A prep school has launched a new computer programming course to give children vital skills needed in the work place.
Prior Park Prep School, an independent school for pupils aged 3-13 in Cricklade, has started a new extra curricular activity for children – Computer Programming Club – which is an optional after school club for children in Years 6, 7 & 8.
The programming club is essentially about teaching children how computers work and how they think.
They will be learning how to programme computers using different types of software and interfaces (including Scratch & Blockly) by drawing patterns, solving puzzles (like guiding an object through a maze by programming its movements) and even creating their own computer games/apps.
As well as working with the computers, children will be doing written activities to give context to their learning.
The children are following a syllabus produced by an organisation called “The Hour of Code”, an international initiative to teach students one hour of computer programming during the course of one week.
It is an initiative endorsed by President Barack Obama as well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
It teaches children how to use computers to solve problems by breaking down difficult tasks into simple ones. Ultimately, the goal is for them to create their own project ideas and programme them onto a Raspberry Pi or other such device.
Prior Park teacher and course leader Ian Barker, said: “Computer Science is the future of learning for all children.
"Where once they would learn a set of skills and apply them to a life-long career, the continuing advance of Digital Technology means that tomorrow’s workforce will be required to use devices, which as yet have not been invented, to solve problems, which as yet are not problems.
“If we can teach children how technology works, fundamentally we are equipping them with not only new skills, but the creativity and adaptability which they will need to be successful in an ever-changing world.”
Year 7 pupil Max Hall said: “We all know how to operate computers but not necessarily what makes them work. We will all be working with computers, no matter what job we have so this is a really useful course and we all have a lot of fun creating our own games. The codes can run anything, it is really enjoyable.”
If you require any further information, please contact Mrs Casey on 01793 754390 or email email@example.com