New virtual Coding Academy launched for P5-P7 pupils

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Fife College, with support from InvestFife’s Business Enterprise Team, has launched a Virtual Coding Academy for Fife’s primary school pupils.

The Academy, which is split into two blocks, both of which are 18-weeks long, is aimed at pupils in P5-P7, offering them an introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming with a focus on HTML and Python.

The course was designed by Fife College, which developed all material and set up a comprehensive library of video tutorials and resources, which allow class teachers to deliver the Academy in school.

The 18-week programme is proving a popular addition to the primary curriculum, with over 1,000 pupils taking part from across Fife, and allows them to work through a range of basic programming on Python and HTML.

On Python, the young people can learn to programme games and the course will culminate in a secret message task, where learners can make an encryption programme to send and receive secret messages with a friend. The HTML element of the Academy brings in practical and creative exercises including drafting text and uploading images for a webpage.

Rebecca Blyth, Academic and Quality Manager of Computing and Technologies at Fife College, commented:

“I am thrilled to support young learners to develop their essential skills in programming and maths, for futures in a computing and digital world. The Virtual Coding Academy is designed to provide young learners with introductory skills and knowledge of programming.

"Learners can gain the ability to code using HTML, CSS and Python programming languages, which embeds the meta and employability skills required for our computer programmers of the future.

“Highlighting the potential career opportunities at such a young age and engaging the young student's imagination is key to building their economic future.” 

Working under the InvestFife banner, which is the new brand for Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, the Culture of Enterprise Programme has been marketing the Academy to Fife schools, including St Serf’s Primary school in Dunfermline, and dealing with registrations and all enquiries.

Caoimhe Boylan, a teacher at St Serf’s Primary School, commented:

“The children are enjoying using their new knowledge of HTML tags to link in with their literacy learning – they are coding scenes from our class novel by using and adapting the weekly lessons.”

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said:

“This is an excellent addition to InvestFife’s Business Enterprise offering, supporting children through its Culture of Enterprise programme, to develop a programming mindset.

“This is a key part of learning, as we find that more and more businesses are online, especially in these COVID-19 times.

"By enabling our young people to foster a more logical and problem-solving, as well as creative mindset, they will learn how to communicate with a computer, as well as a wider audience, offering commercial awareness and inspiring the future generation.”