TOpic 1 memory boxes II
English National Curriculum:
Key Stage 1
Tooltip content
To use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
learning objectives
Tooltip content
To understand how to update a Memory Box’s value using another Memory Box.
success criteria
  • I understand that a Memory Box can give another variable its value.
  • I understand that when a new value enters into a Memory Box , the old value vanishes.
top tips
  • We can update the value of a Memory Box using the value of another Memory Box.
Common misconceptions




The Equals Sign


Variables are used to store information, such as numbers or letters. These are like Memory Boxes for computers.

A name can be used to label a variable, and corresponds with the value inside, so that it will be easier to retrieve the variable again.

A value is the information or data inside a variable.

The equals sign is used in many programming languages to assign a variable a value. In this book, to avoid younger aged students confusing it with the equals sign in maths, we put the word ‘Let’ instead of the equals sign.

When people talk about a computer’s memory they mean RAM. RAM stands for “Random Access Memory”, which is just another way of saying that you can grab data from any of the tiny bins that make up the memory. In most programming languages, a variable is a container that holds information you can access. In this book, we refer to Variables as Memory Boxes. You can think of a variable as a box that contains something. You can open the box to find out what is inside, or even put something else into the box. In some ways, human memory and computer memory are similar. We rely on our memory for remembering all sorts of things. 

Sometimes the value of a variable, which could take on many forms, needs to be copied to another variable. This could be for safeguarding, passing, splitting tasks and more.

A variable has a name attached to a particular object. This object can reference back to other variables. By assigning one variable to another we can copy its content:

Food = ‘Apple’
Snack = Food

Snack now has the value of ‘Apple’. The value has been copied from one variable to another.