Children build computer games at Romford ‘Code Club’
14:00 18 March 2014
After coding his first computer aged four, the co-owner of a learning centre is passing his knowledge on to today’s generation of whizzes.
Leon Chaffey, now 35, runs the children’s learning centre Superthinkers with his wife Mils. Originally they started the business from a table in Hornchurch Library, on North Street but in November they upgraded to their centre in High Street, Romford.
They running one-to-one tuition for children with special needs ranging from autism to blindness but have now started holding “Code Club” for children of all abilities.
In January they started the Code Club programme where children learn to make computers follow their instructions and how to build games.
Code Club is a nationwide programme but Mils, 36, said they put their own “Superthinkers twist on it”.
She said: “They spend three weeks coding and on the forth week we get them to think outside the box and give them a challenge and they have to work together in groups to figure out the challenge.”
The first weeks of coding revolve around a cat and mouse game. One child types instructions for the mouse’s escape while the other aids the cat in its hunt.
The challenges vary but one centred around the getting a Nasa probe to land on Mars.
“They only have one shot to get the probe and its equipment to land safely on the surface,” Mils said.
William Brown, of Marks Road, Romford, sent his son Omar, 8, to the club after hearing about it on the BBC.
William said: “It’s rare you see a child without a Nintendo DS or a mobile phone and my child is no different but this club makes him think about what he’s doing. He absolutely loves it.”
To view a video of the Code Club in action go to www.romfordrecorder.co.uk