Two thirds of primary school parents have no idea about computer science curriculum

Two thirds of parents sending kids back to school this week are blissfully unaware that a new breed of computing class will be taught as part of the government’s new national curriculum.

Related: Slower ICT curriculum rollout will disadvantage Welsh children

Ocado Technology research showed that 65 per cent aren’t aware that primary schools will teach a new computing programme that includes coding, though of those five-to-11-year-olds surveyed 47 per cent are completely aware of the change.

Some children, 29 per cent, already know coding skills and even though this is the case it doesn’t rank as one of the sectors that primary school kids aspire to be a part of when at a working age.

This manifests itself in the fact that 58 per cent of girls want to be actresses when they grow up whereas just 20 per cent would like to be computer programmers. Boys are more interested in a career in the industry with 34 per cent putting becoming a programmer as number one choice, though it pales compared to 47 per cent that want to be a professional footballer.

With all those figures in mind Ocado Technology, which powers Ocado.com, has created the Rapid Router coding teaching resource that aims to help those teaching Key Stage One and lower Key Stage Two pupils.

Part of the package is a coding game with a “create” mode for pupils to build challenges and it features over 50 levels to help pupils learn the basics of computer programming.

The push behind coding is something that parents are also a part of, as 75 per cent want to learn to code in order to help children with computer science homework and the same number regret that it wasn’t available when they were a school due to the enhanced job prospects it brings.

“Teaching children to program is not just about nurturing the next generation of software engineers; being able to write code is a transformative and disruptive meta-skill that needs to be seen as being of huge potential value whatever your future holds,” stated Paul Clarke, director of technology at Ocado.

Related: Government’s “Year of Code” campaign provides £500,000 to train teachers in programming

Microsoft is another that has already announced training being in place for teachers to learn about coding and the benefits to the future of the country’s technology companies is something being taken seriously at all levels.

UPDATE: Microsoft has contacted ITProPortal with the following comment.

"Microsoft has long been championing the use of technology in the classroom to make sure young people are developing the vital technological skills that will help them succeed in the world of work.

"The future of the technology industry and our lives as consumers is dependent on businesses hiring young people with a strong IT skillset so we're excited to see the new curriculum implemented this September.

"Microsoft and Computing At School have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that schools and teachers have access to the right tools and training so they can hit the ground running. We'll be continuing to provide ongoing support in the form of face-to-face training and resources to help teachers confidently deliver the new curriculum."