How to introduce a coding program in your child’s school
Unfortunately, an all too common story
Since we started Coding Kids 12 months ago, I’ve met concerned parents who often tell me these stories, or a similar version of it:
“I tried starting a coding club at the school. I think the school and parent committee are still talking about it.”
Parents get tired of waiting for their school to start a coding program, and feel somehow relieved that I share their concern. They ask if I can come into their child’s school, and sit down and have a chat with the principal, deputy principal or head of curriculum to discuss the possibility of offering a coding club at their school.
After discussions with interested parents, the school principal or head of ICT, we recognise that both parents and the school want to offer a coding club to support their enrichment program. Often, schools struggle with placing additional workload for their staff and teachers to deliver extra enrichment programs. Delivering an extra-curricular coding and robotics program requires professional development training, learning to use new technology, curriculum development, and changing to a new style of learning based on trial and error. School administrators and parents feel relieved when they realise that there is an easy and convenient solution that delivers a quality program for their school community.
An easy and convenient solution
Here are 12 ways Coding Kids offers the school, parents and students an easy solution to deliver a before-school or after-school coding club:
- There is no extra work for the school or teachers. The school community gets access to a value-adding enrichment program without placing additional work load onto school staff. We will use the school computer room.
- We have public liability insurance and all Coding Mentors have blue cards.
- We have lessons plans ready. Each 1-hour lesson is delivered based on our lesson plans. Each term is focuses on achieving a set of programming competencies. Our Scratch program is based on a five-level program which the students work through to learn about computer programming concepts, computational thinking, algorithmic thinking, logic, maths, graphic design and user interface.
- Our tutors receive beautiful, warm messages of appreciation from parents, students and school teachers.
- We normally offer classes before and after school e.g. 7.30-8.30am and 3.05-4.05pm. This offers easy once-only pick-up or drop-off for parents with the coding club located at the school.
- Generally we access the computer room after the cleaners unlock the room in the mornings and we finish before cleaners lock up the room in the afternoons.
- We run two separate classes at each school. One class for Years 2-4 and another class for Years 4-6. This helps students to learn at their own pace.
- Should a parent be late for picking up children, Coding Mentors will wait until the children are picked up.
- Parents send enquiries directly to Coding Kids. It is easy to reach us and we respond promptly to queries.
- We run 8-week blocks per school term which fits in nicely with 9 – 11 week terms. It is often easiest for schools and parents to allow 1 week of term to start and settle into the rhythm of school again before starting an extracurricular activity in week 2 of the term.
- We provide updates at the end of the term so parents can see what their child has learned. Our tutors are also available to discuss progress with the parent.
- Projects created by students are saved in an online portfolio. Parents can view their child’s work and progress.
Parents are grateful for the school’s openness to welcome Coding Kids. “When they (the children) got home they were very keen to show me what they had done and have been on Scratch ever since and are still tinkering away now”, said Jackie Hua, a mother of 2 Coding Kids students. “Oscar is LOVING coding! Can I put his name down for a similar time next term? Thank you!”, said Mary Jane Webb, a mother of a Coding Kids student, even before term ended.
Coding Kids also solves the school’s predicament of giving staff and teachers more work on top of their regular workload. We offer an easy and convenient solution for a school to deliver a value-adding enrichment program to their school community. Coding Kids organise all the administration, enquiries, payments, lesson plans and mentor training. Our Coding Mentors receive great customer feedback term after term.
Perhaps more importantly, what our students like about Coding Kids, “Learning. I enjoyed learning techniques and strategies that will benefit me immensely in the future”, said Zander, a Year 5 student from Leichhardt.