Bexton Primary code club launch

By on February 15, 2014

Code Club launches new training programme to support primary school teachers

Code Club launches initiative to help primary school teachers prepare for Government’s new computing curriculum, supported by Google

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Mission to deliver training in computing to over 20,000 primary school teachers by 2016 in order to target current training and skills shortage

Google has invested £120,000 in the project, as part of its ongoing commitment to increasing digital skills

7 February 2014, London, UK – Code Club, the network of over 1,875 volunteer­led after­school coding clubs, with the support of Google and CAS (Computing at Schools), is launching a nationwide training programme to teach core computing skills to primary school teachers.

The CPD program has been launched in response to widespread teacher demand for training in this area. As part of the new September 2014 curriculum, all primary school teachers will teach computer programming to children of 5+ for the first time, often without any prior experience or training.

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According to Code Club, which has access to a wide network of schools, the training needs of teachers has so far been overlooked in this process. Its founders said: “Teachers are the key front­line implementers of the curriculum and more needs to be done to support this transition”.

Launching in April, Code Club Pro will enable primary school teachers to quickly understand the requirements of the new computing curriculum. The mission is to deliver training in computing to over 20,000 primary school teachers by 2016, while reaching many more through the provision of online programmes and resources.

Code Club Pro will be launched this Friday 7 February by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at a special Code Club session in Bexton School in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Clare Sutcliffe, Co­Founder and CEO of Code Club, said: “The addition of coding to the new primary school curriculum is a great step forward for the UK education sector. However, to date, there has been a lack of focus on how to equip the primary school teachers to actually teach this new subject. We know first hand that teachers are feeling daunted by the prospect of having to teach a syllabus they don’t fully understand themselves. As a result, we decided to create a training programme that would help support them through this period of change.

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“As a not­for­profit, Code Club is able to focus on a core objective of supporting as many teachers and children as possible, through the provision of fun, accessible and affordable training, which hands on and experiential. Our goal is to improve access to training, so that teachers can feel confident and excited about delivering the new computing curriculum.”

Google has invested £120,000 into the project as part of its ongoing commitment to increasing digital skills. This will allow the training to be rolled out across the UK at a low cost to the schools and teachers participating. Since the beginning of 2013, Google has invested more than £1,000,000 in British organisations which support organisations like Code Club to bring computer science to more people in the UK.

Mike Warriner, UK Engineering Director at Google, said: “Since I was four, I’ve been fascinated with how technology works ­ pulling things apart and back together again and building things. I want to see more children excited about computer science but to make this happen, we need to start early.

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There is increasing demand for computer science skills in all industries ­ not just tech ­ and Code Club Pro is a great initiative to engage the UK’s teachers in computing and give them the skills they need to inspire the next generation of coders.”

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “In an increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever that we equip our young people to make the most of the opportunities offered by the burgeoning tech industry.

“The Google and Code Club roadshow is a brilliant initiative that is getting children in Tatton and across the country excited about coding. And this new partnership is a great opportunity for teachers to get the skills they need to prepare for the upcoming curriculum change and teach children the computing and coding skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

“We must make sure that kids in our schools are not just consumers but creators of technology. They shouldn’t just know how to open up programs like Word and PowerPoint; they also need to understand how those computer programs are put together. In the 21st century, knowing how to code is no longer a nice­to­have, it’s an essential”

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Elizabeth Truss, Education Minister said: “Computing is a fascinating and intellectually

challenging subject. Our new curriculum means children will no longer be restricted to passively consuming technology. From the age of 5 they will learn how to code and create programs or apps, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the modern world.

“This will bring exciting challenges for teachers and we have already provided more than £3million to ensure they have the support and training they need to teach this new, more demanding subject. With the support of organisations like Code Club, we will spread good practice, knowledge and expertise throughout our schools ready for the first new computing lesson in September.”

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education BCS at The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “BCS in partnership with the Computing At School group (CAS) is delighted to be working with Code Club to provide inspirational CPD resources that will help train primary teachers. Code Club is doing excellent work that perfectly complements our DfE funded Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science”.

Schools and teachers are encouraged to register their interest at www.codeclubpro.org

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