UKFast extends Code Club to Cheshire schools

Article date: Wed, 16 Nov 2016 09:14 GMT

UKFast Code Club

 Manchester hosting firm UKFast today moved a step closer to achieving its goal of establishing a code club in every school in the UK, with the launch of a weekly club for Year 6 students at Alderley Edge School for Girls.

The tech firm first launched its in-house code club in 2015, as the first business in the North West to deliver a club from commercial premises. UKFast’s club was honoured with Star Code Club status by the nationwide Code Club network only last month. A digital skills shortage is acknowledged as one of the key barriers to the UK’s economic prosperity.    

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “Our clubs have proven incredibly popular and taking them into schools is the next logical step.

“Students don’t just learn about the technical side of coding, but how they can put these skills into practice too. They learn to solve problems, communicate and think creatively.

“Young people love technology and want to be part of the creative process. Electronic devices are encouraging students to think, play and create.

“It helps for businesses like UKFast to be involved and energise kids to see the potential of tech and the opportunities in the tech industry.”

UKFast plans to take its new in-school coding clubs, taught by the firm’s apprentices, to other schools in the North West at the start of next year.

Director of People Development at UKFast, Arlene Bulfin, explained that the firm’s vision for the new code club has partly come from the firm’s current apprentices, who plan and deliver every club.

She said: “These apprentices know they are part of something really special, and they are certainly ambitious. They plan to train each next generation of apprentices to lead these clubs so they can extend the scheme geographically. There’s no reason why we couldn’t inspire others to do the same and in a few years we could see a code club in every school in the UK.”

Bulfin explained that taking code clubs into schools allows students to work towards a bigger project, for which they will be accredited at the end of term.

 She added: “We want to keep the vibe of these new code clubs similar to the ones we host at UKFast Campus. We want them to feel as un-school like as possible.”

Junior School Headmistress at Alderley Edge School for Girls, Bridget Howard, said: “This coding club enables our girls to understand the technology that is shaping their world and introduces them to the creation of computer software, apps and websites. Our girls are always enthusiastic to learn new skills and they have really enjoyed the sessions with UKFast to date.”

UKFast already reaches more than 57,000 pupils in Greater Manchester, delivering workshops, code clubs, work experience and hands-on training with the latest technology, such as the Raspberry Pi.

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