Lifestyle

Coding for kids! Encourage curious minds to be our stars of tomorrow

Discover how young people are learning to navigate our digital world

Some kids are born for ballet or footie or the West End stage, but what about those with curious minds who have an innate thirst for problem-solving?

This is where coding shouts from the sidelines to welcome them with open arms.

For those of us who left the school gates a while ago, we will have been taught the basics on a computer, like touch-typing or perhaps spreadsheets and word processing programmes.

Fast-forward to today, and our little ones are now able to learn how to write a set of instructions to override a computer into action so they’re prepped to live in our digital world.

[Credit: Coding Today]

One organisation that champions young people getting to grips with our tech-savvy future is Code Today, which runs courses for kids aged 7-16 that involves interactive learning.

Speaking exclusively to Uspire, founder Stephen Gruppetta told us why he launched the business and how he hopes to inspire kids with the art of coding while still making it fun.

Stephen said: “My first career was that of an academic science, having completed a PhD in physics then gone through a number of post-doctoral positions until I got a tenured university post.

“However, it didn’t take long for me to realise that I wasn’t going to spend my whole career in academia. In my mid-30s, I decided it was time to move on.”

[Credit: Annie Spratt]

During his time in academia, Stephen felt connected to two components of his work that he found very rewarding and recognised that he was also good at: teaching and programming.

As well as becoming a father himself, this created synergy with his own talents, and he decided to pursue a path in children’s education which felt more personal to him.

Stephen continued: “This created the perfect storm for creating Code Today, a company focused on teaching coding to children in a modern, thorough and professional manner.

“Since 2016, we have expanded and refined our curriculum and our methods and have taught thousands of children, getting them started on their journey through coding.”

[Credit: Stephen Gruppetta]

Prior to this year, the courses were face-to-face sessions held at people’s homes or in the organisation’s teaching venues. However, then the global pandemic began to snowball.

Now, they have learned to adapt and offer a new hybrid course that includes live sessions delivered remotely, videos and a support system to guide students as they practise coding.

Fortunately, the response has been positive from both existing pre-pandemic clients and the many new ones that have joined since and given a dramatic boost to the company.

Stephen said: “Our loyal clients adapted very well to the changes, and the many new students who joined our community are now not just from London, but from all over the UK and worldwide. We have gone from being a local business to an international one.

“This year has been difficult, however, we have ended it with a new business model that is well-suited for growth and we plan to keep momentum going.”

[Credit: Avi Richards]

Stephen added that his greatest achievement is to see the joy each session brings to the children, and how much they look forward to their next class and grow in confidence with their new skillset.

If you like the sound of learning coding but don’t have kids, or they’ve flown the nest, then maybe you’ll be tempted by the adult courses?!

There is an introductory programme on offer that starts from the basics, aimed at those with no or little prior knowledge of coding. While the follow-up course explores topics and methods specific to using coding for analysing and manipulating data.

Perhaps this year’s new resolution might just be to learn a new skill…

For more info, click here: Code Today.

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