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Trailblazing youngsters in Hornchurch join coding revolution

Liam Hagger (left) and George Hendley take part in a computer coding class at Hacton Primary School Liam Hagger (left) and George Hendley take part in a computer coding class at Hacton Primary School

Sunday, March 9, 2014
9:00 AM

Schoolchildren as young as five are learning computer programming.

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Kieran Schofield-Hawe in year 4 has been learing how to code. Picture: John MooreKieran Schofield-Hawe in year 4 has been learing how to code. Picture: John Moore

In a week-long initiative children at Hacton Primary School have learnt coding – the development of programs that instruct computers to perform tasks.

In September, the national curriculum will change to include computing rather than the traditional ICT (information and communications technology), but the Hornchurch primary school is one step ahead and is participating in the Hour of Code initiative.

Dave Smith, computing adviser at Havering School Improvement Services, said: “Teachers in Havering schools want our pupils to be at the cutting edge of the technology sector, so it is essential that our pupils are equipped with the skills they’ll need to compete at the very highest levels globally.

“We have a range of coding projects happening in Havering schools and the Hour of Code will help even more pupils to get to grips with some of the basics.”

The younger children were able to learn how to move characters across their computer screens and the older pupils were able to animate shapes.

Many teachers admit they were surprised.

Becky White, key stage 2 ICT co-ordinator, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the results.

“It seems to come naturally to many children.”

Louise Claridge, key stage 1 ICT co-ordinator, said: “Our pupils love coding. When they see something happen on screen that they have programmed their eyes light up and they want to code some more – it’s very rewarding.”

Kieran Schofield-Hawe a Year 4 pupil, said: “I like how you can draw shapes and move objects on the screen with just a bit of code.”

Year 3 pupil Francesca Ribaudo said: “I want to get really good at code so I can make games for other children.”

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