Code-busting pupils learn the language of Lovefilm

13:51 13 December 2012

Coding club tutor Bill Corr with pupil Isabelle Coman.

Coding club tutor Bill Corr with pupil Isabelle Coman.

Archant

Shute Primary School gives youngsters an insight into a powerful programming tool called Perl

Pupils are turning code-breakers at an Axe Valley primary school.

Youngsters at Shute are gaining a unique understanding of the programming behind some of the most popular websites in the world.

A new after-school coding club gives children the chance to learn to program in a language called Perl, which is used to drive websites like the BBC iPlayer, Amazon and LoveFilm.

The concepts that children learn when programming in Perl are portable to other programming languages, skills they can use at secondary level, even if they are being taught another programming language.

In the first session the club pulled apart a computer and discussed the technology inside it. They also looked at how microelectronics have changed over time – examining how big a transistor was in 1970 and how advances in technology have led to a miniscule 16gb SD card in a mobile phone.

In subsequent sessions, the children have been writing simple programs to learn about different programming constructs.

Headteacher Amanda Graham said: “ICT provides pupils with essential skills but it only teaches them how to use software, rather than giving them the skills to write software and understand how computers work.

“This club provides children with the kind of grounding in programming skills that could, in time, lead to qualifications and employment in the high technology sector.”

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