Pupils’ club is backed by firm

Darlington and Stockton Times: KEYED IN: Pete Hall and Alistair McLean from CitySecret and teacher Lucy Hodges with pupils from Richmond C of E school KEYED IN: Pete Hall and Alistair McLean from CitySecret and teacher Lucy Hodges with pupils from Richmond C of E school

A SOFTWARE engineering company based in Richmond is running a computer club with a local primary school.

The club was created by CitySecret and Richmond Church of England Primary School for pupils in years five and six after looking into the national Code Club Campaign, which promotes computing and software learning.

Pete Hall and Alistair McLean from City Secret have created lessons for the pupils to give them fun and interesting challenges.

With the number of students applying to complete computer degrees declining, Mr Hall and Mr McLean feel it is important to show pupils what computing and software development has to offer.

Lucy Hodges, year six teacher and head of IT at the school, said: “The children have all been really enthusiastic about the club.

“It has been a great experience and Pete and Alistair’s expertise have allowed the children to create some very complicated programs.”

The pupils have been using Scratch – a graphic tool where they have been able to create their own versions of several wellknown games such as 1970s’ tennis game Pong, Pac-Man and Simon.

A final traffic light project will allow the pupils to create a program to control some real lights. All the projects have an element of fun and the Scratch tool means that the students can write their own programs without fear of making mistakes.

“The pupils have been really enthusiastic and have enjoyed seeing their code in action as they play the games they have written,”

said Mr McLean.

It is hoped the pupils who have completed the club will retain their interest in computing as they move into secondary school and may end up being software developers in the future.

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