Richard Bruton says coding should be taught in school

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Minister for Education Richard Bruton has stated that coding should be part of the primary school curriculum.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is currently working on a maths curriculum for primary schools. This is expected to be ready in the first half of 2017. The minister has written to the NCCA to give his support for adding coding to the curriculum. In particular he noted the success of CoderDojo, the after-school club for children. Bruton stated that teaching computer skills, particularly coding, will give schoolchildren the ability to participate in the digital future.

I am acutely conscious that we need to give all children the best start in a world where such skills will be key to participation and success. There is much to learn from initiatives such as CoderDojo; I understand that the learning from this movement informed the development of the short course on coding in junior cycle. I hope that they can also inform your work on the primary curriculum, he wrote.

Coding will engender problem-solving skills

CoderDojo was established in Cork in 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao. In the intervening years, it has grown into a worldwide network of more than 1,000 voluntary coding clubs. The minister wrote that educational initiatives such as CoderDojo will help schoolchildren learn problem-solving skills.

I would hope that it is possible to use some of the learnings of the CoderDojo project and similar initiatives in considering approaches to integrating coding into the primary curriculum. For the generation of children recently born and starting to enter primary school, creative thinking and problem-solving skills will be absolutely key to how they develop in reach and achieve their potential. In particular, their ability to think critically and develop solutions in the digital world will be vital for their prospects in life.

Anne Sexton

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