Upwell school visited by Google experts

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Youngsters at an Upwell school fired up their enthusiam for computer coding when Google experts visited them for a special session.

Organisers of the nationwide tour hope to inspire a generation of British computer whizzes and Upwell Community Primary School was among those nominated by local MP Liz Truss who is backing the initiative to improve computing education in schools.

Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: “In an increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever that we equip our young people to make the most of the opportunities offered by the burgeoning tech industry.

“The partnership between Google and Code Club is a remarkable initiative that enables children in Norfolk and across the country to learn the computing and coding skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. I am delighted to see this coding in practice at Upwell Primary School.”

The MPs are supporting Code Clubs, after school sessions that teach primary age children the basics of computer coding. There are currently over 1700 Code Clubs in the UK, and 16 in Norfolk alone.

Clare Sutcliffe, co-founder and CEO of Code Club, said: “We are excited to be given the opportunity to spread the word about Code Club around the UK. It’s going to be great to meet our existing volunteers and help new ones get started.

“We’re really appreciative of the support we are receiving from local leaders and hope this will take us towards our aim of establishing clubs in 25% of primary schools by 2015.”

Code Club has teamed up with Google to run a nationwide tour of schools, so top experts can pass their knowledge on to nine to eleven-year-olds, with an ambitious target of placing volunteers in 5,000 schools by 2015. Recruiting more volunteers is a critical part of the enterprise, as most primary teachers do not know how to code so cannot pass these skills on to students.

Dan Cobley, Managing Director, Google UK said: “It goes without saying that coding is a terrifically important skill for our young people. Learning to code will be vital for the jobs of the future, it makes you better at problem solving and logical thinking, and most of all it is great fun. We started in Glasgow and are traveling the length and breadth of the country to bang the drum for coding in schools, and get local tech experts to volunteer their time and knowledge.”