Lesson 5: Using binary - text

Pupils learn that as well as being used mathematically, binary can use the computer language 'ASCII', to represent characters, and use this conversion of the alphabet from binary to create their own messages

Before the lesson

Learning objective

  • To represent binary as text

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Less able children should work with a partner. They should be the ones who write the message (in English) that the astronaut wishes to send, which they then watch their partner translate into ASCII binary. They then switch roles so that they have had a chance to watch a more able student have a go before they do.


Pupils working at greater depth: This activity is self-extending: Children should think about how to send a concise and relevant message, but also how to do so quickly and efficiently. They could also write a paragraph introducing their work, and what it means.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Richard Williams,  
Computing specialist
Richard is a Year 6 Teacher at St. Pancras Primary School. Richard’s passion for teaching was recognised when he received Suffolk’s ‘Raising The Bar’ award for Innovation 2016. With his class he made the world’s first guided VR:360 school tour…
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