Camden invests in next generation of coders, benefiting 1,000 students per year
Camden Council has hired a specialist trainer, the Film and Video Workshop, to run cutting-edge computer coding and programming sessions for our secondary school students as part of the borough’s drive to Get Camden Coding.
Students from Regent High School, in Camden, helped to launch the scheme on Thursday, 27 February at the Camden City Learning Centre, with a session on Lego robotics. They are among about 1,000 secondary students per year who will attend the ‘digital experience’ each academic year.
Simon Oatley, Director of the Film and Video Workshop, said: “We are delighted to be part of this groundbreaking initiative in Camden. No other local authority has invested in this way to inspire children to take up these aspects of the new computing curriculum, which involves using computer coding to manipulate objects.”
Councillor Theo Blackwell, who is leading Camden’s new digital strategy, said: “We need to start children early to get them excited by the new computing curriculum. We are doing that here in Camden by enabling children in primary and secondary schools to experiment with coding, manipulating robots and mini-computers, as well as multi-media applications, so they can see the practical uses of computer programming in daily life. Camden is home to very many creative industries at the cutting-edge of technology, from games to video special effects. We want children here to be able to work in those industries not just use their products.”
Alongside this exciting initiative, the Council has also partnered with University College London’s computer science department to deliver a series of skills improvement modules for our secondary school teachers across all nine secondary schools. This will see them gain Continued Professional Development training from a world recognised learning institute.
This innovative partnership is part of our pioneering work to provide our young people with a range of opportunities to develop their ICT skills and qualifications. Last year Camden became the first local authority to introduce computer coding clubs in all 43 local state primary schools.
The project will help make digital education more appealing to our young people and inspire them to make the shift from consuming digital technologies to creating and building their own. We also want employers to know that young people in Camden are equipped with cutting edge skills to make them competitive in the marketplace.
It is currently estimated that the tech workforce is expected to grow twice as fast as the overall UK workforce over the next decade, with technology now an integral part of virtually every business in the UK. Those businesses are heavily dependent on cutting-edge technologies and IT skills. Camden has a strong local economy and we need to do all we can to continue to attract businesses, jobs and investment to the borough. This is well evidenced in the thriving creative and knowledge sectors around Kings Cross Quarter and the Francis Crick Centre, shortly due to open in Somers Town.
Through this project we are continuing to lead the way in engaging students in computer technology, supporting them to develop highly desirable skills in a fast growing sector and investing in long-term economic benefits for the borough.
This is part of the wider objectives of Camden Council and its partners to create the conditions for and harness the benefits of economic growth, and make Camden a place where everyone has a chance to succeed.
Find out more about Camden’s digital strategy.