St John’s pupils create their own computer games during British Science Week

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Pupils at St John’s C of E (VA) Combined School in Princes Risborough programmed and designed their own computer games during a free workshop run by ComputerXplorers Oxfordshire as part of British Science Week.

Analysts predict that by 2030 the top jobs will all be technology based which is why ComputerXplorers Oxfordshire established the annual Programming for Primaries Awareness Day.

The educational technology specialist is delivering the programming workshop free of charge to help children get the first step on the digital skills ladder.

The aim of the initiative is to underline the importance of coding and programming and shine a spotlight on the resources available to schools to help them engage children at an early age.

Deborah Trujillo-Philippopoulos, director of ComputerXplorers Oxfordshire, said: “Programming skills are vital to almost every aspect of technology and science and at ComputerXplorers one of our key aims is to help primary schools nurture an early interest in computing.

“These skills are central to economic progress at an individual level as well as at a national level and are just as valuable to children who go on to work outside of the technology sector.”

To date the total number of children benefiting from the free programming workshops is in excess of 1,000.

Non-specialist teachers in the primary sector can find the curriculum for computing challenging but with expert guidance and support from ComputerXplorers it can be much less overwhelming.

Programming for Primaries is supported by Microsoft and CAS (Computing at School) and the workshops align with the Government’s primary education strategy.

Simon Humphries, national coordinator for Computing at School (CAS), said: “Computer science is basically about creating new things. You can create anything and do anything – the only limit is your imagination. By equipping children with foundation technology skills through free workshops on such things as programming and in particular the computational thinking which underpins programming, we enrich their lives, their education and their future careers.”