Balfour Beatty Coding day - pupils and computer screen

Young minds inspired for a tech future at Solent Coding Day

More than 4,630 young students were inspired to discover more about the exciting world of computer programming and the possible career pathways in future technology during Solent Coding Day, coordinated by Solent Partners. 

The Solent Partners team worked with 76 schools in the region, inviting pupils aged between 9 to 13 to ‘unlock the code’ by learning and sharing programming skills through entertaining and engaging interactive workshops that took place online in December. 

Solent Partners Chair Rachael Randall said: “The Solent Coding Day workshops offered  a perfect opportunity for teachers looking to spark an interest in coding among their students and for young minds eager to explore the limitless possibilities of programming.  

“The overwhelming participation and positive feedback we received from students, parents, and educators highlighted the success of this event in demonstrating the possibilities of coding and digital innovation for the younger generation. 

“Solent Coding Day marks a significant step towards building a digitally proficient future workforce, ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of our increasingly digital world.” 

Organised in partnership with Solent Partners Careers Hub, Barclays Code Playground, Tech She Can and local employer, Ordnance Survey, the programme introduced children to the potential of coding in shaping their digital futures. Solent Coding Day provided a flexible opportunity for children of all abilities to learn at their own pace through a pre-recorded session delivered by Barclays Code Playground (Digital Eagles) 

The initiative aligned with the Key Stage 2/3 computing curriculum, covering fundamental programming topics in an hour-long, fun-filled format. Pupils also got the opportunity to attend a live assembly delivered by Tech She Can, focusing on careers in Tech/Digital linked to Sport, Entertainment and History. Pupils also enjoyed taking part in a compass themed game created by Ordnance Survey to inspire the geographers and tech professionals of the future.  

Mandy Chandler, Digital Lead at Meon Way Federation said: “Our Year 6 children really enjoyed the Solent Coding Day challenge and followed the booklet to make their games. They went on to add and develop the game and we’re very proud of their achievements.” 

Following the  success of Solent Coding Day, Solent Partners are setto inspire and support even more young people with further initiatives. On 6 February 2024, Solent Partners  are teaming up with new future careers partner Tech She/We Can, hosting two live online “Demystifying AI” classes to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day: 

Rachael Randall continued: “People often think of themselves as being non-technical, but every artist, town planner or manager uses technology on an hourly basis to perform their job. We are looking for volunteers to speak about how they use technology or digital tools in their work for instance, creative designers using graphic tools, social media content creators using planning tools, or videographers using camera equipment. We hope this will make young people see that regardless of what their career aspirations, having a basic understanding of technology is key. 

“Please volunteer to take part: We  are particularly keen to see women in business apply so that girls, who often avoid the more technological-based courses in school, are inspired to find out more. All types of role models from all industries would be heartily welcome though!” 

Solent Partners are also looking to establish Solent Tech Week in October 2024 and will incorporate a variety of activities to inspire students, professionals and communities about tech skills, careers and tech adoption in both business and personal worlds. 

Find out more about Solent Partners by visiting our homepage.

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