Computing Learning Journeys

What is the best way to measure progress in Computing?  How can the children’s learning be assessed?

This week, I launched the brand new Computing Learning Journeys!  They are based on the English Learning Journey model with a ‘cold task’ at the beginning of the unit and a ‘hot task’ at the end.  At the start of a unit, children complete a ‘cold task’ and assess their level of skill.  This could involve participating in an unplugged activity, creating an algorithm independently or tinkering with a new app.  Having completed the task, the children read each statement and choose a face to circle.  There are three faces to choose from.  The sad face means that they are not able to complete the task yet.  The middle face means they are partially able to complete the objective or they have some understanding of it and the happy face indicates that they are confident and able to carry out the objective completely independently.  Having carried out the assessment, the children choose one of the objectives as their target for the learning journey.

All the coding lessons we teach were written by Phil Bagge, so the content in the Year 5 and 6 learning journeys (below) has been taken directly from his scheme of work.  I cannot recommend his work highly enough so please visit for more information on how to download/purchase his resources.  This term we are also using his lessons on networks which can also be found on his website, so the Year 3 Learning journey relates directly to this.

The purpose of the Computing Learning Journeys is to provide: a clear comparison between a child’s starting and finishing point; a means by which progress and attainment in Computing can be measured and a clear picture of how many children are working below/at/exceeding the expected standard.  The information generated will also be used to inform planning and to ensure that all children can move forward in their learning.

Here are the Learning Journeys for this half term:

Year 1 Computing Learning Journey

Year 2 Computing Learning Journey

Year 3 Computing Learning Journey

Year 4 Computing Learning Journey


Year 5 Computing Learning Journey

Year 6 Computing Learning Journey



  • Jane Waite
    November 4, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Super Ideas! Nice and simple – do you have a complete learning journey for all year groups?

  • Wendy MacLeod
    November 4, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    Yes I do! I will upload the others shortly!

  • Jodie Hutchings
    November 11, 2017 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi, the learning journeys idea is super helpful! Have you got any examples of ‘cold tasks’ ?

  • Wendy MacLeod
    November 13, 2017 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jodie,

    Thank you for your feedback! For the Year 5 & 6 Computing learning journeys which involved coding, we simply asked the children to create programs without any support for the cold task. For example, my year six children are currently learning how to create a program which calculates the perimeter of an equilateral triangle. So for the first lesson, I introduced them to the learning journey and then set them off. Some of the children only got as far as asking the length of one of the sides. Others created a program that only worked if the length of one side was between 1 and 10cms!!! I’m anticipating that the children will complete this learning journey quite quickly so for the next one, I am going to begin with a piece of written code and see if they can tell me what will happen once I click the green flag and also see if they can detect any errors in it. Going back to the English model for a moment (which this whole idea was based on) I guess this type of cold task is more closely linked to a SPAG one where the focus is more skills based than content.

    In Years 1 and 2, the cold task was simply to ‘tinker’ with the software/hardware and see what they children were able to achieve without being shown.

    Year 3 had to draw a labelled diagram/picture to explain how they thought a network worked and Year 4 started with the Crazy Character Algorithm activity from (a wonderful resource – check it out if you haven’t already done so!) and used this as the basis for assessing their current understanding of algorithms.

    I hope this helps! Let me know how you get on.

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