futureCodersSE aims to help improve access to good quality learning of coding/programming for ALL young people. We do this through three main programmes. We offer our high-quality, simulated work experience programme for those young people within 2 years of entering the workplace. We run coding workshops in our local community. We support schools and teachers through consultancy and a bespoke training programme.
We take 4 or 5 young people, from a range of backgrounds, put them together with a professional software developer and a digital trainer, to work as a team, in our offices, to develop a real-life app. The programme lasts around 3 months and the team work all day each Saturday and each Monday evening, following the same work methods found in industry. Our young developers are always amazed at the speed at which they learn new skills and employers are starting to notice them. Three have already progressed to apprenticeships and two to further work experience.
These run either over a specific period of time or as an ongoing activity. We work with the local youth service to offer a particular curriculum (e.g. build an Alexa skill, code a game in Java, learn Python programming) or to run a regular ‘hackspace’ where young people can use our online learning materials in a supported and social environment to learn and to work on their own projects. We have a set of laptops for these sessions and so can be flexible in where they are delivered. We look for funding for the delivery of workshops so that all young people who would benefit are able to do so.
Support for schools and teachers
We can deliver learning for a school where there is currently no teacher able to deliver the specialist support needed for a programming class. We prefer to work with a teacher so that, eventually, we can leave the school with a teacher who is confident to deliver themselves. We have so far worked with a further education college, a college for students who need specialist support, individual students at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5, and an apprenticeship training provider.
Building on the support we are already giving, we have developed an online course specifically for teachers who are new to coding and need to build skills and confidence in order to support their own students.
Teach programming with confidence is an online course which uses projects as a vehicle for teachers to learn programming skills, work through problems, learn through repeating the programming exercise with reducing levels of support, guides to common errors, ideas for follow up activities and support to develop a differentiated session plan to deliver the same learning to a group of students.