Here in England, the first term of the new National Curriculum including “coding”, or computer programming, as a standard learning subject is underway. The goal of this new curriculum item is “to ensure that all pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science” (quote from the 2014 curriculum documentation). It’s been featured in a lot of discussion on the news and amongst teachers. Why are children learning how to write computer code in school?

Secondary6

Here’s a great answer from a ten-year-old boy who has been coding for years already:
“You can do so much with it… it makes you creative!” (click link for video)

@ConductiveMusic we believe in sparking and fuelling this creativity! By connecting lessons in how to write and modify computer programs with other creative, fun activities like music and art, we help the more complex bits of coding knowledge to “stick” in the brain.

Though the new curriculum may present some difficulties for schools as they try to update, it is a valuable and worthwhile effort. As eloquently stated by the BBC’s technical correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, children learning under the new curriculum are preparing for an active, engaged future in the digital word: “most of them will need to understand something about how computers work and just about all of them can enjoy the creative possibilities that digital technology offers. If we can show a new generation how to be the masters not the servants of the machines of the future, then that is a prize worth winning.”

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Emily Robertson