City students to assist Islington pupils
Through its Professional Liaison Unit, City University London will be playing its part in implementing the London Borough of Islington's new computing strategy for schools.
Assisted by Maggie Philbin, TV personality and Chair of the Digital Skills Taskforce, the new strategy was launched on 8th January at the Islington Assembly Hall. One of strategy's key features are Code Clubs. These are free, volunteer-led, after-school clubs, bringing together pupils and adults on projects through computer games, websites and the use of Scratch software.
City's Professional Liaison Unit (PLU) has been working in partnership with Code Club since 2013 to enable students from the Schools of Informatics and Engineering and Mathematical Sciences to volunteer to teach children aged nine to eleven to write code in primary schools based in Islington and beyond.
Jessica Flack, Work-based Learning Advisor with the PLU, says City's student volunteers are provided with an opportunity to acquire and sharpen a variety of skills in their work with Code Clubs:
"Student volunteers provide around an hour per week (during term time) to deliver workshops designed by Code Club in Scratch, moving on to HTML, CSS and then Python for beginners. Prior to starting a Code Club, volunteers are provided with a DBS check and are given training in teaching children. A teacher from the school is always present during the clubs and volunteers have the opportunity to develop their presentation skills, teaching skills and gain a sense of giving back to the community."
School children from four existing Code Clubs in Islington (St Jude & St Paul, Highbury Quadrant, Laycock and Thornhill) showcased their creativity and programming skills using Raspberry Pi, robots and games.
Alongside representatives from City, global financial information company and co-sponsor Bloomberg and educational providers Espresso and LGfl, were also present at the launch.