It has been a good start to 2014. I started an after school coding club for primary school children at my local school. I’m very pleased with the way it’s going, and to see the enthusiasm of the children. We are using Scratch and so far the children have produced some great work.
I have 11 children in total, one girl (my daughter) and the rest are boys. I’m mentioning this because I was very disappointed that there are no other girls. I’m now wondering if it is the parents that need some educating on encouraging girls into the subject. The title of the after school club is ‘Coding Club’ and in the information pack I included a very welcoming image of Scratch with some fun elements and emphasised the fact that it was for both boys and girls. I’m now thinking that I might need to change the title to encourage more girls to the club. Will this make a difference? Do parents assume that ‘Coding’ is only for boys? Is there something about the word ‘Coding’, perhaps?
I have found that be best way to have a 50/50 gender split is by teaching the subject in the classroom. This way, it is in the school hours and there is more of an opportunity to encourage both boys and girls at the same time.
I hope that with the new ICT curriculum in place, we’ll see more girls coding.