Primary School Children at First Tower School are proud to have completed their first coding course with the help of Scratch, a leading online learning tool, and coding books provided by Jersey CRM and IT Consultancy firm XRM Architects.

With the European Commission predicting that there will be a shortage of 1 million computer professionals by 2020, it is becoming vital that children from a young age are encouraged to get involved in coding and programming to fulfil this need for a new generation of IT literate workforces. Programmes such as Scratch are designed specifically to help young people – sometimes as young as five or six – to think creatively, reason, and work collaboratively to create solutions to simple problems as well as games through coding, algorithms and basic programming; all key skills for the 21st century.

When we first offered the course to children in Years 1 and 2, we were overwhelmed by the response. These children often have computers and devices at home and are now learning how they work, what programming is and how to do it themselves. Even children who are just learning to read and write are able to code using Scratch and produce their own computer programmes which gives them a great sense of pride.

Elaine Feltham, Scratch leader at First Tower School

At the end of the ten-week course, children are given a book to help them continue to learn to code at home, which have been provided by XRM Architects, a leading Jersey CRM provider.

Youth unemployment is a real challenge for the future and this, coupled with the need for coders and programmers, makes courses such as Scratch so valuable. The children that enjoy this course could go on to be the next generation of Jersey’s technology leaders and so when we were approached to provide the materials we jumped at the chance. I am passionate about encouraging technology in education and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Damon McDougall, a pupil in Year 2 at First Tower School who has completed the first course says:

Coding club was great but it was especially awesome to make your own clone at the end!

Zachery Walsh O'Brien

Written By: Zachery Walsh O'Brien

Zachery is a Web Developer with a great eye for front end web development. He has studied Graphic Design, received a Higher National Diploma in Visual Communications, and interned as a Graphic Designer upon leaving college in a digital design agency in Ireland. Zachery originally focused on WordPress web design but has now diversified his skillset towards a web development role being able to leverage many front end languages and frameworks.

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