Ten-year-olds learn computer programming at after school club in Merton Park

Year six children from Merton Park primary school at code club

Year six children from Merton Park primary school at code club

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Scared at how much better your child is than you at using the computer? Things are only going to get worse after a primary school launched an after-school computer coding club.

Selected year six pupils at Merton Park primary school have been using code to create computer games for an hour and a quarter on Tuesday afternoons.

Nathan Sapper, 10, said: "I really like to do things on the computer and what I really want to do when I grow up is make video games. So I think it’s a great experience."

Nathan’s father, Simon Sapper, said: "Nathan’s very keen on computers and I think coding increases his love of learning, expands his literacy, it taps into numeracy and I think it’s good for his general sense of well-being.

"I think coding in the 21st century is increasingly the language of the present as well as the future and I think if they don’t grow up being able to code they will be at a disadvantage."

Code Club is a nationwide network of free volunteer-led clubs which teach children aged nine to 11 how to program by showing them how to make computer games.

Volunteers bring a new project to teach children every week, introducing them to programming software: Scratch, HTML, CSS and Python, over a four-term placement.

Every child has a rubber duck at their desk; an established problem-solving tool for programers, ‘rubber duck de-bugging’ encourages pupils to explain their problems to the toy before asking for help when they get stuck.

Pupils are also encouraged to work together and use computers in a sociable way.

The club has been so popular, year six coders now run a lunch-time club for younger pupils in years four and five.

Jon Mayland, one of the programmers, is also a parent and governor at the school.

He said: "They are the video game generation so they are used to playing games on devices but with coding it’s the creativity they really enjoy."

All children in primary schools following the national curriculum will learn to write computer programs during ICT lessons when a new syllabus is introduced in September.


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