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Curriculum countdown

According to new research more than 130,000 primary school teachers don’t feel confident enough to teach computer coding

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | July 21, 2014 | Primary

With less than six weeks until the new Computing curriculum is introduced, research reveals over 130,000 primary school teachers do not currently feel confident enough to teach their pupils how to code. 

Paul Clarke, Director of Technology at Ocado, said: “Teaching children to program is not just about nurturing the next generation of software engineers; being able to write code is a transformative and disruptive meta-skill that needs to be seen as being of huge potential value whatever your future holds.  I would go so far as to say that it is a survival skill that our children need to acquire to flourish in the increasingly digital and online future that awaits them.”

The poll of 250 English primary school teachers also reveals how 73% feel they have not been given the necessary resources – such as access to sufficient hardware, resources and training – to teach the new Computing curriculum from this September.  

To help support primary school teachers deliver the new curriculum, Ocado Technology, the division that powers Ocado.com has launched the Code for Life initiative to get every child in the country coding.

At the heart of the Code for Life initiative is Rapid Router, a free comprehensive coding teaching resource, the first version of which is targeted at Key Stage 1 and lower Key Stage 2. The resource, which is available from 1st September 2014, features a fun and engaging educational web application and a series of lesson plans, unplugged activity guides and coding careers videos. To ensure every pupil is challenged regardless of their ability, the web app features more than 25 levels which increase in complexity as pupils master new functions (e.g. repeat loops), as well as a “create” function where pupils can build their own challenges.

It has been developed in conjunction with experienced primary computing and ICT teachers and tested by over 150 pupils. 214,200 primary school teachers are now being encouraged to pre-register at www.codeforlife.education to get information and access the free resource from 1st September. 

Ocado Technology employees have volunteered more than 400 hours to the creation of the Rapid Router web app, which aims to highlight the everyday application of coding while helping teachers meet the requirements of the new curriculum. It forms the first in a series of educational resources being created by Ocado Technology based on real life challenges within its business to inspire young people to take up a career in computer science. 

Paul Clarke, Director of Technology at Ocado, said: “As a technology company at its core, Ocado relies on recruiting a constant stream of the brightest and best software engineers and other IT specialists to fuel its continued growth and disruptive innovation.

“We wanted to find a way to give something back by investing in the next generation of computer scientists, while hopefully increasing the number of girls selecting technology subjects.

“As a key strand in our CSR strategy, Code for Life provides a tangible and relevant way for our engineers to volunteer their time to help support the introduction of computing into the primary school curriculum in September. This marks the start of a new, exciting and ongoing journey for Ocado Technology.”

As part of the Code for Life initiative, Ocado Technology has partnered with The National Museum of Computing, in Bletchley Park, to deliver the Weekend Codability project, launching in September, enabling young visitors to experience computer programming for the first time.

To register interest in Code for Life, and watch the video visit: www.codeforlife.education

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