The importance of coding in school, and beyond...

Coding has quickly become a crucial subject taught in schools, which makes sense when you look around you at the high-tech world that we live in.

Arguably, the most important goal within education is to prepare students for their futures. And this, therefore, means that any changes within the jobs landscape should be reflected in the modern school curriculum.

Over the last 20 years, coding and programming have become some of the most sought after skills. In 2014, coding was introduced to the English and Welsh national curriculums so that schools across the country must offer it to all their pupils. One aim is to introduce kids to it early to foster a real interest and understanding of the subject for the country’s future tech progression. Creating a code-literate generation is the challenge facing all countries but we have faith that the next generation really are the tech generation, who have grown up surrounded by smartphones and the internet!

Coding and employment

Learning to code can unlock many doors with future employers, not just for a career within coding or programming but also for jobs in data analysis, engineering, software applications, web and video game development, and computer science, to name just a few. The range of jobs you can choose from, with coding skills firmly under your belt, is pretty vast, and a trained programmer or coder often has their pick of companies, industries and corners of the world in which to work. And then there’s the matter of money; with a current lack of talent out there these tech whizzes can almost name their salaries too, its simple supply and demand!

So, let’s take a look at a handful of the benefits on offer for all school children who learn how to code:

  • Coding has become highly-sought after - Coding is a core skill, one that could even be said to rival good old-fashioned reading and writing, and it can help kids develop a deeper understanding of how technology works. So, given the extent to which technology shapes all of our lives nowadays, learning to code will surely enhance children’s understanding of the world around them.
  • Learning to code teaches kids how to think differently - Learning coding in school isn’t just about being taught how to type lines of code; it is also about teaching children how to think differently. Coding requires logical thinking and the ability to see the bigger picture. Kids will learn that complex problems are essentially a bunch of smaller ones that can be solved, one by one, in sequence. So, they will be taught to identify the fault, break the code down into smaller chunks, and test and repair each one separately before moving on. This is a key feature of computational thinking, and this mindset will make great coders.
  • Learn whilst you’re most receptive - children grow up with an innate ability to adapt to new technologies: computers, smartphones, games consoles. Young people have the ability to pick up complex or technical tasks more easily; sadly, this diminishes the older we get. Therefore, as we age we can find it harder to learn new skills, technical or otherwise. In short - future generations should learn to code while they’re young and most receptive to picking up new skills.
  • It will instil confidence and creativity - coding teaches children to experiment and gives them the confidence to be creative. Kids thrive off of positive feedback and encouragement they get from creating something themselves; and because coding is easy for them to pick up, this means confidence and creativity will come in barrel loads for them! Kids will love being able to confidently create imaginative games, music, artwork and other activities with coding.
  • It will help develop problem-solving skills - the ability to solve problems is a very useful skill in life generally and we want our children to become excellent problem solvers so they can overcome anything they face. Kids will learn how software engineers use maths and logic to problem solve, as well as an appreciation of how things work. Rainforest Coding teaches coding through problem solving while playing games and being sent on adventures to virtual far-flung realms.
  • It encourages bounce-back-ability (otherwise known as perseverance and resilience) - coding is tricky and you can get it wrong a lot before you get it right, so to keep trying and testing new things, failing and trying again, shows real perseverance. So, learning to code will instil the ability in children to bounce back from failure, another essential life skill that students will draw upon throughout their lives, in and out of the workplace.
  • It will prepare children for the future jobs market - schools have a duty to provide pupils with all the skills and tools they will need to thrive in the modern workplace, and now more than ever that means an ability to code. There is no point in providing children with skills that aren’t in demand once they eventually join the world of work. So, by including coding into their school learning, we can be assured we are giving them a necessary tool for establishing a successful career.

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