Hour of Code™: UK Schools take part with Discovery Education

Discovery Education is encouraging schools across the UK to take part in Hour of Code – a global computer science initiative which takes place between 7th and 13th December.

Now in its third year, Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. The initiative encourages children to dedicate just 1 hour to learn how to code during Computer Science Education Week. Last year over 3 million UK students took part, and Discovery Education is continuing to encourage pupils, parents and teachers to join in.

As the UK’s leading provider of digital content to schools, Discovery has produced special Hour of Code learning packs, which present coding in a fun and accessible way to students and teachers of all ages and abilities. The digital resources cover a range of themes including dinosaurs, space exploration, and marine biology, helping schools to easily integrate coding into other parts of the curriculum.

James Massey, Educational Consultant at Discovery Education said:

“ This is a fantastic initiative that allows pupils to put their teacher hat on and show someone at home how to code! The Discovery Education modules have been carefully designed to demonstrate how coding is not a discrete skill and has real world meaning and relevant cross-curricular applications. Any experience like this that extends learning beyond the classroom, whilst motivating children to take the leading role, is very powerful for child personal development as well as strengthening ties between school and community.”

Discovery Education supports a number of UK schools in teaching coding, and recently ran a competition to encourage students to put their coding skills to use in history lessons. Pupils were encouraged to create games to demonstrate their knowledge of significant women in history, and two children were chosen as the winners from over 100 entries. 6 year old Amelia, from Holy Cross Prep School in Kingston, designed one of the winning games. ICT Coordinator and computing teacher, Magdalena Fernandes said:

“Our pupils have really enjoyed taking part in the Discovery Education coding competition and the school was delighted to hear that Amelia’s work was selected as the winning game. Since we introduced our pupils to coding, they have embraced the coding challenges with enthusiasm and are now working at a very impressive, high level. The Discovery Education Coding modules are well designed and allow for creative engagement and high achievement. I would recommend them to all schools including the non-specialist because the lesson plans are very detailed and easy to follow. Coding is an essential skill for children of today.”

Organised by US not-for-profit organisation Code.org, Hour of Code has introduced over 100 million students across the globe to computer science, and has the backing of some of the world’s most prominent figures. Last year, Barack Obama became the first US President to program a computer by writing JavaScript, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the 2014 Hour of Code UK launch event with schools at 10 Downing Street.

Susanne Thompson, Vice President and Head of Schools Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

“ Today’s pupils are tomorrow’s engineers, astronauts and computer programmers. It’s absolutely vital that we equip our children with the skills and the enthusiasm for coding, by providing learning resources which are both accessible and fun to use. Discovery Education is delighted to be involved in supporting Hour of Code for a third year running. We hope that we can encourage as many schools as possible to take this opportunity to experience the power and creativity of coding.”

Discovery Education empowers teachers and captivates pupils by providing high-quality, dynamic, digital content to primary and secondary schools across the UK. Through its award-winning digital content, interactive lessons, virtual experiences with some of Discovery’s most talented presenters and contributors, classroom contests and challenges, professional development and more — Discovery Education is leading the way in bringing learning to life. Part of Discovery Communications, the world’s leading non-fiction media company, Discovery Education is one of the fastest growing providers of educational services in the UK.