ComputerXplorers has designated today as this year’s ‘Programming for Primaries’ day, raising awareness of the need to introduce programming skills to children at an early age. The key message is that “year 8 is too late” as by the time they have arrived at secondary school, many children have already decided that computing is not for them, so it is vital to engage and inspire these children at a much younger age – at primary school.
We believe strongly in the importance of working with children of all ages in an attempt to encourage young people to look at computer science in a different light, and hopefully to inspire them to consider a digital career in the future.
This is our second year of running a regular coding club at St. Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Cardiff, where Yard CTO Paul Newbury is the Chair of Governors. Our primary focus is to work with the children who are in their last year of primary school.
To give an example of how we engage the children – we generally use Scratch for the majority of the work we do there, focusing on the foundations of programming and firm programming logic. We’ve also used Raspberry Pi to create some more interactive computing demos, including a fruit drum kit, and a Python controlled set of lego models.
We are currently working on a project with the entire year 6 class to work in project groups and create an interactive learning game for earlier years. The children will then work with other years to present their projects and assist them in using the resources they’ve built.
By encouraging an interest in coding in primary school age children, there is an increased chance that this interest will carry on through secondary school and hopefully, into their future careers. For more information on free classes for your school, visit the ComputerXplorers site.