Pupil coding numbers soar at Sony UK TEC

New figures from the Sony UK Technology centre, which produces the Raspberry Pi, show that it’s helped over 2,000 pupils learn fundamental coding skills.

Based in Pencoed, the electronics manufacturing facility has seen a rising number of Welsh students taking up coding sessions over the past four years.

During 2015 and 2016, 827 pupils took part in the company’s Digital Competency Programme. However, this jumped to 1,012 between 2016 and 2017, and 1,596 in the past year.

This programme is aimed at supporting and underpinning the IT curriculum, as well as promoting creativity and STEM learning through media and coding sessions.

After the success of the programme, Sony UK Tec launched the specialist ‘Learn 2 Code’ Workshop in 2017. It’s a one-day course led by a qualified coding instructor and encourages children to use their creativity in a technology context.

Thanks to the success of these initiatives, the company expects the number of pupils taking part to increase to 2,032 by the end of the year.

Gerald Kelly, director of professional services at Sony UK Tec, said incorporating coding into early education was absolutely vital for enhancing the future employment prospects of tomorrow’s workers but also for the Welsh economy as a whole.

Speaking during National Coding Week, Kelly remarked: “With the increasing development of and dependence on technology in all industries, we need the innovators of the future to be equipped with the skills to match.

“Coding introduces the pupils to various programming languages including Scratch and Python, an invaluable language that is used universally in the technology industry.

“In this digitally driven age, it is fundamental that the next generation are able to recognise and utilise coding technology and use this not just for the betterment of their careers, but also to enhance the development of the Welsh economy.”

He added: “Here at Sony UK TEC we have seen a soaring number of pupils attending our Digital Competency Programme, and more recently ‘Learn 2 Code’ Workshops, over the past few years.

“We believe these sessions play a vital role in educating and equipping children with the skills they need to achieve. We are delighted that these sessions have been such a success and we’d encourage everyone to give coding a try this week.”