Prince Andrew backs computer ‘code clubs’ in primary schools

Thursday, 18th July 2013

Prince Andrew at the centre: 'Kids aren’t just playing games on them anymore, they are learning how to code and make it do things for them'

Published: 18 July, 2013

THOUSANDS of children will get the chance to make their own PacMan and Super Mario-style computer games in “code clubs” being launched in every Camden primary school.

The after-school clubs, run by volunteers from Google and University College London, will teach 9 to 11-year-olds the secrets of what goes on behind the computer screen.

They begin in September in 41 maintained schools in Camden.

The council hopes children keen on making computer games will become more serious technical engineers in later life.

At the launch of the scheme in Camden City Learning Centre in Somers Town last Wednesday, The Duke of York Prince Andrew said: “We’ve moved from an age when we were slaves to computers to a time when we have them dancing to our own tune.

“Kids aren’t just playing games on them anymore, they are learning how to code and make it do things for them.

"What is important is that they know that if they put some rubbish in, they jolly-well work out how to correct it.

“They are learning from their mistakes and that is very important in an education environment.”

Labour cabinet councillor Cllr Theo Blackwell said: “Pupils have been put off by a boring ICT curriculum and there has been a failure to make coding relevant and exciting. Camden wants to lead the way in changing this, taking advantage of the new curriculum.”

Cllr Blackwell, who is responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds of council funding as the Town Hall finance chief, revealed that he had gone to a coding class and developed a computer avatar of Star Wars baddie Darth Vader that glowed red on mobile phone came.

A self-confessed World of Warcraft fantasy-gaming fanatic, he revealed to the New Journal last year how he believed he was the “highest rated Warlock in local government”.

Helen Bruckdorfer, headteacher of Torriano Junior School in Kentish Town, said: “We are excited at the prospect of working with Code Club, Camden and their partners to provide opportunities to inspire the coders of the future.”

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