Coding clubs inspire next generation of digital creators
Libraries in the Vale of Glamorgan are among the first in Wales to offer children classes to develop their computer programming skills.
The Code Clubs combine learning and enjoyment to help young people develop programming skills. The clubs are led by library staff who have received training from a nationwide scheme.
The clubs are usually delivered in schools but the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s libraries saw an opportunity connect with young people in the community in a new way and were the first in Wales to get involved.
At the sessions the young participants are introduced to ‘Scratch’ a visual programming language which enables them to build programs one click at a time. The afterschool sessions have so far seen the young programmers develop their own games, animations and interactive stories.
Cllr Stuart Egan, the cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: “We all use things in our everyday lives that run on code, such as computer games, smart phone apps, social media and websites. Understanding code not only means you understand how modern technology works, it means you have the skills to create new technology yourself.
“In the future, more and more jobs will require people to understand using code, so getting young people thinking about coding is really important in terms of equipping them for adult life. What’s more, it’s great fun too.”
The Vale’s libraries welcome children of all abilities, from those who have never coded anything before and are just starting out, to those who’ve got a real passion for the subject. Code clubs are currently running in Cowbridge, Dinas Powys, Llantwit Major and Penarth libraries and will soon start in Barry. Further information can be found online at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/libraries. More information on code clubs can be found at www.codeclub.org.uk.