Parenting, STEM

Code Ninjas – Chandlers Ford

This weekend saw the official opening of Code Ninjas in Chandlers Ford. For those of you who don’t know what Code Ninjas is, it’s a learning and education centre to teach children ages 5-14 all about programming. These centres originally started in the US and have taken on a franchise model which is currently taking the UK by storm.

At Code Ninjas children get to experience learning to code in a bright, comfortable learning centre. Until recently there hadn’t been any Code Ninjas centres by me and code club which is the next nearest alternative wasn’t suitable for their age group. Now that we have Code Ninjas locally I had to go and investigate. Anything to get my children away from gaming and into proper stem education!

First Impressions

Code Ninjas in Chandlers Ford is super easy to find, it’s on the high street just round the corner from the library and opposite Costa Coffee. You can’t miss it with it’s bright coloured artwork in the window and bright green feature wall. Even from the outside it looks fun and friendly.

When you step inside you are greeted by their friendly staff where you will be asked to sign in either for a look around, orientation or register for their session. Grown-ups at the moment will be asked to wear their masks and everyone needs to use the hand sanitizer. This will ensure that they know who is in any sessions to manage numbers but will also mean that if any Coronavirus issues arise they can reach out. They are cleaning all workspaces for every child between every session. You can be absolutely sure your child is being looked after with the utmost care.

The geeky part – tech & learning

The hardware:

  • Lenovo laptops and desktops are available for all students to start their learning journey. Aligning children with the technology they will meet in real business environments.
  • For those who are more hardware inclined they have snap circuits, Sphero and various Lego education kits. With other content being added over time. All packaged up into “FUNdamental” learning programmes

The software in order of exposure:

  • Scratch
  • JavaScript
  • LUA – Roblox
  • C#

The coding challenges are broken down into really fun short sprints so that the children don’t get bored and can really feel like they achieved something within each session. As the children reach the end of a section of work they gain achievement badges which help them move up the gradings, much like with martial arts gradings.

Parents don’t need to remain on site whilst their children are learning and are encouraged to make the most of their free time. Whilst I was there today there was a regular flow of children dropping in for their sessions. Some apprehensive others much more confident and comfortable. Every one of them came out with a smile and exciting stories about what they achieved in their sessions. The parents couldn’t praise the course or the centre more highly if they tried and after seeing my own children in action there I can completely understand why.

To keep a track of where your child has got to in their coding journey, once signed up you will be provided with a parent portal where you can see your child’s progress and manage payments online. The platform is really helpful as you get to see what activities relate to what areas of the UK coding curriculum. Little do your code ninjas realize they are getting one step ahead of their friends when it comes to classwork and all wrapped up as something fun to do after school or at a weekend.

We will likely be regulars at this coding centre. If you have read my article and decide to give it a try do let the team at Code Ninjas know. They may introduce us if I am there at the same time.

Feel free to ask questions about our experience in the comments. This was not a paid for article nor were there any discounts provided for coverage.

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