So Code Club is about teaching kids programming. Code Club Pro is about teaching the teachers so that they can teach kids programming. Cool right? You might have heard that the government last year put coding on the curriculum for primary schools. This was at the strong urging of a number of high profile tech companies and many teachers have regarded the meagre instructions they’ve been given on the subject as somewhat lacking. With good reason.
But if you dig into the new curriculum that covers computing you’ll find that it’s very carefully worded and some of the stuff in there is rather wonderful. Schools now need to teach not just how to use computer software but computational thinking. Real analytical and problem solving skills that translate into way more than just computer programming. But how are those teachers that might never have written so much as a single line of code supposed to teach this stuff? That’s a very fair question and I can totally understand why teachers are worried and annoyed about it. That’s where Code Club Pro aims to help.
Code Club Pro is kicking off with 4 courses that cover demystifying the new computing curriculum, Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2) computing, Key Stage 2 (years 3, 4, 5 and 6) computing and the Internet. Schools contacting Code Club Pro can post to say they’d like a trainer to come to their school and give one or more of these presentations and then trainers like myself can browse those requests and get in touch with the schools to arrange the training. There is a small charge for the school and a small payment for the trainer but this really isn’t big money we’re talking about.
The courses are aimed really clearly at teachers and trying to show them that the new curriculum is not so scary and that it really can be taught in primary schools by teachers that might have no experience of programming at all. Much of computer science can be taught without ever touching a computer and Code Club Pro aims to give teachers the tools, the knowledge and the confidence to do just that.
This is all kicking off right now. It should dovetail nicely with the start of the new school year. I really hope many other Code Club volunteers will agree that we can help more than just the kids. And if we can help the teachers then ultimately we grow our army and reach ever more children.