The UK was one of the very first countries to make coding part of their curriculum, and has been taught to children between the ages of 7 and 16 since 2014. With coding now an essential part of children’s school lives, more and more kids are getting into programming from a young age. This year, make your new year’s resolution to help get your kids into coding.
Why kids should learn to code
For those of us who grew up with ICT lessons, and spent them learning how to make a PowerPoint, coding might seem like a far less important skill than English, Maths or Science. However, helping your kids learn to code goes far beyond their classes at school.
Coding and programming can help children develop their ability to problem-solve, use critical thinking skills and build their confidence with technology. Coding encourages kids to think creatively, and helps them understand the apps and games that they use on a daily basis. There is also an incredibly high demand for people with skills in tech, and with the tech industry continuing to grow year after year, it’s likely that this demand will only increase. Even learning some simple coding skills could make your children more employable.
How can I help my kids learn to code?
If you’re keen to get your kids coding, we’ve found a couple of great opportunities for novice coders and coding wizards alike.
Young Coders Competition is a competition for children aged between 7 and 13, which aims to get kids excited about coding. Using the free programming language and platform Scratch, children are asked to create a game which meets a brief set out by the team at Young Coders, with the chance to win their school up to £200 in prize money. Multiple teams can enter from a single school or club, and children can work by themselves or within a group of between 2 and 6.
This year’s theme is ‘Time and Space’. Applicants are asked to design a computer game using Scratch to teach children about time and space. Parents and teachers can register their interest in the competition, which gets them access to free resources that can be used to help your child learn to code, or as part of lesson plans for the computing curriculum at school.
Code Kids run robotic and coding classes for kids aged 7 and above. They have a huge range of online classes throughout the year, for complete beginners to coding as well as those who are intermediate coders.
You can help your kids get to grips with programming languages like Java or Python, get them to control their own robots with Lego Robotics classes or Sphero workshops, or even learn how to code within Roblox or Minecraft. Their Minecraft course focuses on creating multiplayer games, using functions, command blocks and data structures.
Code Kids have a number of one-off workshops, longer term courses which run once a week at the same time, just like an after school club. They also hold holiday camps during the school holidays, where kids can learn to code online for a whole week, or attend classes at one of their in-person locations.