The Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, returns to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor today for the awards ceremony of the All Wales Coding Competition - Codio Cymru.
The aim of the competition is to promote computing and programming skills among young people aged 7-16 across Wales.
This year pupils were challenged to use their coding skills to create a computer game based on the theme ‘Discovery and Adventure’ to coincide with Visit Wales’ ‘Year of Discovery’.
The Welsh Government has invested £1.3million over this Assembly term to help improve coding skills via ‘Cracking the Code’, a plan aimed to expand code clubs in every part of Wales. This sets out how the Government will work in collaboration with education consortia, businesses, third sector partners, and universities to ensure more learners develop these skills in advance of the new curriculum.
In addition to this, the Department of Computer Science in Swansea University has received over £1.2 million to deliver ‘Technocamps’ computer coding workshops for pupils and teachers in schools across Wales. Another £1.2 million has also been made available to support Welsh universities in the establishment of the Institute of Coding, which includes funding to support the civic mission activity of coding initiatives in schools.
Coding skills and technology also have an important role to play in the Welsh Government's strategy Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh speakers.
The Welsh Language Technology Action Plan, published last October, sets out ambitions to progress Welsh language technology, including promoting the resources needed to code and to learn to code in Welsh.
Kirsty Williams said:
“Our new curriculum aims to equip children and young people with the knowledge and skills they need for future jobs, and coding has a big part to play in that.
“Coding is included in the new Curriculum for Wales as part of the Science and Technology Area of Learning and Experience, which will be available for feedback next month.
“But we are not waiting for the new curriculum. Our ongoing investment in our young people’s digital and computing skills is about ensuring those in school now have the opportunity to develop essential 21st century skills.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in growing Codio Cymru - it’s really encouraging to see entries have doubled since last year. I’d also like to thank our partners Code Club, Technocamps, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and others for the work they do in promoting coding and ensuring their resources are available bilingually.”
The Minister for the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said:
“Last October I published the Welsh-language Technology Action Plan. This identifies the need to take advantage of the new curriculum and the resources available on Hwb to develop children and young people’s skills in digital literacy, coding and digital content creation through Welsh. It’s great to see an event such as this, which celebrates excellence in coding in Welsh.”
Aled Jones-Griffith, Principal of Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Coleg Menai, said:
"Coding is an ever growing subject and an important skill to have in today's technological world. For a number of years our Pwllheli campus has worked closely with schools in Gwynedd to support the teaching of coding and to emphasise the importance of such skills for children and young people today.
“The aim of the competition is to showcase what Wales’ youth has to offer in this sector and to ensure our young people are leaving school and college with desirable skills and talents that will make them valuable assets in any workplace in the future.”
The Codio Cymru competition is sponsored by Bangor University, Gwynedd Council, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Menter Môn, BT, Carl Kammerling International, Harlech Foodservice Ltd, and GwE.