Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Use Programming Vocabulary Consistently and with Confidence.


As we move closer to the implementation of the new computing curriculum at KS2, several issues come to light. One of which is that there is a new vocabulary for teachers and children to master. We know that children can cope with terms like “split vowel digraph” so, no excuses, let’s use programming terminology consistently and accurately to avoid confusion and develop an increasingly literate cohort.

Decomposing: Splitting problems into smaller parts

Programs: a set of instructions that are written and sequenced to achieve a specific goal

Algorithms: a step by step guide to achieving something

Logical reasoning: the systematic application of rules to a problem

Programming language: this converts the algorithm into code. It takes care of the details like where data is stored and how it is manipulated.

Syntax: the rules of the programming language

Select: highlighting, or otherwise, the right section of the program to edit it. In Kodu this might involve clicking on a line number before being able to edit it.

Indent: it is customary to use the tab key, or similar, to move lines of a program in to show that they are linked to other lines. As in Kodu.

Testing: Running the program in lots of different ways to make sure that it always does what is anticipated and required.

Bug: an error in a program. It might be a spelling mistake or, more likely, a fault in the logical reasoning resulting in the program doing the wrong thing.

Debugging: removing errors from the program

Sequence: making sure that the lines of program are in the right order to carry out the algorithm.

Repetition: a programming structure that allows certain lines of a program to be executed more than once

Selection: what the program does depends on what conditions are met

Variables: the way programs store data like a name or a score. A bit like boxes in which data is put and changed.

You may find these links useful for more explanations:

Nottingham e-Learning Community is part of Nottingham City Council, Children and Adults