“Coding is today’s language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science.” Maria Klawe
A mind-blowing fact – many of our children will end up in a career, doing a role that has not yet been invented. WOW. This may be hard to get your head around but absolutely true. In a world of constant and rapid advances in technology, we can only begin to guess the kind of jobs that will be required in ten or even twenty years’ time.
In 2014, the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) curriculum was replaced with ‘Computing’ to reflect the changes and close the skills gap in tech jobs and the people qualified to fill them. This move towards digital literacy means not just learning about how to work a computer but more about how to make a computer work for you – a far more desirable skill. Last year, a survey on parents, commissioned by the BCS (Chartered Institute for IT) found that 60% of parents were unaware or unsure of these changes and had little idea of the expectations.
Broken down simply into age groups, the areas covered in the curriculum are as follows:-
Key Stage 1 – algorithms – the breaking down of steps and routines and basic programming skills
Key Stage 2 – debugging and creating variables, sequencing, using websites and collecting, analysing and presenting data.
Key Stage 3 – programming languages, creating own programmes, binary numbers and hard/ software.
An integral part of the new curriculum is that children are taught about Internet safety and, if you have any concerns, I highly recommend the following websites:-
As a teacher, I have also used the following link very effectively in school to encourage discussion and raise awareness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvq3MB3ibok
A survey carried out by Glassdoor, showed that eight out of the top 25 jobs are tech-based and this area is growing 12% faster than any other job market, highlighting that a good understanding of computing is an essential tool for many careers. Even if your child is not planning on being the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, there are many transferable skills that they will learn. Algorithms are intricately linked to sentence structure, and programming is a creative skill, which involves articulating and thinking logically. This includes identifying a problem, breaking it down into smaller steps, repairing faults, predicting and engineering. Other vital learning skills are perseverance and finding solutions. Coding can even help children in language learning too!
Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone should learn how to code, it teaches you how to think.” Enough said.
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