Primary Education & Coding: Too much or step in the right direction for future British Prosperity?

We provide a high level of education to contribute to the future growth and development of the economy. We teach a wide range of subjects from an early age to ensure that all industry sectors are supplied with industry experts. We teach I.T to make children technically savvy from a young to run parallel with the expansion of the digital economy.

The UK’s digital economy is thrivng at an incredible rate, now estimated to contribute roughly £100bn to it (http://www.techcityuk.com/investors/).

But why are we now starting to teach children to code…?

…and the answer is this. App development plays a significant role in the UK’s economy, reported to have generated around £4bn in revenue in 2014, and has more than likely grown since (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/26/uk-apps-economy-worth-four-billion-pounds). This now takes us on to the main topic in discussion, below.

A couple of weeks ago we were directed to an article on the CBeebies section on the BBC website. Although smothered in easy-on-the-eye imagery it actually addressed a somewhat adult topic; Computer ‘Coding’ is NOW an official component of the national curriculum within primary schools.

Despite being in the government’s pipeline for quite some time it’s officially been rolled out, and primary schools are as we speak teaching kids how to ‘code’. Personally we feel it’s an absolute delight for all of us that we have the technology to mandate such curriculum, interestingly the first in the world to do so, but not all will welcome this.

Inevitably being an app and website development company means that there’s going to be an element of biasness on offer, but let’s take a look at the comments we think this news will generate.

Firstly it’s important to understand that what being taught isn’t coding as typically generalised; tuning in with no food, drink and human interaction as portrayed in David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’.

It’s actually a stepping stone to learning useful life skills. Project planning, management and execution are the key skills being taught here, which are appropriately filtered down into simple consumable commodities suitable for a five year olds attentional span. And it’s a pretty impressive skill to have at such a young age!

It’s also worth a mention that Barclays Bank have also shown their support for the scheme by offering complimentary 2-hour coding sessions for children aged 7-17.

What Else?

It’s been mentioned by some that pupils at this age should be learning the core subjects i.e., mathematics and science. But let’s wait one second, surely coding integrates both of them…right?

Something else very interesting about ‘coding’ is that it teaches you how to create rather than just consume. Like thoroughly enjoying a particular song but actually being able to put the components together to create it yourself.

One of our Senior Software Developers, Kyle, started learning the basics of how to operate a computer when he was 2. He says it has proven to be a huge contributor to him establishing his career path, conveniently during a point in time when digital marketing is booming!

Now the criticisms…

It could be argued that ‘coding’ will lead to kids wanting more ‘screen time’ during times when they should be playing and/or learning other subjects. Our response to this is…find a healthy balance between screen-time focused lessons, i.e., IT and the other core subjects.

It could also be perceived to be too advanced for the average 5 year old. However measures are in place to ensure that every level of ‘coding’ taught throughout the school years matches the development levels of the recipients.

All in all, we feel that in a digitally advanced era there’s no harm in giving schoolkids a slight head start. Especially in a society which is inevitably going to become digitally dependent.