School children in Wales have already had the taste for coding thanks to an inspiring outreach programme begun in 2003 called Technocamps led by Swansea University in partnership with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and the newly formed University of South Wales.
This programme, which has been funded since 2011 mainly through the European Social Fund (ESF), has brought computer science to life and has taught fundamental computing skills to over 10,000 young people throughout Wales just over the past three years..
Professor Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps, said, ‘It is great to hear that England have taken the initiative and introduced Computing on the curriculum at such an early age.’
‘In Wales Technocamps has driven Computing Education in Secondary Schools, as well as engaged fully with primary schools, to allow pupils to have the head start that their equals in England are now getting. This will ensure that young people in Wales will not get left behind in what will inevitably be a demanding future for them. These fundamental skills will ensure that they will be equipped and ready to take on the digital world that is now encompassing our everyday lives.’
He added, ‘Currently there are no similar plans to introduce computing into the curriculum in Wales. Technocamps, however, is already geared up to support Welsh Government on this, should they need it, with resources already available for pupils and CPD training ready for teachers through its Technoteach.’
One of its other programmes ‘Playground Computing’ funded through NESTA has over the past year introduced the concept of computing to Primary Schools in Wales through fun activities which the young people find easy to engage with.
TechnoTeach, another project within the Technocamps programme which is funded by the National Science Academy, has trained nearly 100 teachers from both primary and secondary schools from across South Wales (with participants travelling weekly to Swansea from as far afield as Cardiff and Llandrindod Wells). This project provides training which supports and enhances the ICT and the new Computing curricula taught in schools, colleges and educational establishments. It is free and gives teachers and educators the chance to up-skill in Computer Science, which will be essential if and when Wales follows England’s lead in introducing the new Computing curriculum.
Through these various projects, Technocamps has witnessed a surge of pupils and teachers across Wales now eager to take this a step further and learn more about coding. With more and more schools in Wales introducing digital technologies such as iPads intro the classrooms, this is the next step on the journey to get young people to understand coding principles.
- Tuesday 2 September 2014 15.29 BST
- Tuesday 2 September 2014 15.34 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295050