FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS






Q: What is a Scottish Coding Academy? 

A relaxed and fun coding boot camp where children learn creativity, communication, math, logical thinking, confidence as well as principles of computer science. Computer skills, especially coding will better equip our children for whatever they decide to do in the future. Scottish Coding Academy is part of © Creative Solutions Scotland, http://creativesolutionsscotland.co.uk/. For more information please explore our short presentation online.

Q: What is coding and why is so important?

Coding is a basic literacy in the digital age, and it is important for children to understand and be able to work with and understand the technology around them. Having children learn coding at a young age prepares them for the future. Coding helps children with creativity, communication, math, writing and confidence. Without coding, computers would literally do nothing. That’s because source code is the set of instructions that tells the computer what to do. 

Here’s a simple example of code, written in the Python language: print 'Hello, world!'

It’s one of the simplest examples of code you can have – it ‘prints’ (displays) the text ‘Hello, world!’ onto the screen.

Here are 8 reasons why coding is important for young children:

1) Coding is like learning another language.  

Learning a new language teaches children new learning patterns. Children learn how to communicate and develop logical thinking skills. Like every other language this also helps them to understand the world around them better. Coding has its own language, in fact many languages. Every language has a special formula, which enables children to thing within this new world to find solutions for many complex challenges.

2) Coding enables creativity in children.

Coding is logic-based, but it’s also an extremely creative activity. Children like to experiment with different things when parents are not watching. By experimenting, children develop new skills as this is how they learn. With coding children are encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them. What is important is that the creativity is part of the process, which often will shape the final result. That's why every coder has their own ideas on how to write the code.

3) Coding helps children with concentration and math.   

Coding helps children to be able to focus on one single tasks, as it employs a lot of energy. Every task evolve too many sub-tasks and makes the brain work better. Children than apply their new way of thinking to resolve many real-world issues by breaking them down and dealing with them one by one. 

4)  Coding improves confidence and promotes independence. 

Many children who learn to code gain confidence and learn how to work as a team. This is especially important as many jobs are requiring us to work as a team member, but also take a lead on new tasks. 

5) Coding is fun.

Many coding challenges are design for children as young as 5 and can be so much fun! Who said that coding has to be done on the computer? Some of the exercises are designed for those, who will not sit still. Children can program their robots, games and more..

6) Coding improves collaboration. 

Every child can learn how to code alongside others of every race, gender, or background. Children meet and learn how to collaborate with all kinds of peers, all joined by a common interest in technology. Coding brings children together and improves their face-to-face collaboration. Kids learning online can also grow, asking each other questions, and working to solve problems and create things together. Many coding games, also offer many educational benefits because they too involve coding, collaboration, and participation with peers in a safe environment. 

7) Coding improves communication.

Communication is an essential skill throughout school, work, and life. Children who can clearly communicate complex ideas in simple terms tend to be more successful at school and later in different jobs and walks of life. When children learn how to code, they also learn how to communicate using different language with the most challenging identity out there: computers. Coding teaches children how to communicate using different approach and deliver solution in a different language (visual, or binary) in a way that computers can understand.

8) Coding is part of STEM Education

The advantages of early exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) have become well established in recent years. No parents need convincing that this knowledge is vital, not just for future employment but because we live surrounded by technology. 

Q. How do I sign up my child to Scottish Coding Academy?

Initial registration is available online on our website. Once registered we will send you a full registration form, which has to be signed and returned to us before the child will attend the coding session. We will try to accommodate all children, but will never compromise the quality over quantity. Coding is becoming increasingly popular and in case of high interest we will open another groups to ensure the right balance and high quality of learning.

Q: Why is it important for children to learn computer science?

Computer science is a foundational field for every 21st century career or field of study. Learning the basics of computer science prepares children for a world that is increasingly dominated by computers. Research shows that children, who study computer science also perform better at math. Computer science is where the jobs are. More than 50% of all jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are computing jobs.

Q: What job are relevant to skills obtained by children in Scottish Coding Academy?

Job range for our courses is very wide and some of them are: System Administrator, Ethical Hacker, Developers, Programmers, Website Developers / Authors, Cross-Platform development, Creative Industries and more. For more information please visit "Computing, technology and digital Jobs" under learning methods page.

Q: What do children do at Scottish Coding Academy?

The children just like in our Motto: “Learn, Code and Explore”, but they do so much more than that.  They make games that they can play, solve programming puzzles, create computer drawings, learn to type code, learn about the internet, play using computer-controlled toys and importantly, learn to collaborate with their peers. They also use our e-learning system to learn and build their e-portfolio

Q: Can children from age 5 really learn coding?

Definitely! I Children as young as 5 can learn basics of coding and other IT-related disciplines. Coding for young children is gamified making it fun to learn! Since coding can be gamified, children at early as age 5 can start learning how to code using a mixture of "unplugged" and online activities e.g. physical objects, robots, visual block interfaces or age appropriate online and board games-based coding challenges.

Q: My child has been attending other Coding Club as well as Boot Camp for three years; does s/he know it all?

Although some children started coding at a very young age, their IT skills, especially coding skills develop over time with practice. As they grow their understanding of mathematical and IT concepts becomes more solid, so will their ability to develop better code. They can begin to create more challenging algorithms and use their own creativity to make more complex games and programs. Our e-learning programme is very reach in professional knowledge, which is very hard to access in other courses. Our staff is professional and often engaged in IT business, where they have many occasions to work on real projects and keep their knowledge up-to-date. To find out more about our learning methods please click here.

Q: Which OS (Operating System) should my child use?

Any of the most popular will work just fine! Windows, Mac, and Linux are all good as long as you are using a recent version. If you don’t currently use Linux, but are interested in experimenting, Ubuntu Linux is a good starting place and we will be happy to help you learn how to use it. Some of our e-learning modules are specifically tailored to Linux: “Linux Command Line for beginners” and “Linux Desktop for children”.

Q. What happens at Scottish Coding Academy when there is a mixed age and ability?

At Scottish Coding Academy the children are always given activities according to their experience with coding, IT and their maturity. All children are motivated and get challenged to push the boundaries of their own existing knowledge and will often learn something new after each Scottish Coding Academy session.

Q. My child has never done coding before; will s/he be able to join in?

Every child is welcome to join Scottish Coding Academy at any time. Activities are prepared for different ‘levels’ according to a child’s coding and IT knowledge. We always give ‘new’ starters some one-to-one time and make sure they understand the basics… from which they can build. We have also prepared a set of games and activities for children to show them how coding works and support them to access a new world, where they can solve problems, create fantastic things and make friends. Coding is not just about computers, it is the way our brain works and tackles new challenges, also in life. It is an amazing adventure for everyone, who wishes to try!

Q. Is Scottish Coding Academy just for boys?

Scottish Coding Academy is open for children from all genders, backgrounds and interest. There are hundreds of thousands groups around the world where children learn to code. Some of them e.g. are only for woman, others for mainly boys. At Scottish Coding Academy we believe that everyone should have an opportunity to learn new technologies and by that gain access to technical jobs in the future. Among our courses we offer “Digital music production for children” and “Desktop Publishing for children”, where most girls will love to learn how to create an invitation for their birthday party, or become a DJ and learn how to record, change and play their favourite songs.

Q. What equipment does my child need for Coding Boot Camp?

NO COMPUTERS NEEDED FOR ANY OF THE 5 WEEK COURSES! We will ensure that a selection of computers is available for children exploring coding. Our basic e-learning tutorials work on PC’s and laptops with no administrator rights – so we can use any equipment available.

Q: What learning resources do you use?

For many people, the words educational materials, or learning resources invoke images, or text and content that covers the depth of a subject. But learning resources are more than that. They are any tool that helps our teachers teach and students learn.

At the Scottish Learning Academy we take pride in the fact that we publish our own learning materials, which are highly recommended by many learners. 

In our e-learning platform we also provide a rich array of links to external innovative educational materials from variety of sources.

Q: What measures do you take to ensure children’s safety?

The protection of children attending Scottish Coding Academy is of paramount importance. Everyone at Scottish Coding Academy plays a part in keeping children and young people safe. In Scottish Coding Academy we have measures in place to ensure that children are safeguarded from abuse. These measures include e-learning platform security, training for Child Protection and conducting PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check for all permanent and temporary staff, including work experience staff. During the Coding sessions there will be at least one First Aider available. A First Aider is someone who has undertaken the necessary training and holds a valid First Aid certificate.

Q: Can I join Scottish Coding Academy for Work Experience?

We value anyone, who would like to learn to code, but also develop new skills and improve their CV. In order to join us for work experience you would need to meet criteria from “Guidance on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage for organisations who offer work experience, including placements and internships”, take part in the recruitment process and pass PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check.

What is work experience?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-minimum-wage-work-experience-and-internships#what-is-work-experience

The term ‘work experience’ generally refers to a specified period of time that a person spends with your business, during which they have an opportunity to learn directly about working life and the working environment.

Some work experience positions offer people the chance to try their hand at particular tasks, others simply provide an opportunity to watch and learn. The nature, length and arrangements for work experience vary greatly. 

Understanding Work Experience

Work experience involve someone who is doing a placement that does not involve any work being performed, such as work shadowing, will not come within the National Minimum Wage legislation. They are only observing and are not performing work.

Exemptions in the legislation relevant to work experience

Some people are not entitled to the minimum wage because there is a specific exemption in the rules. The exemptions relevant to work experience are:

- Students working as a required part of a UK-based further or higher education course don’t qualify for the minimum wage if their placement with Scottish Coding Academy does not exceed 1 year. The exemption does not apply to students performing work that is not related to their course, such as to help finance their studies or during a gap year.

- People undertaking work experience for Scottish Coding Academy who are of compulsory school age are not entitled to the minimum wage. If someone is above compulsory school age but has stayed on in full or part-time education, they are entitled to the minimum wage unless they are undertaking a work placement with you as a required part of their studies

- Participants in government schemes or programmes to provide training, work experience or temporary work, or to help in seeking or obtaining work

- Participants in EU Lifelong Learning Programmes (Leonardo da Vinci, European Community Youth in Action, Erasmus or Comenius)

As a responsible business we adhere to safe recruitment practice and all our employees,  are subject to the following recruitment checks:

Right to work in the UK

Under Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act, we, as a responsible employer need to ensure that we do not employ anyone illegally. To avoid discrimination we treat all job applicants equally.

We therefore ask all candidates selected for interview to bring original documentation to show their Right to Work in the UK. A copy of these will be taken. You may be refused an interview if you do not bring the correct documents with you.

Confirmation of qualifications

You will also be asked to bring your relevant original qualification certificates to the interview.

References

After your interview two references will be sought if we would like to progress your application to the next stage. One of these should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to contact your referee(s) you will have an opportunity to indicate this on your application form and we will seek your permission to do so if they are required.

If you are self employed we would accept references from a customer, a supplier, an accountant, solicitor or someone you have had professional dealings with.

If you have finished full time education and have no employer reference we will accept a reference from:

- a professional from your centre of study, for instance a teacher, lecturer or headteacher

- GP or health visitor

- a character reference from a person who knows you

- a civil servant from a government agency

- a bank manager

PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups)

https://www.mygov.scot/pvg-scheme/

The PVG scheme

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults, can't do 'regulated work' with these vulnerable groups.

How the scheme works

When someone applies to join the PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland carries out criminal record checks and shares the results with individuals and organisations.

The application process involves gathering criminal record and other relevant information. This can be shared with the employer who is providing regulated work, unless the person applies to have a conviction removed from their PVG Scheme record.

If the information shows the applicant might be unsuitable for regulated work, they'll be referred for further investigation as part of the 'consideration process'.

Disclosure Scotland keeps checking their suitability to continue working with children or protected adults. If they find new information which means someone might have become unsuitable to work with children or protected adults, they'll tell their employer.

'Harmful behaviour' by PVG scheme members

If the courts, police, regulatory bodies or previous employers provide information to Disclosure Scotland which suggests someone may be unsuitable for regulated work, this will trigger a consideration for listing.

Barred from regulated work

If Disclosure Scotland decides that someone's unsuitable to do regulated work with vulnerable groups, they'll bar them from working with children and/or protected adults, and inform their current employers. They'll also remove them from the PVG Scheme and tell any other employers listed on their record that they have been barred.

How long does it last?

A PVG Scheme member's paper certificate shows the information available on the day it was created. Membership of the scheme lasts forever though, and scheme members are continuously checked, unless they decide to leave the scheme.

Other checks

To protect the most vulnerable people in our community the following checks are also required for some positions. When necessary, these will be clearly identified on the advert and the person specification.

Full personal history

If you apply for a Job, or Work Placement within Scottish Coding Academy you will be required to account for any gaps in your employment history on your application. This is required before the interview. All of your previous employers, teachers and lecturers may be contacted.

GDPR

Once the successful candidate has been appointed the unsuccessful candidates documents will be destroyed confidentially.

Q: How to get a job at Scottish Coding Academy?

There are currently no vacancies available. However, we are always keen to meet energetic and talented people, who would like to join our team. Please consider work experience, see above for more details.