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What should children learn about coding?

Different coding languages are utilised in a variety of employment settings today. Working as a chemist in a lab, I'm also doing work on coding for my company to help develop their computational chemistry.

Schools today have a range of approaches to coding. Some schools teach about coding starting from Computer Science GCSE. Some schools don't offer Computer Science GCSE. Some schools approach coding in their KS3 curriculums, others don't.

And the reality is that many pupils up and down the country have very limited access to technology at home, so this area of the curriculum is one that suffers massively from social deprivation issues.

What has your experience been (if any) of coding in schools?
How do you think schools should try to incorporate coding into their curriculum (if at all)?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by CheeseIsVeg
Hi this thread is for 04MR17's project

If people argue that learning pythagoras’ theorem is pointless, then learning coding will be even more pointless.

It will be good for those who go into a field that uses coding, although it is becoming more and more desirable in lots of different fields. However, it will be pointless for the vast majority of people.
I think coding is useful even if students pursue another field as it helps develop skills like logical reasoning.
I don't think they should. At least not coding as in teaching them a set number of languages.

Do you mean:
design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

:question:


I was in KS2 from 2012-2016 and the only computing lessons I had were in years 5-6 and were completely unstructured.
Original post by vapordave
I was in KS2 from 2012-2016 and the only computing lessons I had were in years 5-6 and were completely unstructured.


I've seen some great lessons - the NC is statutotory so perhaps your parents should have complained.
A+B = C
It is far too specialised to be put into the wider curriculum. General computing should be a module for everyone and should including the basics like Excel, Word and maybe Access, since most jobs use these. But the only coding which I would consider generally useful and include in the "general computing" module is VB to enhance the functionality of things like Word and Excel. This would give students a good base for virtually any office job, finance, admin, etc. Further coding should be an elective covering the basics of all the big ones only like JavaScript, HTML, C#, SQL, Python, CSS. Further specialisation should then be undertaken by students at Uni or College.
Whilst coding could be a useful skill to learn and know, I don’t think it’s something that needs to be compulsory or prioritised given that I’ve had 0 coding experience (it was never part of my curricula at school) and I’ve never needed it (yet).
Original post by 04MR17
Do you mean:
design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

:question:

Why? Isn't that what you mean?
Original post by Serene Dreams
A+B = C


print ("hello world"). that's just about all i learnt before starting my gcse course. we did scratch and similar though. I wish we had started python earlier though, it would have made the start of year 10 much easier
Original post by Muttley79
Why? Isn't that what you mean?
Just wondering whether it's possible to do that without writing computer code, and I think it does.
I was having a conversation with some teachers recently, and it seemed that coding had displaced a lot of the usual stuff about computer literacy that they used to teach in primary schools, so you end up with 11-year-olds who can program a turtle to draw a triangle but can't attach a file to an email or move a file to a different folder.
I don't think 'proper' coding is necessary in the slightest in primary school, although Scratch is a nice gentle introduction that works at that level.

Doing a physics degree now I do wish I'd built up some interest in coding before starting - yes everyone gets taught Python from the very basics, but the people who had done a fair bit of Python coding in the past were at quite an advantage.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by 04MR17
Just wondering whether it's possible to do that without writing computer code, and I think it does.


The lessons I've seen have included coding but I guess it might vary between schools.
Original post by Sinnoh
I was having a conversation with some teachers recently, and it seemed that coding had displaced a lot of the usual stuff about computer literacy that they used to teach in primary schools, so you end up with 11-year-olds who can program a turtle to draw a triangle but can't attach a file to an email or move a file to a different folder.
-snip-


Or looking at it another way they've learned to break down a larger problem (drawing a polygon) into simpler problems that can be connected using the power of looping control statements...

But they havent used a gui that's designed to be as intuitive as humanly possible. :smile:

Fwiw I think theres some concern that uni students dont think in terms of files and directiries anymore cos the uis are so good at hiding all that stuff. See if I can find a link later on.

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