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< < < <<<< EDUCATION In September 2014, one of the biggest changes to the UK national curriculum in a decade took place. Computing replaced the subject of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in schools across England and Wales, with one of the core components of this new syllabus including coding in the classroom. This move was an encouraging step forward from the Government to equip children with a set of skills they will need to thrive in the digital age, essentially teaching them how to write the digital language and design their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how to make it work for them. More than six months on, it seems to be paying off, with research from Barclays discovering a quarter of British school children say Computing is now their favourite subject. “Research shows nearly a third of parents don’t believe they can assist their children with Computing homework” However, the introduction of coding has also led to a problem in households up and down the country, with parents being left bewildered when it comes to helping their kids. The research shows nearly a third of parents don’t believe they can assist their children with Computing homework and two-fifths admitted to ‘dreading’ helping with it, leaving many school children having to turn to their brothers or sisters for tips and guidance instead. For parents brought up in the distinctly non- digital age, this is an understandable reaction, yet the subject is not as daunting as it may seem. If you make the conscious decision to learn alongside your kids, you’ll soon discover a world of incredible fun and creativity. It’s worth remembering that not only will learning to code help you feel better prepared when your children ask for help, but it can also be an extremely valuable skill to possess in the workplace, or if you, for example, have future designs on launching a website in your spare time or even creating your own app. It can be tricky for parents to know where to start, but there are terrific resources FQ 27