Coding and Robotics

All Grade R – 9 learners are exposed to the new Coding and Robotics subject that is not compulsory yet.

What is Coding and Robotics?

The Coding and Robotics subject is central to function in a digital and information-driven world; apply digital ICT skills and transfer these skills to solve everyday problems in the development of learners. It is concerned with the various inter-related areas of Information Technology and Engineering. The subject studies the activities that deal with the solution of problems through logical and computational thinking.

In the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) the subject Coding and Robotics in Foundation Phase (Grades R-3) has been organised into five study areas: Pattern Recognition, Algorithms and Coding, Robotics Skills, Internet and e-communicating and Application Skills has been organised in this way in order to ensure that the foundational skills, values and concepts of early childhood development and of the subjects offered in Grades 4 – 9 are taught and developed in Grades R-3. Beginning Knowledge and Personal and Social relationships are integrated in the topics. Coding and Robotics is a subject that transverses across the other core Foundation Phase subjects namely Languages (home and First Additional) and Mathematics that ultimately strengthens and supports them.

Specific Aims:

The Coding and Robotics subject is aimed at guiding and preparing learners to solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and creatively, function in a digital and information-driven world, apply digital and ICT skills and to transfer these skills to solve everyday problems and its possibilities, including equipping learners for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society.

Through Coding and Robotics learners are exposed to a range of knowledge, skills and values that strengthen their:

  • aesthetic, creative skills and cognitive development, knowledge through engaging in dance, music, drama and visual art activities
  • knowledge of digital and ICT skills supported by the technological process and computational thinking skills;
  • understanding of the relationship between people and the environment, awareness of social relationships, and elementary science;
    physical, social, personal and emotional development.

Focus Content Areas:

The Coding and Robotics Foundation Phase subject consist of the following Knowledge Strands

  • Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving
  • Algorithms and Coding
  • Robotic Skills
  • Internet and E-Communication skills
  • Application Skills

The Strands co-exist and overlap in their application, knowledge and skill levels. The Subject methodology is based on Computational Thinking and the Engineering Design Process.

Topics links and overlap

Throughout the Subject of Coding and Robotics it is important to note that there will always be a degree of overlap between topics. The fundamentals of each Topic are taught in its strand but is also reinforced in other strands. Pattern recognition and Problem solving is a skill set that needs to be developed, but forms the foundation for Algorithms and Coding.

Algorithms and Coding are used to program the logic sequence that Robotics uses and the Application skills teach learners how to interact with different digital devices. Internet and e-communications relies on the use of Digital Devices that are taught in Application skills and uses the same skills to send and create messages.

Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving

Learning to identify abstract and geometric patterns as an integral part of the Design and Computational Thinking process which will assist learners in solving problems. The following skills and concepts are taught in Pattern Recognition and Problem solving strand:

  • Identification and analysis of regularities, repetitions and change in patterns that increases in size and number consisting of physical objects, drawings and symbolic forms to make predictions and solve problems.
  • Description of patterns and relationships using symbolic expressions and grids.
  • The identification of code patterns through the sequences of lines, shapes and objects in the world.

Algorithms and Coding

Fundamental programming principles and constructs in Foundation Phase are introduced for Grade R learners through physical Coding activities which progress from Grade 1 to digital platforms that are easy-to-learn and fun for learners to engage with. The Programming Platforms introduce learners to important computational skills and concepts:

  • Identifying and analyse solutions for specific basic problems.
  • Converting simple algorithms to block based code.

Robotic Skills

Robotics consist of two merging fields that including Coding and Engineering. Learners are introduced to the fundamental Mechanical and Electrical engineering systems and circuits that are used in Robotics. The Robotics strand primarily uses the Engineering Design Process and infuses the Concepts of Computational Thinking into the process. The Concepts and Skills taught are as follows:

  • Creating logical steps that robots can follow.
  • Basic Mechanical systems including pulleys, gears and linkages.
  • Basic Electrical Circuits

Internet and e-Communication Skills

The strand of Internet and e-Communications skills prepares learners to interact safely in a digital online and offline world. The following Concepts and skills are taught in the strand:

  • Their Digital Identity and Security.
  • Safety around the use of Digital platforms.
  • Various types of basic e-communication technologies or platforms.
  • The basic networks and the Internet.
  • The safe use of Web browsers to search for information.

Application Skills

Application Skills comprises of end-user skills that are used on different digital platforms. Learners in Foundation Phase are introduced to different digital platforms and taught about the various user interfaces and functions of application on the devices. The Application skills strand teaches the following skills and content:

  • The use of Digital Devices.
  • The use of Applications and User Interfaces.
  • Text Editing Applications.
  • Spreadsheet Applications.