Select a topic across a two year cycle

Recommended any combination of three topics per year.
Choose a combination of units that suits your students and context.

Cycle one (Year 3)

Jan Jun Dec

Cycle one (Year 4)

Jan Jun Dec

Introduction to programming

Overview

Students follow and describe simple algorithms involving branching and iteration and implement them as visual programs.

Students follow and describe simple algorithms involving branching and iteration and implement them as visual programs.

  • follow algorithms to determine their purpose and predict outcomes
  • describe and create an algorithm that includes branching and repetition
  • create a program following an algorithm that includes branching and repetition.

Introduction to programmingImage

Achievement standard

Digital Technologies: years 3–4

By the end of Year 4, students follow and describe simple algorithms involving branching and iteration and implement them as visual programs.

Use this Program my sprite task to assess students’ knowledge, skills and processes related to basic programming.

Use this Game time task to assess students’ knowledge, skill and processes related to designing a game represented as an algorithm.

Rubric

Use this rubric to assess student skills, processes and knowledge.

Control structures (branching and iteration)

This rubric provides benchmarks for assessing different levels of complexity and proficiency in:

  • understanding of programming blocks, specifically focusing on control structures
  • identifying branching and iteration
  • using branching, iteration and user input in programming tasks.
1 (limited) 2 (basic) 3 (proficient) 4 (advanced)
Knowledge of visual programming blocks shows a limited understanding of visual programming blocks names some visual programming blocks or describes their purpose describes the purpose of the visual programming blocks and gives relevant examples to support their understanding consistently describes the purpose of the visual programming blocks and gives relevant examples to support their understanding that illustrate blocks to enable input, make decisions based on comparing data, and include repeat steps
Identifies control structures: investigating sample visual programs with guidance shows a limited ability to describe or identify blocks in given examples and with support can interpret the sequence of steps identifies most block types in given examples and interprets the sequence of steps consistently identifies block types correctly in simple program examples; interprets the sequence of steps and identifies user input, decisions (branching) and repeat steps (iteration) shows a high level of accuracy in identifying block types of a range of visual programs; interprets the sequence of steps, predicts outcomes of blocks and identifies user input, branching and iteration; explains ways to enable input and make decisions and automate repeat steps
Producing and implementing visual programs with guidance, creates a program in a sequence of steps to perform a basic task with limited opportunity for user input creates a program with user input in a sequence of logical steps creates a program with user input in a sequence of logical steps that includes a decision (branching) to provide the user with a choice creates a program with user input in a sequence of logical steps that includes a decision (branching) and iteration (repeat steps); enables input and decisions and automates repeat steps

Unit sequence

This topic offers 4 sequential units

Algorithms

What is this about?

Algorithms are step-by-step instructions for solving a problem or performing a task. In Digital Technologies exploring algorithms is a way to establish the guiding logic for computer programs. An algorithm can describe a sequence of steps and decisions. Sequencing refers to placing the steps to be performed in order, one after another. Branching involves making decisions resulting in following different paths based on specific conditions. An example is in a multiple-choice quiz – the user selects the correct answer and gets positive feedback and moves to next question, else the user gets feedback to try again!

Content description

Follow and describe algorithms involving sequencing, comparison operators (branching) and iteration AC9TDI4P02

This sequence enables students to:

  • describe an event using a sequence of steps and decisions
  • follow and create algorithms that include decisions
  • identify repeating patterns and use loops to make their algorithms more concise.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to extend and integrate learning

Further reading and professional learning

Programming a sequence

What is this about?

At the beginner level of programming, use a visual programming environment like Scratch, Microsoft MakeCode or code.org’s programming challenges to learn the basics of programming. Students can turn basic algorithms into a working computer program. They arrange blocks to execute steps in a specific order. They can create a basic program where the sprite (character) responds to events, moves in different directions, based on user input. User input involves information from the person using the program, often obtained through keyboard or mouse actions. For instance, the program can ask for the user's name with the question 'What's your name?' and then use that input in the program. As they grasp the basics and familiarise themselves with the range of visual blocks, students can move on to creating more advanced programs.

Content descriptions

Follow and describe algorithms involving sequencing, comparison operators (branching) and iteration AC9TDI4P02

Implement simple algorithms as visual programs involving control structures and input AC9TDI4P04

This sequence enables students to:

  • identify and explain what the basic visual blocks do in a program
  • create a program that executes steps in a specific order
  • create a basic program where the sprite (character) responds to user input.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning

Further reading and professional learning

Branching and iteration

What is this about?

Once students have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of programming, they can progress to more advanced programming concepts. This includes exploring branching, where decisions direct the program's flow, and repetition loops, which enable the execution of specific actions iteratively. These elements give students the tools to create more intricate and sophisticated programs.

Content descriptions

Follow and describe algorithms involving sequencing, comparison operators (branching) and iteration AC9TDI4P02

Implement simple algorithms as visual programs involving control structures and input AC9TDI4P04

This sequence enables students to:

  • identify and explain what the repeat blocks do in a program
  • create a program that uses a repeat command
  • explain ways to provide decisions that enable the user to choose more than two different paths
  • create a program that includes decisions that enable the user to choose more than two different paths.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning

Branching that result from a comparison

What is this about?

As students develop their programming skills they can create more complex programs. At certain steps in the sequence students may want an input to make a decision. To get a true or false answer, branching decisions may result from a comparison. The operator may be: < (less than), > (greater than) or = (equal to).

Content description

Follow and describe algorithms involving sequencing, comparison operators (branching) and iteration AC9TDI4P02

Implement simple algorithms as visual programs involving control structures and input AC9TDI4P04

This sequence enables students to:

  • identify and explain what the operator blocks do in a program
  • create a program that uses branching decision results from a comparison
  • explain ways to provide decisions that enable the user to choose a different pathway
  • create a program that includes branching decisions that result from a comparison.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning