National Coding Week

National Coding Week is back and it’s celebrating its 10th year!

National Coding Week started in September 2014 and has been celebrated every year since then in a bid to encourage everyone to learn the crucial skill of coding. It’s a UK celebration of coding, programming, and everything tech. This year the main theme is Artificial Intelligence (AI). The folk at NCW HQ will be exploring the benefits, concerns, and implications of AI, and of course shining a light on coding, through a series of posts - keep up-to-date here National Coding Week 2023 - National Coding Week

A little light history

National Coding Week was set up just as coding was being introduced to the national school curriculum in parts of the UK. In fact, England and Wales were the first countries in the world to mandate teaching coding across primary and secondary schools. Other nations have since followed suit. It was founded by former headteacher Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love, a British technology entrepreneur, with the aim of improving and reforming the country’s digital literacy.

National Coding Week has endeavoured to push the awareness of programming and coding, and the importance of it as a future skillset. As such it is paramount that schools continue their focus on coding and ensure teachers are upskilled sufficiently to teach it so that children can feel fully engaged and excited by it. Scratch games are a first look into this world, at the primary school level, and are a great way to inspire and ignite passion amongst kids.

But National Coding Week wasn’t just for kids: in fact, it was set up with adults in mind! Founder Richard Rolfe realised that adults, teachers, and parents weren’t being supported in these areas, having himself decided to embark on learning coding in later years. He said: “It struck me that whilst there was government investment in a new computer science curriculum for school children, there wasn’t enough being done to support adults and teachers. It was also obvious to me that most people aren’t in education, so I wondered what was being done to support and retrain those who’d missed out on digital skills training or for older people who wanted to switch careers or become more cyber-secure.” Since its beginning though, National Coding Week spread beyond the UK into the rest of Europe, the USA, Australia, and other countries.

What is Coding?

Quite simply, coding is telling a computer what you want it to do, which involves giving it step-by-step instructions for it to follow. Computers aren’t clever things, but they are obedient, so if you tell them accurately how to do something they will do it. Coding can also be defined as the language that software developers and programmers use to tell computers what to do. So, these are essentially a translator to allow humans and computers to talk to each other. You have probably heard of some of these different coding languages already, for example, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, C++, and PHP. 

What can we do to ensure kids ‘get it’?

Code powers the digital world we live in, and coders really are considered to be the architects of the modern era. With this in mind, we can and should introduce kids to coding games from an early age: computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and game consoles are everywhere nowadays, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to ensure fun, appropriate, and educational content is accessible for them.

Children have an innate interest in these devices so instead of viewing them as the enemy, let’s embrace it! Try coding games, like Rainforest Coding, and let them have fun solving problems and developing skills in logic while enjoying far-flung virtual realms and learning how to code all at the same time. This should help kids harness a real interest that will flood the tech industries with fresh young talent for the future.

How can we mark the week?

Check out what’s on at your local library or digital hub, or at local businesses and schools to see who is sharing their expertise, digital skills, and tech tales. Or just make this week the week you decide to bite the bullet, find a suitable coding programme and learn how to code, or get the kids coding. And Rainforest Coding could help get them started.

So, if you want more information or a 14-day free trial click here: Rainforest Coding - Coding Games for Kids

To inspire children to learn how to code, Rainforest Coding is an intuitive and fun coding programme that is designed to make learning block coding easy and fun. For more information or a free 14-day trial of Rainforest Coding, click here: RainforestCoding - Coding Games for Kids