Lesson 5: Applying computational thinking

Pupils apply their computational thinking skills to solve plugged and unplugged challenges, identifying which skills they're using in each

Before the lesson

Learning objective

  • To combine computational thinking skills to solve a problem

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Could start with one of the ‘kits’ challenges aimed at younger pupils. Encourage them to discuss their thought process in detail with their partner.


Pupils working at greater depth: Should be encouraged to identify the computational thinking skills that they are using to solve each question.

If a pupil is particularly strong, you may want to consider challenging them to look at one of the ‘Junior ’ level challenges (aimed at 10-12 year-olds), however, even the most able pupils will find some of the ‘Castor’ level questions difficult.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Cat Lamin,  
Computing specialist
Cat was a committed primary school teacher for twelve years. After starting her independent consultancy ‘Crossover Solutions’ she has travelled to Argentina, Brazil and America to share her wealth of knowledge of computer science with other teachers. Her enjoyment for…
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