Senior School News

Practical Problem Solving

This week we turn our focus to the benefits of learning to practically problem solve along with the importance of computing and coding in the curriculum.

We need more skilled coders and computer scientists
The world is changing at a rapid rate. If we are to face the challenges that beset us now and overcome the obstacles to sustainable human development then we need people who are able to come up with solutions to these problems. Technology is an amazing tool and it is highly likely that solutions to current and future problems will be technological in nature. It is therefore essential that we develop our young people to become the technologically literate problem solvers of the future.

It helps us understand the world
In order to solve a problem we need to first understand the problem and its context. In coding, to develop a solution to a problem, a deep understanding is essential. Coding encourages an inquisitive and questioning nature and a desire to learn.

It is challenging and fun
Coding is a difficult skill to master. It challenges us and our children to be risk-takers and face our challenges with good humour.

Coding is creative
Understanding how to code is only the first step; becoming a skilled coder involves mastery of the tools and applying them in novel and creative ways. We can all, with some practice, use a pencil or paintbrush but creating masterpieces involves great creativity in their use. In the same way, great coders are creative and think in new and surprising ways.

Coding improves problem solving
Coding involves the application of analytical processes that can be used in any situation. Solving coding problems is problem solving and it helps us the develop the logical skills to understand all problems we face. The approaches we develop in coding can be used in any situation to help us solve practical problems.

Coding instills resilience
Developing working solutions involves many mistakes and setbacks along the way. It is important in coding to maintain a level of persistence and resilience in identifying, fixing and learning from our mistakes. These are essential life skills for all learners.

Coding involves teamwork
Software is among the most complex man made achievement in the history of human development. Developing the increasingly complex solutions required to solve our problems will involve huge teams of people working around the world. Here at BSM we encourage a team-based approach to coding, with our learners encouraged to work with their peers and establish the team-working skills they will benefit from their whole lives.

Coding requires communication
Finally, understanding problems in the detail required to create good solutions requires communication. In articulating our thoughts to others we have to specify, clarify and abstract our thoughts and communication is essential to these processes.

Computing @ BSM
With these clear benefits in mind, at BSM have developed an early adoption approach to computing education. Our eLearning team works closely with primary teachers to give our youngest learners the opportunity to be exposed to age-appropriate coding and computing problems.

As learners grow and develop they are ready for more challenge and in secondary we have developed a curriculum with a focus on fun and challenging coding. In Years 8 and 9 we have introduced units on Web Development, Game Programming and an introduction to the industry standard Java programming language with an aim of developing skilled coders and problem solvers ready for the challenges faced in IGCSE and IB Computer Science. – Written by Hari Denton, Curriculum Leader Computing/Senior Innovations ( )

Next week is Week A.

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