in an engaging, challenging and fun way. I’m hoping to have the lesson plans available soon. These lesson plans are currently been trailed in Primary Schools.

In this post I've also included some other useful 'ICT' apps, which can be used to develop pupil's typing skills and Spreadsheet skills.


Toca Boca Builder: £1.49

Join your new builder friends on an island far away and create a whole new world with blocks. Jump, walk, roll and rotate the builders to use their unique skills, and they will help to build whatever you can imagine!
Toca Builders makes it fun to drop, spray, smash and lift blocks to construct new objects - may it be a house, lamp or maybe a banana?
Beebot: FREE

The app makes use of Bee-Bot's keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns. The app has been developed with 12 levels encouraging progression. Each level is timed and the faster it is completed the more stars you get!

Beebot Pyramid: £0.69

Control Bee-Bot through a series of 12 levels of an ancient Egyptian pyramid, unlocking doors, collecting treasure and out-smarting Mummies as you go.

Daisy the Dinosaur: FREE

Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app's challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.

Light-bot: £1.49

The official release of light-bot on iOS, featuring 40 levels and 20 challenge stars to collect; light-bot is the best way to get hooked on programming! Players use simple visual commands instead of words and syntax to control a robot that has to light up all the tiles in a factory. Whether you have no experience or years of experience programming, you will love the puzzles that light-bot has to offer.

Create a Car: £.0.69

This app is developed specifically for young children. The user interface is intuitive and simple enough for my 3 year old daughter. Create a Car is a click and drag activity for elementary age students. Choose from over 30 fun vehicle body styles and then select from over 70 different parts to place on the vehicle body.

Pettson's Inventions: £1.49

Help Pettson and Findus build their inventions! In this tricky game you should help building these clever inventions. You need to figure out which ones of the objects should be included and where to put them in the machinery. When you have finished all the inventions a special invention will be unlocked where you will help Findus fly out to space! Pettson’s Inventions is a pedagogic app that practices logic and stimulates creativity for preschoolers.

Cato's Hike: A Programming & Logic Odyssey

Cato stepped through and discovered that this world unlike his own didn't follow the same rules. Every time he tried to take a step or an action he'd find himself stuck in place. Stuck that is until he finally discovered the rules in this universe: by writing a program for himself he would be able to overcome all obstacles and learn something new along the way!

Sketch Nation: FREE

Creating a game is super simple: Just draw the in game objects, play around with the customization options and before you can say "Sketch Nation Studio," you will be enjoying your own self-created game!

Kodeble: FREE

Programming fundamentals and logic lessons for kids!** The fuzz family crash landed on Smeeborg and they need your help navigating the Technomazes! Use drag and drop commands to direct your fuzz through the colorful lighted maze. Don’t get lost, or your fuzz might not be too happy!

Kodable Pro: £4.99

Kodable is an educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. For kids ages 5 and up, and tools for grownups too!Kodable Pro gives you access to all current and future Kodable content, including the Kodable Curriculum, as well as all features available as in-app purchases in the free version of Kodable.

CargoBot: FREE

Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right? Try it out!
Beautiful retina graphics. Fiendish puzzles. A game about programming, programmed entirely on iPad. Record your solutions and share them on YouTube. Learn more about how it was made by searching for Codea on the App Store.

Creatoverse: FREE

Become an inventor as you design unique creations and then set them in motion. Let your creations come to life as you play with different joints, forces, motors, teleporters, and inputs then watch what happens next. From the simplest bouncing ball to an elaborate pinball machine, the possibilities for tinkering are endless on Creatorverse.

Monster Physics: £0.69

Monster Physics™ is a unique building app that lets you play with physics! Build and operate your own car, crane, rocket ship, plane, helicopter, tank and more!

Move the Turtle: £1.99

Move The Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands.
Do you remember the Logo programming language? A friendly Turtle will introduce your child step by step to the basic concepts of programming in a colourful graphic environment. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next outstanding programmer!

Codea: £6.99

Codea lets you create games and simulations — or just about any visual idea you have. Turn your thoughts into interactive creations that make use of iPad features like Multi-Touch and the accelerometer. Codea is designed to let you touch your code. Want to change a number? Just tap and drag it. How about a color, or an image? Tapping will bring up visual editors that let you choose exactly what you want.

Hopscotch: FREE

Hopscotch allows kids to create their own games and animations. Kids can unleash their creativity with this beautiful, easy-to-use visual programming language. Inspired by MIT's Scratch, the Hopscotch programming language works by dragging and dropping method blocks into scripts. When you're done with a script, simply press the play button to see your code in action! 

Scratch: £0.69

This Scratch Maze app contains a number of video tutorials which will guide you through creating your own maze game in the popular programming environment Scratch.


A.L.E.X. is a fun puzzle game and a great way to train your brain. A.L.E.X. helps you think and plan logically as you program your robot A.L.E.X. with a sequence of commands to get through each level from start to finish.
I named A.L.E.X. after my nephew, and created a game I would want him to play. The lower levels of the games are suitable for children as young as six and the game is enjoyable for adults too!

Hakitzu Elite - Robot Hackers: £1.99

This game helps you learn the basics of JavaScript. No previous coding knowledge is required as the game takes you from a beginner, to coder, to hacker in our single player mode and on the battlefield. Earn certificates to show off your new coding and gaming skills to your friends! The more you code by hand, the more points you receive to unlock the ultimate weapons for the arena.

Game Coder: £6.99

You can create your games with the touch of your fingers! Game Coder has a great user-friendly interface to build your games with tap and drag&drop features! Also, as you are developing on your iPad, you can play your games without the need of anything but press the Play button!

Python Programming Language with Reference: £1.49

A classic Python programming language for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Programming language is a perfect tool for studying, complex mathematical calculation, entertainment and many other useful tasks. The application is especially useful for learning the Python programming language. You have to buy compilations inside the application. Internet connection is required.

Learn Python: £0.69

If you would like to learn the Python programming language, then this is the perfect app for you. You can type python scripts into your iPhone or iPad, and execute them-on-the-fly, in order to see the results. All this without the need to have access to your computer, or requiring a webserver. This is a great way to try out the code examples that you read in books, or on the web.
Python 3.0 for iOS: £0.69

Python 3.0 for iOS is a Python 3.0.1 development environment for the iOS. 

Script Kit - Drag & Drop: FREE

ScriptKit is the world's first drag and drop programming interface for iPad. 
Please note that the ability to use the full drag and drop functionality to create your own scripts requires an in app purchase.


Introduction to Computer Programming: £1.99

If you want to learn computer programming, this is the place to start! Kevin and Bryan teach in a funny and exciting conversational style with visual explanations as they go. On occasion, they may actually tell a bad joke, sing poorly or include a ridiculous pop culture reference! But if that's ok, you will be rewarded with learning some very dry material, in a fun and exciting series of training videos.

Other Useful 'ICT' Apps


Typing Class: £1.49

Typing Class is a one touch solution to practice and improve your typing skills while you play.

Yes…This is the right app to get your typing speed and accuracy. Typing Class helps to learn fast typing with fun and makes you more productive. This terrific application comprises of games to learn typing, with loads of letters and words that challenge you to type and finish the game play.

Monster Typer: FREE

Alien monsters have invaded your world! It is up to you and your trusty sidesick to save the world by getting rid of these menacing monsters. Wipe them off the planet with a keyboard by typing the text found on the monsters, their one and only weakness. Type away quickly before they stop you in your tracks!

Bee Typing: FREE

Bee Typing offers an intuitive and innovative way to learn and practice their spelling skills. 

Parents can create different levels to suit different learning needs, or join in to play and have fun with their kids.

Ghost Typing: £2.99

Learning to master the keyboard of an iPad is made easier, with Ghost Type from demografix. An iPad typing tutor created with education in mind.


Numbers: £6.99

Numbers is the most innovative spreadsheet app ever designed for a mobile device. Built from the ground up for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, it lets you make compelling spreadsheets in minutes — with tables, charts, photos, and graphics — using just your fingers. Choose from over 250 easy-to-use functions. Enter data and explore results with sliders, steppers, pop-ups, and intelligent keyboards.

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