Woman holding laptop and micro:bit

How funding for Computing Science resources has impacted learning experiences in classrooms across the country

Hardware Funding Update

“Using the devices and accessories has allowed us to create more engaging microbit lessons and to expand teaching of computing constructs into makecode arcade. V2 microbits has also enabled us to link with areas such as well-being that we know from research engages learners better.”

In February 2022, Education Scotland worked with Scottish Government to secure funding for secondary schools across Scotland to bid for money in order to purchase hardware to enhance the delivery of Computing Science in schools.  The funding was also used to ensure that all primary schools received an additional 20 micro:bits during the national roll out, meaning that primary schools received 40 of the versatile micro computers in order to explore coding and physical computing.

Across Scotland, secondary schools purchased a wide variety of resources to support computing science education, with the main focus being on robotics, microcontrollers, and physical computing. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular categories based on feedback from schools in 29 local authorities.

Common Resources


  • Microbit (most popular)
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Makey Makey
  • Arduinos

Robotics Kits:

  • VEX Robotics
  • Lego Mindstorms
  • Lego Spike
  • Kitronik Microbit robots
  • Sphero robots (including Sphero Bolt)
  • RVR robots
  • VEX Go Robots
  • Drones (including DJI drones)
  • Microbit Drones
  • Robotic buggy’s / cars for microbit
  • Marty the Robot


  • Gamepads and arcade hardware
  • Microbit/Raspberry Pi a accessories (including robots,cameras, sense hats, music boxes, LED lights, conductive thread & paint
  • Kittenbots/Meowbits

Teacher Feedback

“Pupils really enjoy using the physical computing resources and relating them to real life technology – e.g. the Microbits were used to simulate the spread of a virus using bluetooth. The arduinos were used to control tiny duelling Minecraft characters and enabled pupils to think about the complexities of animating robots.”

“The pupils are hands on with the robots and are able to directly code these and see the impact of their code. If there is an issue with their code, the can physically see it happening with the robots going the wrong direction for example. They then have to work out how to fix it. The enthusiasm and drive to get their robot through the track is phenomenal. We usually do this unit in groups, which also improves their communication skills as well as problem solving skills.”

“Using the Meowbits allowed us to provide a real-world context through hands-on learning, whereas before the lessons were more abstract.”

“Learners have a better idea of how creating software transfers to real world devices. Learners enjoy using devices which are similar to those they already use.”


Having access to this additional hardware allowed teachers to prepare for delivering new / updated learning experiences in their schools for this academic year.  Teachers have reported mostly positive impacts from the new resources including:

Increased Engagement and Enjoyment

Students enjoyed the hands-on learning experiences with robots, microcontrollers, and physical computing kits.
The resources made lessons more interactive and engaging compared to traditional screen-based coding.
Students were motivated by the ability to see their code come to life in physical results.

Improved Learning

The resources helped students develop practical coding skills and understand the connection between code and hardware.
Teachers observed a deeper grasp of programming concepts and problem-solving skills.
Some teachers noted an improvement in teamwork and communication skills through collaborative projects with robots.

Broader Range of Learning:

The variety of resources allowed teachers to introduce new topics like robotics, game development, and animation.
Students were exposed to different devices and operating systems, expanding their computing knowledge.
A few teachers mentioned using the resources for real-world applications, like simulating the spread of a virus.

Challenges and Considerations:

Some teachers highlighted challenges integrating new resources due to workload constraints or lack of training.
Managing physical resources like robots could be time-consuming, especially with limited time for setup and storage.
A few teachers were unable to purchase their preferred resources due to restrictions or availability issues.

Overall, the new resources provided valuable tools for teachers to create a more engaging contexts for learning