This is my sixth year in the current school. The students who sit for the Ordinary level exam this December ,were in grade six when I assume duties as the ICT teacher/school IT lab coordinator.For the students from grade 6 to grade 9 I have started to teach a syllabus designed by me.(ICT/IT is not in the curriculum as a subject but few lessons are integrated with other subjects.)The syllabus I set included basic skills in computing and Microsoft Office 2007(MS Word,MS PowerPoint,MS Publisher).Students had only one period of 40 minutes per week.But those who were interested in practice and study more had the opportunity to learn computer programming with Visual Basic 6.0, after school.Students from grade 7 upwards were allowed. But one kid in grade 6 was always wanted to join;later he was allowed to join the class.He was very quick to create projects with senior students;within 4 months he started to create educational(subject related) projects using VB codes-option buttons,check boxes,drag and drop...etc were there. His first award was the provincial 9th place in Microsoft Innovative Students Competition 2010.From then on he was in the winners' list under group projects / individual projects of the Microsoft Innovative Students' Competitions-provincial and national levels.
Blended learning/teaching methods were used during these years.The programming class was flipped often;the enthusiastic set of students were always ready to work extra hours,did self study and were facilitated by the teacher.The students did programming in Visual Basic,Visual Basic.Net,Visual Studio and Java.
In 2013,the student won the national level Young Computer Scientist 2nd place(junior category) ,while three other students won merit awards in the same competition. He teamed up with peers in every ICT related activity in the school-his main role was the programming part.
And finally in 2014,he has won the national Young Computer Scientist junior category and has been nominated to participate APICTA Awards 2014 at Jakarta,Indonesia with the Sri Lankan delegation. (Other results yet to be out;hopefully waiting for more merits and awards for other students) I,being the teacher for a winner student who represent the country is really happy and proud and wish him the good luck at the Asia Pacific competition at Jakarta.
**Now I do not set rules for students to grow older to learn programming.