Since 2014, children as young as 5 have been taking coding lessons as part of the ‘computing curriculum’ which aims to provide a long-term solution to an upcoming skills gap between the number of technology jobs available and the people qualified to fill them in the UK.
Launched to much fanfare – and some trepidation from parents who were unsure what coding even is – the lessons prove why coding is important for kids, while also showcasing the opportunities that they could take advantage of in the future. Still unsure what coding is? The short explanation is it’s a way of communicating with a computer and giving it instructions to create or do something.
From running our smartphones to developing computer games (or playing ones like Roblox and Minecraft) and operating traffic light systems, coding plays a huge role in so many aspects of our lives – especially now we’re all hooked to our devices almost 24/7. If your children want to learn coding, it’s never too early and there are so many benefits – both for now and in their future.
A knowledge of coding will help develop:
As children start to code, they’ll start thinking about things more analytically, breaking up a task into separate components and deciphering a way to provide a solution in an effective and efficient manner.
“Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” This quote from Steve Jobs shows how coding can help children challenge themselves and figure out solutions to common issues.
The ability to think differently
While coding, children may have to start stepping out of their comfort zone and think about things in a different way. This will help them develop their technological mindset and understand how to achieve an end goal.
Planning & organisational skills
To make a success of coding, your children will need to put in the hours to first learn this new skill and then put it into practice. To do this, they’ll have to show some discipline and understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Time management will be key to this.
Communication, confidence & creativity
If your children take to coding, not only will they have the ability to create their own program or game but maybe they’ll be happy to share this knowledge with their friends and family. Think about how much fun you could have bouncing ideas off each other for what to do next with their newfound skills?
Imagine coding your very own program before you are even 10 years old. You’d surely want to do this kind of thing again and again – and discover other skills you would be proud of. Mastering coding can provide a good grounding in this.
Start coding today
Children will enjoy coding as a fun and engaging way of learning and developing their maths knowledge and seeing the results of their actions. In addition to their school lessons, there are many books, toys and games you can borrow or buy to help your child on their way to mastering coding including How to Code a Rollercoaster, How Coding Works and Kids Get Coding: Coding in the Real World.
The Farr Foundation is a charity that supports organisations dedicated to inspiring school-aged children, raising their aspirations through STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) activities. We do this through the provision of grant funding throughout the calendar year.