Schools offered new GCSE coding project

A new educational coding project is set to make computer programming fun and accessible for IT teachers and students.


A new educational coding project is set to make computer programming fun and accessible for IT teachers and students.

Developed by Intel and CoderDojo in partnership with e-skills UK, the project teaches students the basic steps in algorithmic problem-solving, through flow charts and pseudo code, as well as how to write code in HTML5 and CSS using Notepad++.

At present the challenge culminates in a fun challenge to debug code in an app, but from the end of January students will also be able to use JavaScript to create a game that teaches beginners how to play the piano.

The coding project is part of Behind the Screen, an employer-led initiative to equip GCSE Computing students with technical and soft skills that are vital in today’s digitised world.

Created by employers and supported by higher education institutions and teachers, it is intended that the project curriculum will support a GCSE, as well as forming the basis for other qualifications.

Behind the Screen uses real-life industry challenges to inspire students through project-based work and interactive resources. Students design as well as build, interpret client briefs and test finished products. They also learn about topics such as cyber security, big data, mobile and entrepreneurship skills.

Access to the Behind the Screen website is free to all UK schools, giving teachers access to hundreds of downloadable resources including industry standard software, lesson plans and assessment information.

It is supported by over 40 leading employers from the technology sector - including BT, Accenture and Capgemini - so teachers can be sure they are delivering industry-relevant topics.

Noel King from CoderDojo said: "The adoption of technology in every aspect of life has created a level of curiosity, excitement and coolness around technology, where students are now looking to become creators of technology and not just consumers.

"We constantly look to create courses that engage students, and there is no better way than this game that teaches the fundamentals of programming and algorithms as well as the necessary skills to start creating games and apps."

Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said: “It is essential that young people learn the language of code in the same way as they learn to read and write. The next generation of UK leaders, managers and technicians must be equipped with modern computing skills if we are to remain competitive in the global economy."

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