Two best friends launch coding dojo in Aylesbury teaching youngsters about tech

Two best friends are behind a new coding workshop aimed at youngsters aged between seven and 14 in Aylesbury.

Code Ninjas Aylesbury is opening to grant children the opportunity to explore coding outside of the classroom.

Robin Theakston and Charlie Gunn have set up the project to help children create their own games with their friends.

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Code Ninjas Robin Theakston and Charlie Gunn,

Code Ninjas will be based in the Aylesbury campus of Buckinghamshire New University.

It will be a parent-free zone allowing gamers and budding coders to learn more about the process.

Computing is now highlighted as a key part of children’s education through all four key stages.

The Code Ninjas Dojo

It reads: “A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.”

However, the team behind Coding Ninjas believes that an inadequate amount of time is dedicated to this skill, something based on recent Ofsted reports they have read.

“Between us, we have five children – I have two boys, aged seven and ten, and a daughter who is 11,” said Charlie. “I’m super proud that my daughter is attending our sessions - like all kids her age, she loves anything to do with gaming, drones and robots.

"I’ve spent much of my career working in finance which, like most sectors over the course of the last decade, has become more reliant on

technology.

"It’s obvious to me that our kids’ lives will be hugely improved by understanding how coding works.

"The future is exciting, but our children need to be prepared. We want to help give children all the tools they need to succeed.”

“A key motivator for launching this business together is our desire to create a different experience for children living locally,” added Robin.

“There are so many after-school clubs and weekend camps out there for children that have a passion for sport or the arts, but nothing that encourages a love of coding.

"Recently Ofsted has highlighted a lack of time dedicated to the coding curriculum. We want to support local children to feel confident in their own digital abilities and passions.

"As a dad of two, it’s something I feel particularly passionate about.”

Students who are called ninjas are rewarded with different coloured wristbands as they progress through the course, in a similar way that belts are given as rewards for people learning a martial arts discipline.

Code Ninjas holds ‘belt-up’ ceremonies to recognised the ninjas who have completed programmes.

Ninjas can attend sessions up to twice a week at a time that is convenient for the whole family – so that doesn’t have to mean the same day and time every week.

Coding camps run during half-term and the summer holidays where kids can attend during the week.

The studio is also open on Saturdays.

A similar dojo opened in High Wycombe and currently has 40 ninjas signed on.

Robin said: “We’re also keen to bring credible and valuable work experience opportunities to budding Senseis.

"We’ve already recruited a great team of young, energetic tech-lovers who share our dedication for developing local children’s love of coding.

"The majority of our Senseis are school leavers or university students with an interest in STEM and we’re keen to welcome more into the team as student numbers grow.”