Code Club, with the support of Google and CAS (Computing at Schools), has launched a nationwide training programme to teach core computing skills to primary school teachers.
Code Club is a not-for-profit, 1,800-strong UK network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11 years old. Its mission is to put a Code Club in every single primary school in the country.
The CPD program has been launched in response to widespread teacher demand for training in this area. As part of the new September 2014 curriculum, all primary school teachers will teach computer programming to children of 5+ for the first time, often without any prior experience or training.
According to Code Club, which has access to a wide network of schools, the training needs of teachers has so far been overlooked in this process. Launching in April, Code Club Pro will enable primary school teachers to quickly understand the requirements of the new computing curriculum.
The mission is to deliver training in computing to more than 20,000 primary school teachers by 2016, while reaching many more through the provision of online programmes and resources.
“To date, there has been a lack of focus on how to equip the primary school teachers to actually teach this new subject. We know first hand that teachers are feeling daunted by the prospect of having to teach a syllabus they don’t fully understand themselves. As a result, we decided to create a training programme that would help support them through this period of change,” said Clare Sutcliffe, Co-Founder and CEO of Code Club.
Google has invested £120,000 into the project as part of its ongoing commitment to increasing digital skills. This will allow the training to be rolled out across the UK at a low cost to the schools and teachers participating. Since the beginning of 2013, Google has invested more than £1 million in UK organisations that support organisations such as Code Club to bring computer science to more people.
“Since I was four, I’ve been fascinated with how technology works. I want to see more children excited about computer science but to make this happen, we need to start early. Code Club Pro is a great initiative to engage the UK’s teachers in computing and give them the skills they need to inspire the next generation of coders,” said Mike Warriner, UK Engineering Director at Google
Schools and teachers are encouraged to register their interest at www.codeclubpro.org.