Hour of Code to bridge skills gap

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Magdalen College School, in Brackley, has teamed up with a local software business to run coding workshops to arm youngsters with vital digital skills.

The three-session programme was run for Key Stage 3 pupils at the school by Brackley-based CSfD (Computer Systems for Distribution).

Sessions began with a Star Wars tutorial where pupils were able to create their own Star Wars game.

In later sessions, pupils were shown how code is written and given the opportunity to continue their learning at home by registering on the websites used in the lessons.

The workshops were inspired by the global Hour of Code initiative, launched in the UK in 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The programme has seen a large uptake from businesses and organisations from all over the world.

CSfD has developed the idea by constructing longer and more detailed workshops so students can gain more knowledge and insight.

Becci Worrod, of CSfD, said: “We need to address the skills gap to ensure that in years to come we have competent and innovative programmers and testers to move the country forward. It is easy to find extra-curricular activities for kids if they are musical or into sport. Let’s harness the desire to get into coding!”

ICT teacher Laurence James said: “We are thankful for the generosity of a number of businesses in helping to share exciting real-life applications of computer science with our students.

“Magdalen College School is proud to offer a comprehensive computer science curriculum, equipping students with essential skills for the 21st century in an innovative and exciting way.”