Age of children taking part in computer code club
LITTLE crackers are getting ahead in computing with their own ‘Code Club.’
Youngsters meet each week to learn the language of computer programming – a skill which is being taught in primary schools for the first time from this year. A partnership between the council, Oldham-based Web Applications UK and Oldham Athletic where the free club is based, it is hoped it will encourage and equip whizzkids with skills for the future.
Suzy Chapman, the council’s study support manager, is in charge of the club which has around 20 regular members, aged nine to 13, who meet at Laticzone on Thursday nights from 6pm.
Using a simple program called Scratch, children are taught how to create their own computer games and can also save their work to continue when they get home.
She said: “Web Applications were willing to give staff time to come and help the young people to learn about coding.
“They have a strong partnership with OAFC and they wanted to give something back to the community and offer an opportunity for young people to develop their knowledge and skills about how computers work.
“We started it last year, at the beginning of October, and we’ve now got 30-plus young people on the actual register with about 18 to 20 regulars who come back every week.
“We’ve got young peo- ple from all different schools and not just in Oldham.
“They absolutely love it, they think it’s fantastic and it’s given them a headstart on others in their class.”
Education chiefs introduced coding into the curriculum after research showed how important basic programming skills would be in the future.
And Web Applications, which also run several ‘code clubs’ in local schools, say they are happy to help.
Kathryn Fielding, an administrator at the Hall Street firm, said: “Technology is now at the centre of almost every business but it’s so under-represented, there are so many developer jobs and people aren’t qualified to take them.
“We are really involved in the community and coding is the core of what we do so we have expertise that we can share.
“With Scratch it’s relatively easy to follow and if children have grown up with computers they are a lot more receptive to it.
“I am there if the kids need any help but most of the time they are teaching me!”
For more information contact Suzy on 0161 770 8997 or email suzy. email@example.com. uk.
Ten-year-olds Adam Higginson and William Hendry