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Can my Child Learn Coding at School?

21 June 2023

Coding has become an essential skill in today's world. It’s used in many different fields, and increasing numbers of jobs require coding knowledge. So many parents are wondering whether their child can learn this vital skill at school. Here are five things you need to know about coding in schools.

Coding is part of the National Curriculum in England

In the 2014 revamp of the National Curriculum for England, coding was introduced as a key part of the Computing programmes of study. Curriculums in the other constituent parts of the UK tend to be similar to England. Starting with Key Stage 1 (infant school), children are introduced to concepts of coding such as algorithms, logical reasoning and basic programming. Students learn to use programming languages to undertake creative projects later in their education. The reason for this inclusion is that coding is an essential skill for the 21st century and children who learn to code will have a leg up in the increasingly competitive global economy. 

The UK government is investing in coding education

In 2017, the British government committed £100 million of funding for a National Centre for Computing Education, to train computer science teachers. The aim is for computer science to become a core subject, alongside other sciences, with all students having the opportunity to learn to code, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. 

Coding can help your child develop essential skills

Coding is a fundamental building block for developing essential skills like problem-solving, logic, and creative thinking. By learning to code in school, children have a better understanding of how technology works and how to use it to their advantage. Working on coding projects together can help kids to learn how to collaborate effectively and communicate clearly, important skills when part of any team. 

Coding can be used in many different subjects

Coding is a versatile skill which can be incorporated into many different subject areas. For example, coding can be used to create simple maths equations or design complex websites. It can also be used to create animations and games. Through integrating coding into learning other subjects, children gain problem-solving, logic, and creativity skills. This coding knowledge sets up young people for higher education and can open up some brilliant job opportunities once they leave school.

Shortcomings of coding in schools

There have been some problems integrating coding into the National Curriculum. The high salaries available to experienced computer programmers means there have been difficulties recruiting enough specialist IT teachers. If your kids aren’t learning coding at school, don’t despair - there are plenty of after school and holidays clubs they can learn from, plus a huge number of online resources.

More children are learning coding in school, due to the growing recognition of the importance of programming skills in the 21st century and of the transferable skills learned in the process. Coding is a versatile skill that can be used in many different subjects, and it can lead to fantastic job opportunities in the future.

Photo by Gustavo Fring

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