Hour of Code Week is Here!

Following on from my previous post about the UK Hour of Code I thought I should provide an update on how this is progressing. This week has been great fun with a range of events taking place both inside and outside of school! Firstly, prior to the event I took part in an interview for the Guardian and Observer newspapers. This went to press in the Observer on Sunday as well as on the Guardian website.┬áHere’s the article from the newspaper:

Observer Article Hour of Code

Monday saw the official launch of the Hour of Code week at Westminster City School in London which I attended with a colleague and 8 of my students. We began by demonstrating the use of Kodu Game Lab to create simple games and my students were able to try out a range of other coding activities too:

  • The Great British “Code-off” – a competition between a game design student and a 13 year-old boy.
  • Angry Birds – Ray Chambers hosted this coding activity to introduce various programming principals such as selection and loops.
  • Computing without Computers – an activity led by Claire Lotriet to demonstrate the functionality of computer networks with some of her primary students.

The BBC did a nice summary of the event on their website too and I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with them for the article (click the image to view).

Nicki Cooper BBCBack in school our students have been taking part in their Computing lessons this week with activities in Kodu Game Lab and TouchDevelop. Some of the more advanced students have been trying JavaScript too!

Hour of Code Activities

We have also been running activities at lunch times after setting up a large touchscreen display in our department area. Students have been coming along and coding their own Flappy Birds game using the tutorial from code.org:

Lunchtime Hour of Code Activities


Staff from other departments and even our head teacher have been getting involved too. They were given the task of trying out the Angry Birds activity and we invited them into our Computing lessons throughout the week to learn coding skills.

Even parents haven’t escaped! We have sent all our KS3 students home with the homework task of “Get the Grown-Ups Coding“:

Hour of Code Homework

The idea is that the students sit down with their parents and work through the programming tutorials on the site. Once they complete the activity they get a certificate featuring both of their names. So far I’ve had some lovely feedback from parents (these are just a few who gave their homework in early!):

  • It was good to engage with [my daughter] on a new level, with her teaching me a new skill.
  • It was fun and enjoyable.
  • It was fun working alongside [my daughter] and getting involved with her homework, especially as it was interesting!

John Maddams completes Hour of Code

And I didn’t even let my own parents off the hook! I’ve been encouraging friends and family, through Facebook, to get involved as well and I’ve been tracking everyone’s participation through an online survey. Here is my own father looking very pleased with himself after earning his certificate! –>

. . . just my husband to chase next!


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