So where does coding fit in the curriculum? Apart from science and technology that is.

Report writing time has just come and gone, and as a service to the teachers I work with I made a document with the links between coding and maths outcomes in the Syllabus. My comments are in green italics and describe the activities they did to meet the outcomes. In this post I deal with mathematics. In the next post I will outline a few more learning areas.

Here it is:

Outcomes: Stage 1



Working mathematically: develop understanding and fluency in mathematics through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning.


Measurement and Geometry

Position:         MA1-16MG: Represents and describes the positions of objects in everyday situations and on maps.

  • Give and follow directions to familiar locations (ACMMG023)
    • Use the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ to describe the positions of objects in relation to themselves and from the perspective of a person facing in the opposite direction, eg ‘The ball is on her left’. Students differentiated between left and right when giving the computer commands. They also recognised that left and right will be opposite when the character is facing you.
    • Give and follow directions, including directions involving turns to the left and right, to move between familiar locations, eg within the classroom or school
      • use amounts of turn (full and half) to describe direction (Communicating)
      • give and follow instructions to position objects in models and drawings
      • give and follow simple directions using a diagram or description (Communicating)

Students communicated direction (turn left 90⁰, turn right 60⁰ etc) to move the character to a given location on the screen.

      • describe the path from one location to another on drawings
  • The class created a path from one location to another using computer software (Communicating) Term 2 focus using online coding teaching program


Angles:           MA2-16MG: Identifies, describes, compares and classifies angles

  • Identify angles as measures of turn and compare angle sizes in everyday situations (ACMMG064). Year 2 Students were required to reorientate a character with the amount of turn E.g. turn 45⁰ left. Some students were able to identity that the angle the character was turning was an acute of obtuse angle.



Patterns and algebra

MA1-8NA: Creates, represents and continues a variety of patterns with numbers and objects.

  • recognise, copy and continue patterns with objects or symbols
  • recognise when an error occurs in a pattern and explain what is wrong (Communicating, Problem Solving). The students debugged their own work, methodically working through an algorithm to find where the wrong command had been used, then corrected it.
  • Create, record and describe patterns with objects or symbols. The students formed patterns of commands, for example ‘turn right, move forward, turn left, move forward’ and so on to move a character around a pattern of obstacles. Once a pattern could be identified, they were able to loop the first cycle of the algorithm to create a repeating pattern of movement.


Multiplication and Division 2:

  • Explore the use of repeated addition to count in practical situations, e.g. create an algorithm (procedure). The students modelled repeated addition by repeating two to three commands is sequence (see patterns and algebra point 2). They progressed to using loops of commands. For example instead of using the ’move forward” command 5 times, they set up a loop so that a single ‘move forward’ command repeated 5 times.

Board of Studies statement on coding. This is a useful statement that is well worth looking at for how coding fits in the curriculum.

It’s official. We need to teach coding.

Well not official, but when a business leader says that computer coding, computational thinking and design need to be taught alongside traditional subjects to prepare your children for the future, it may be the first step in making it part of the school curriculum.

Catherine Livingstone, national president of the Business Council of Australia (BCA) spoke at the National Press Club stated this and more. A lot we already knew – a lot of jobs won’t exist in the future. In his famous TED speech, Ken Livingstone astutely stated that we are preparing children for jobs we haven’t even imagined yet, and I think he’s dead right. Livingstone also cautioned that Australia is falling behind the rest of the world in digital literacy. I wonder if she has seen the new Australian Curriculum and its new outcomes addressing this. Whether it is enough, time will tell.

We may not be able to teach our youth the specific manual skills required for jobs of the future, but we can teach them to think. Think in a way to persevere at solving a problem. Think about how things work and how they can be improved, and to be engaged enough in their surrounds to want to do something about improving them for all. A child with these thinking skills will have the capacity to adapt to and learn what they need to make a worthwhile contribution in the jobs of the future.

Livingstone stated that “Australians must move away from the notion that work is something begun after a long period of study to a system where it is integrated with learning”.

We already have that system. It’s called apprenticeships and TAFE.

Young guy, old beige keyboard. They will soon have a 90s retro computing vibe, or even earlier 80s Commodore 64 vibe.

Young guy, old beige keyboard. They will soon have a 90s retro computing vibe, or even earlier 80s Commodore 64 vibe.

News article from:

Janda, M. (2015, April 28). Welders not lawyers: Business Council warns Australia needs to prepare for future jobs. Retrieved April 29, 2015, from