Coding and Robotics: Integrating Future Skills into Today’s Curriculum

Coding and robotics have become integral to educational curricula worldwide, recognised for their importance in cultivating skills necessary for the 21st-century workforce. In South Africa, these subjects are not only included in academic settings but are driving change in their educational system. Through the implementation of a dedicated curriculum, students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of programming and the hands-on experience of robotics from an early age. This early exposure is aimed to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills while encouraging creativity and innovation.

The curriculum across various grades incorporates areas such as pattern recognition, algorithmic thinking, and operational skills, which are essential for understanding and creating technological solutions. Skills developed through coding and robotics education are applicable in various fields and are crucial in preparing students for a rapidly changing job environment. Learning to code fosters logical thinking and resilience, particularly as students learn to debug their code and solve complex problems systematically. Meanwhile, robotics provides a tangible way to see code in action, thereby reinforcing the relationship between computational thinking and real-world outcomes.

Entering 2024, the prioritisation of these disciplines signals an understanding of their importance in fostering a capable and adaptable future workforce. Core to the curriculum is the aim to help students become not just consumers of technology but also creators. This forward-thinking approach ensures that students are not left behind in an increasingly digital world, where technical proficiency is not merely an asset but a necessity. The National Department of Basic Education’s commitment to preparing students reflects a clear recognition of the indispensable role these skills will play in personal and professional realms.

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How to teach Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase

Learn about Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase, and how best to teach this exciting, new subject!

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Coding and Robotics is a new subject introduced by the Department of Basic Education for grade 1 – 9 in South Africa. It aims to prepare learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by introducing technology, processes, and ways of thinking that allow them to live and work in a digitally-enabled society. ​

Coding and Robotics Knowledge Strands

The Coding and Robotics Foundation Phase subject in grades 1 to 3 consist of the following Knowledge Strands: ​

  • Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving    ​
  • Algorithms and Coding       ​
  • Robotics Skills          ​
  • Internet and E-Communication      ​
  • Application Skills
Coding and Robotics in the Foundation Phase consists of five knowledge strands. The subject methodology is based on computational thinking and the engineering design process.

21st Century Skills

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. ​

Coding and Robotics can help teach 21st Century Skills in the Foundation Phase

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