In the Classroom: Boundary Oak School, Fareham

From left, Jacob Kniveton, Yasmin Thomas, James Hallion, Jack Lovett, Jessica Johns and (sitting) Jacob Hampshire during the Coding Club. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150783-7132)
From left, Jacob Kniveton, Yasmin Thomas, James Hallion, Jack Lovett, Jessica Johns and (sitting) Jacob Hampshire during the Coding Club. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150783-7132)

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At Boundary Oak School, Fareham, pupils have become increasingly involved in coding, which was added to the curriculum last year, writes head of marketing and admissions Chloe Pestell.

To give the pupils a chance to learn more about this we have set up Coding Club which is now a popular co-curricular club where pupils have the opportunity to spend even more time dedicated to code.

James Polansky, co-proprietor and deputy head runs Coding Club along with Year 7 pupils Jack Lovett and James Hallion.

Mr Polansky said: ‘Children want to learn how to code. It empowers them. It gives them control of their computer or tablet and their learning.

‘They decide what their app or games will do and more often than not they teach themselves or each other.

‘Coding creates life-long learners and the pupils all think it’s cool.’

As a school it is our view that the earlier children are introduced to coding, the more comfortable they will be when presented with more in-depth learning opportunities.

Also, early experience of coding helps children to understand how computers work and how valuable they are rather than merely fun playthings.

‘For most of them, coding is an entirely new experience; something they’ve never done before,’ said Mr Polansky.

‘It’s great to see them enjoying themselves but also watching as they start to see the computers that they are so used to playing Minecraft or Roblox on in a different way.’

Even if a classroom isn’t full of future computer programmers, learning the fundamentals of coding provides pupils with skills that will serve them well in virtually any career they choose.

Understanding computer code is an important part of what makes us literate in today’s technology.

It involves dividing up a task into its most basic pieces and then putting them together in a logical order.

This analytical thinking process has lots of real-world applications.

At Boundary Oak coding lessons extend beyond the ICT suite; building apps or games is far more engaging than arithmetic yet these activities all teach the same concepts.

Junior pupils can learn about angles as they work on animation, not just through textbook questions.

‘There aren’t many subjects where pupils sign up to learn in their spare time. Coding and Coding Club are on course to be our most popular subject and club,’ said Mr Polansky. ‘It is this passion could that may be the one that produces the next Google or Facebook,’.

What the pupils say...

Jessica Johns, 11, year 6

Coding Club is really enjoyable but I also find it interesting and challenging, which I like too.

Coding can help us if we’re working on a computer as in our jobs, when we finish school but also in lots of other ways too. I think that learning to code is going to be really useful in any job we choose.

Yasmin Thomas, 10, year 6

It is very challenging but doing it means that we are entering the technical world in life, which is really important for our future.

It’s amazing what you can do in just an hour.

We need code everywhere – even when we don’t think that we do!

Jacob Kniveton, 10, year 6

I love playing computer games and learning online so I love Coding Club. I especially like that you can make games, and also movies too.

The more I learn the more I get into it. It’s really fun.

Jack Lovett, 11, year 6

Whether you would like to learn coding professionally or as a hobby it’s a really useful thing to learn.

My favourite thing about coding is that you can do whatever you want, you’re in control of what you want to create.

James Hallion, 12, year 7

I like it because I am in control of everything.

It’s the future of everything; computers are the future but I don’t think that this is a negative.

I think it’s exciting.