Clare Sutcliffe on Code Club going worldwide

.net: Why do you feel it’s so important for kids to learn to code? We often hear (although not from web industry figures!) people arguing it’s a relatively niche skill.
CS: Yep — that’s one opinion I hear occasionally too! But what I’d say is Code Club isn’t necessarily about creating an army of child coders. We’re about inspiring children and opening their eyes to new possibilities. Coding is so helpful when it comes to supporting subjects like science and maths. We have a lot of anecdotal evidence coming in from teachers that students who previously disengaged in those subjects are now totally engaged because they can see a real-world application for what they’re learning. They know if they learn trigonometry, they can make a monkey swim through the sea in their computer game — and that’s a real example of something we do in Code Club!

.net: So is Code Club about emphasising play and creativity as much as coding?
CS: Well, it’s another way of getting things into a child’s learning memory. We actually don’t make a big deal out of the code stuff, which I know sounds really weird. What we do is say “you’re going to use a variable, but you don’t need to know what that means yet — let’s just use it”. Then later we’ll talk about that again, and the kids will already know it. It gets snuck in, like vegetables into a meal!

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