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What is The Hour of Code?

Published on 06/11/15

The Hour of Code is an introduction to computer science, designed to debunk code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

History of the Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is organised by Code.org, a non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing computer sciences to schools. They also encourage more girls and women and underrepresented students of colour to take part in the Hour of Code. It’s been running since 2013, and since then over 8 million people in the UK have taken part, and 20 million participants worldwide.

This year, the Hour of Code week will be held during 7th - 13th December 2015.

The benefits to taking part in Hour of Code

There are plenty of benefits to taking part in the global Hour of Code, but if your head teacher needs convincing here are some positives to taking part.

  • Learn more about how computers work: Whilst adults have grown up as this technology has developed, the students and children taking part in the Hour of Code will have be born with advanced technology already. It can seem strange that we don’t always fully know how this technology works, and how to make the most of it. Coding can bring computing to life, and offer a wealth of new opportunities to students, and adults.
  • It encourages collaborative problem solving: Computational thinking is a “logical thought process, the ability to spot mistakes, and a willingness to solve a problem that comes from learning to code.” Developing basic computational thinking skills can encourage a way of thinking, helping children in every area of life.
  • It’s free: You don’t even need a computer to start coding. Grab a pen and paper, and start working with the ‘unplugged’ resources available from Hour of Code. 
  • A universal language: Software is fast becoming the language of our world. Software is a critical layer of all our lives, as the language of our world. * In the future, not knowing the language of computers could be considered as challenging as illiteracy or innumeracy is today.

Coding and the national curriculum

Schools across the UK have been studying computing, and coding, since 2014. For younger children, it may not even include using computers, but instead will talk about a simple set of instructions, e.g. following a recipe. Older students will start to getting to grips with concepts including variables and sequences, as well as learning about Boolean logic.