Computational Thinking

Barefoot Computing is an excellent Free resource that supports schools with embed Computing Science across the curriculum.

The site has lesson plans, materials and posters that can be downloaded and used in the classroom.

The poster below gives a nice overview of the Concepts and Approaches used in Computational Thinking.

Click on the poster to download your own from the Barefoot Computing website.

For more information and to access the Barefoot Computing website, please click on the link below.

Barefoot Computing

Links to Technologies

Links to the Technologies Curriculum

Learners will develop knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities around the key concepts/significant aspects of learning in the technologies.

  • Using digital products and services in a variety of contexts to achieve a purposeful outcome
  • Searching, processing and managing information responsibly
  • Cyber resilience and internet safety
  • Understanding the world through computational thinking
  • Understanding and analysing computing technology
  • Designing, building and testing computing solutions

Within each of the key concepts/significant aspects of learning learners will develop and demonstrates

  • knowledge and understanding of the key concepts in the technologies
  • curiosity, exploration and problem solving skills
  • planning and organisational skills in a range of contexts
  • creativity and innovation
  • skills in using tools, equipment, software, graphic media and materials
  • skills in collaborating, leading and interacting with others
  • critical thinking through exploration and discovery within a range of learning contexts
  • discussion and debate
  • searching and retrieving information to inform thinking within diverse learning contexts
  • making connections between specialist skills developed within learning and skills for work
  • presentation and communication skills

Digital Literacy

I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way. TCH 2-01a

I can use digital technologies to search, access and retrieve information and am aware that not all of this information will be credible. TCH 02-02a

I can explore online communities demonstrating an understanding of responsible digital behaviour and I’m aware of how to keep myself safe and secure. TCH 2-03a

Computing Science

I understand the operation of a process and its outcome. I can structure related items of information. TCH 2-13a

I can explain core programming language concepts in appropriate technical language. TCH 2-14a

I understand how information is stored and how key components of computing technology connect and interact through networks. TCH 2-14b

I can create, develop and evaluate computing solutions in response to a design challenge. TCH 2-15a

Click the graphic

Where do we upload our GamesCon entries?

We have created a Glow Site where you will be able to upload your GamesCon entries.

Please note that you will be judged on the following,

  • Your Game
  • How you have linked into the Theme of the competition (5Rights)
  • Your research documents
  • Any presentations you have made
  • Any videos you have created

The Glow Site can be accessed by clicking on the graphic below. Your teacher will have to be the one who uploads the content.


Hour of Code (and beyond)

The Hour of Code is a globally event that encourages students and educations to try coding for an hour to get them excited and engaged with computing science.

However, we are keen to go beyond the Hour of Code and embed computing science across the curriculum. have a wide range of tutorials, activities and lesson plans that are available to use for Free.

Click on the graphic below to find more information, resources and activities for Hour of Code.

Register here to participate in Hour of Code

Links to Science

Sciences E&Os there is potential to link this to topical science:

SCN: 2 – 20a and b: (Summary) Topical Science at Second Level allows pupils to demonstrate their understanding of the impact of scientific discovery and invention has on their lives and society and to share opinions about topical scientific issues.

The invention of the internet and then social media has had an inconceivable impact on our society  – we live our lives online and our data has now become an increasingly valuable commodity. Discussing this and developing an understanding of how to stay safe online and to share only what you want to share links very well with these E&O’s.

In addition at each level there are a number of Scientific Skills:

Scientific analytical thinking skills

– Applies scientific analytical thinking skills, with assistance, working with less familiar (or familiar but more complex) contexts.  . 

– Demonstrates further development of creative thinking including through the engineering processes of design, construction, testing and modification.  

Skills and attributes of scientifically literate citizens

 At Second Level, it is anticipated that learners will be able to demonstrate the skills below with assistance.

– Presents a reasoned argument based on evidence, demonstrating understanding of underlying scientific concepts, and engages with the views of others.

– Demonstrates understanding of the relevance of science to their future lives and the role of science  in an increasing range of careers and occupations. 

– Demonstrates increased awareness of creativity and inventiveness in science, the use of technologies  in the development of sciences and the impact of science on society. 

– Expresses informed views about scientific and environmental issues based on evidence.  

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Improving Gender Balance and Equalities

Research suggests that there can be benefits to playing video games in terms of developing problem-solving, cognitive function and special awareness skills (Gee, 2005; Adachi and Willoughby, 2013; Green and Bavelier, 2006; Przybylski, 2014; Subrahmanyam and Greenfield, 1994; Spence and Feng, 2010; Connolly et al., 2012). Research by OECD (2015) shows that pupils who play video games have higher success when sitting computer-based tests, specifically in problem-solving and mathematics. The OECD also suggests that pupils who interact with computer software are more confident when faced with the prospect of a computer-based test.

It is widely known that more boys interact on a regular basis with video-gaming software than girls. It is vital that we encourage all pupils to interact positively with computer software so that all pupils can benefit from the skill development and confidence working with technology can bring. By encouraging and empowering boys and girls to engage with technology in a positive way, we move closer to closing the gender-based gap within the STEM subjects and inspire more pupils to consider a diverse range of curricular areas and learner pathways.

As part of CfE’s Health and Well-being Experience’s and Outcomes under ‘Planning for choices and change’, we ask that learners “experience activities which enable them to develop the skills and attributes they will need if they are to achieve and sustain positive destinations beyond school”. In a world where technology is ever present in the work place, it is important that all young people are provided opportunities to engage in exciting learning opportunities, such as GamesCon.


Adachi, P.J. and T. Willoughby (2013), “More than just fun and games: The longitudinal relationships between strategic video games, self-reported problem solving skills, and academic grades”, Journal of Youth Adolescence, Vol. 42, pp. 1041-1052.

Connolly, T.M. et al. (2012), “A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games”, Computers and Education, Vol. 59, pp. 661-686.

Gee, J.P. (2005), “Good video games are good learning”, Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

Green, C.S. and D. Bavelier (2006), “Enumeration versus multiple object tracking: The case of action video game players”, Cognition, Vol. 101, pp. 217-245.

OECD (2015), The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence, PISA, OECD Publishing.

Przybylski, A.K. (2014), “Electronic gaming and psychosocial adjustment”, Pediatrics, Vol. 134, pp. 716-722.

Scottish Government, Curriculum for Excellence: Health and Well-being across all learning: Responsibility of all, accessed 03 September 2019 at

Spence, I. and J. Feng, (2010), “Video games and spatial cognition”, Review of General Psychology, Vol. 14/2, pp. 92-104.

Subrahmanyam, K. and P.M. Greenfield (1994), “Effect of video game practice on spatial skills in girls and boys”, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 15/1, pp. 13-32.

Help and Support


We will be using Scratch for the GamesCon because it is Free, easy to use, most schools are familiar with it and we can download the software to use offline.

Scratch has a wealth of resources and many step by step tutorials to get you started. Click on the graphic below to access these tutorials,



• Develop Digital Literacy skills
• Raise awareness around how to stay safe online and the 5 digital rights
• Raise aspirations in Computing Science
• Encourage girls into STEM
• Diminish gender stereotypes
• Support DYW
• Develop key skills in collaboration, creativity and computational thinking

Where does it fit into the Curriculum?

There is a natural fit into the Technologies Computing Science E’s & O’s
and the Technologies Benchmarks.

Links can also be made to Literacy, Numeracy, Health and Wellbeing and Science outcomes.
Learners will be demonstrating attributes in:

each of the four capacities
• computational thinking
• problem solving
• scientific analytical thinking skills
• creative thinking skills

How will it work?

Quarter Final
If a school has more than one team then they will have to run a mini competition to select one team to represent their school.

Semi Final
Schools will upload their game and all their supporting materials into Glow. A team of experts will then select the teams who will represent their local authority at the final.

There will be a set number of teams who will make it to the final for the Northern Alliance GamesCon. This will depend on the venue and how many they can accommodate. The final event will consist of keynote speakers from the technology sector who will inspire the learners about the job opportunities that are available to young people with digital skills. There will also be representatives from Industry Partners and Education Scotland who will have a stand at the event. This could be Microsoft, Google, SDS, CodeClub, Glow, CyberSafe Scotland etc. These stands will be available for the adults supporting the learners to chat to.