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Teaching Croydon to Code

Jonny Rose, Croydon Tech City Founder. Photo by Paul Clarke

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After the success of last month’s launch event – the Croydon Tech City team is moving quickly to make sure Croydon Tech City moves beyond the four walls of Matthews Yard, and make positive change across the borough.

The first port of call is the primary schools.

Watch Croydon Tech City launch highlights

For those who don’t know, Code Club is a volunteer-led scheme in which software developers partner with primary schools to provide extra-curricular coding classes for 9-11 year  olds.

Startup Weekly: WiderPool launch, Croydon co-working space & more

Teaching is done through a fun game called Scratch (devised by MIT) which teaches children the fundamentals of computational thinking and programming.

The scheme is active in 500 British primary schools, yet there are none in Croydon.

Summer code clubs in Croydon

As such, Croydon Tech City has a dedicated group whose remit is to promote and manage the roll out of Code Clubs in the Summer Term.

The team is led by Monique Rebeiro – of young people’s support group Lives Not Knives – with resource support from Croydon software behemoth DotDigital PLC.

The Croydon Tech City: Code Club programme has a twofold effect in that it will not only be educating Croydon’s primary school children, but also the young adults at Lives Not Knives are themselves given a new marketable skillset as they are trained to run Code Club classes.

It’s important to me that Croydon Tech City isn’t just a short termist flash-in-the-pan but something that radically affects every generation and age group in Croydon for years to come.

Making change without political egos

As Douglas mentioned in the comments of my last piece: initiatives like Code Club are a real long-term strategy for the area – and, fortunately, are something that can be done very quickly and very inexpensively without having to negotiate political egos and government inefficiencies.

As the Bible verse from Proverbs says:

Train up a child in the way he should go, so when he is old he will not depart

Hopefully – through instilling Croydon’s young with much sought-after programming skills to create a vibrant and commercially booming tech ecosystem – Croydon Tech City will cultivate a culture in which our young (and old) will never want to ‘depart’!

Upcoming event

On Thursday February 21st 7.30pm at Matthews Yard, Croydon – Croydon Tech City will be hosting a special ‘Schools Edition’ with talks from the founders of Code Club and product demos from Croydon’s young startup founders.

All welcome. More details here

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