Children at Springfield School will start exploring the world of computer coding this month at a new extra-curricular lunchtime club designed to stimulate ideas and help children put them into practice.
The Coding Club has been launched with the support of local charity The White Knight Foundation and has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of local finance solutions company Future Finance. The White Knight Foundation has donated 100 Raspberry Pi mini computers for pupils aged 6 to 11 years to use and Future Finance are funding the initiative, which will be free to attend.
At the club, children will be able to take part in a range of activities that will help them learn some of the key ideas of computer science, including learning to program and understanding computational thinking.
Initially, the sessions will run on two lunchtimes, catering for 20 pupils each day, but Springfield Head Teacher Sam Cooper expects it will expand very quickly to five days a week. He explains: ‘The children are massively excited about the new code club and the demand for places is high. Many of them were inspired when they saw a presentation from a Raspberry Pi representative as part of the IT Strategy launch recently. We want to tap into this enthusiasm. It is our intention to make Springfield School a centre of IT and coding excellence. We already receive a high level of support from the Education, Sport & Culture Department, particularly through the IT Strategy, and when we combine this curriculum support with our private sponsorship from Future Finance we will be able to create exciting opportunities for our pupils.’
Mr Cooper added: ‘We are very grateful to The White Knight Foundation for their considerable support over the past year and to Future Finance for understanding why this sponsorship is so important. Their valuable contribution will help us deliver an incredibly rich and diverse extra-curricular coding and IT experience for our community. We want to open this fabulous resource after school and at weekends to children from outside our school who are interested in learning how to program. Both Janvrin and Samares schools are planning to join take up this opportunity as soon as possible.’
A representative of White Knight, said: ‘It is generally acknowledged that future employment will require at least a basic knowledge of computers and coding. Children live in a world that will be shaped and configured increasingly by computing and if they have a deeper understanding of this subject they will be well prepared for the future and well placed to achieve great things through technology. We want to work with Springfield and other schools to complement the school day and maximise children’s opportunities to learn how to code.’
Denny Lane, Managing Director of Future Finance, says: ‘We believe that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It is the future and academics already foresee that it will become as fundamental as learning to read and write. We are very excited to be able to support this important project for three of our local schools and feel we can make a real difference to our community through this sponsorship. Future Finance is all about local, innovative solutions and this project echoes our philosophy wholeheartedly.’