How the BBC's new Doctor Who game teaches your kids to code

The BBC has announced a new Doctor Who game for CBBC audiences voiced by Peter Capaldi - and it's designed to teach kids the basics of coding. Oh, and it's free!

The game, which is voiced by Peter Capaldi and written by the TV series writer Phil Ford, "introduces children to basic coding principles as part of the gameplay", according to the BBC.

Called "The Doctor and the Dalek", the new educational game sees everyone's favourite Time Lord form an unlikely alliance with one of his mortal enemies. Kids have to "programme" the Dalek in order to navigate their way around puzzles and challenges. And in case this all sounds too unstrcutured for you, the puzzles are linked to the new computing curriculum and are designed to allow children across the UK to pick up core programming principles as they play.

Several key stage 2 and 3 curriculum points – such as combining instructions to accomplish a given goal, using variables to alter behaviour, repetition and loops, and logical reasoning – are integrated into the gameplay and, most importantly for children, are intuitive and fun.

"We're really excited about the launch of The Doctor and the Dalek as not only is it a really entertaining platform game for kids to play but it's also a great introduction to some key principles of computer programming," said Sinéad Rocks, head of BBC Learning.

"Every puzzle has a strong link to the KS2 or KS3 computing curriculum. So we think it's going to be a really valuable tool for students, parents and teachers."

The Doctor and the Dalek – which has been specially released to be part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, digital technology and programming – will be available freely at bbc.co.uk/cbbc from Wednesday 22nd October.

Resources accompanying the game will be available from BBC Learning at bbc.co.uk/schoolscomputing for teachers and parents to help children get the most out of the game.