What exactly is coding?
Read an interview with Thomas, a top Minerva coding tutor.
Can you really teach coding online?
Yes! We round up seven unexpected benefits of online tuition.
How do you ensure my child is progressing?
Every Minerva tutor is trained to inspire self-learning, not just to instruct.
But we've also built an online reporting system so you can track your child's progress after each lesson.
Sounds great. Can I see rates and tutor availability?
Of course. It's best to call us on +44 (0) 203 439 0476.
Alternatively, you can drop us a quick line via the contact form below.
ALL AGES, ALL LEVELS
Absolute beginner? No problem. We teach all ages and abilities.We start beginners off with a crash course in “Scratch”. Then we advance into “Python”, a high-level general purpose language that powers a lot of web systems you see today.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CODE
Back in 2014, we celebrated “Year of Code” – an independent, non-profit campaign to encourage people across the country to try coding for the first time. Two years later we’re teaching more pupils to code than ever. By learning to code, pupils can discover the power of computer science and safeguard future careers in the digital sector. It can challenge their minds in ways traditional subjects can’t.
WE TUTOR WITH A
We visit your home after school hours to begin the tuition process. We’ll bring all the equipment we need to get your child started.
Integral to your child’s success is development in the key areas of confidence and character development. Read more about the Minerva Method here.
Shaping up to be Google’s next hire? Take some time out before moving onto the next assignment!
OUR TUTORING PRODUCES
Star pupils, Happy parents
“We would like to thank everyone from Minerva for last week! Robert enjoyed a lot. Great job!”
“Our two weeks with David were great and we think greatly beneficial to Pietro. David was a delight to have around. We look forward to having him back.”
“Aida absolutely loved Shane!! She said the hour felt like 10 minutes and they want him back as soon as possible!”
“Excellent report! I’m really happy to bring Henry to Me club, for sure same as Henry! Henry had fantastic summer vacation in Me Club! Thanks for all your efforts!”
“Our tutor has done a superb job and we will keep going for sure.”
“We are thrilled with Siobhan, and look forward to carrying on the sessions.”
“Minerva was the third agency we looked at, and hit the nail on the head for me.”
“The one to one attention from Minerva’s Tutors has been an invaluable boost for my children. I would absolutely recommend Minerva.”
“Minerva was the third agency we looked at, and hit the nail on the head for me – didn’t want to push my son too much, just wanted him to enjoy himself after a negative school experience, and is now seeing fantastic benefits. Emily is perfect, she has been brilliant.”
‘Jack is fantastic, thank you!’
“The family were incredibly happy with Emily.”
“Ade is fantastic!”
“The one to one attention from Minerva’s Tutors has been an invaluable boost for my children. The flexibility of online tuition makes it an ideal resource that I would definitely use again. I would absolutely recommend Minerva.”
“Many thanks, Hugh for such wonderful photos and detailed descriptions of each day. I felt I was there!”
“Thank you very much for a wonderful time in London.”
“The two weeks spent with your tutors have been an excellent experience for Pietro.”
“Prabhath is very talented. Elijah is very enthusiastic about working with him.”
“Oscar looks forward to his lessons every week.”
“Jenny is the perfect balance of freshness, youth and enthusiasm.”
“The co-ordination and back up that Minerva give is extremely helpful and informative. A very good experience.”
“Alexander was absolutely fantastic – a real help for Henry thank you.”
“I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I am with all the tutors taking such a close interest in Perry’s progress and welfare.”
“Joseph is a very personable tutor and Rosa liked him which is excellent. We look forward to her making great strides under his tuition.”
“Thank you very much for all, it was amazing experience.”
“We are absolutely delighted with Charity and Hugh looks forward to seeing her each week.”
“Luca said it was much better than his English classes at school!”
“It was fantastic. I was quite shocked at how well it went actually.”
“Greg was absolutely fantastic – couldn’t have asked for anyone better.”
OUR INVESTIGATION INTO
CODING IN SCHOOLS
How much is coding being taught in Primary and Secondary schools?
According to an article in the Guardian written in September 2014 a computing curriculum has replaced ICT in the national curriculum.
The new curriculum was written in 2013 and here is the Guardian’s summary of what it teaches:
Key Stage 1 (5-6 year-olds): Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions” teachers may illustrate the idea using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to “create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 year-olds): Slightly older primary-school children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and getting to grips with concepts including variables and “sequence, selection, and repetition in programs”. They will still be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. And there will be more practice at using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.
Key Stage 3 (11-14 year-olds): Once children enter senior school they will be using two or more programming languages – “at least one of which is textual” – to create their own programs. Schools and teachers will be free to choose the specific languages and coding tools. Pupils will be learning simple Boolean logic (the AND, OR and NOT operators, for example), working with binary numbers, and studying how computer hardware and software work together.
At all these levels, children will also be studying computer and internet safety, including how to report concerns about “content or contact” online. The full breakdown of the changes can be found here.
To read more in the article such as what parents can do to help their children who are learning how to code, follow the link.
Why should we learn to code? This excellent article from Dr Dan Crow – advisor to the year of the code – explains exactly why. (Taken from www.theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/07/year-of-code-dan-crow-songkick)
Next week my daughters turn five. They are growing up in a radically different world to the one I knew when I was a kid. I was one of the generation inspired by the first wave of home computers: I taught myself to program on a ZX81, then a BBC Micro. Those early computers were glacially slow, had almost no storage and you had to write code to get them to do even the simplest task.
Today, I have a computer in my pocket that is more than 100,000 times faster and has 10,000,000 times more memory than a ZX81. It is connected to every other computer on the planet and can access virtually every piece of human knowledge ever created, nearly instantaneously. The pace of change in computing is extraordinary.
Britain has a proud history of excellence in computing. All modern computers are based on the theoretical and practical work of Alan Turing, one of the true geniuses of the 20th century. The home-computer boom of the 1980s set many of us on a course that would see Brits helping run major technology companies across the world. The world wide web was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Somewhere in the mid 1990s, we lost our way. The education system largely ignored the explosive growth of computing and the internet, instead focusing on teaching students how to write Word documents. Instead of a nation of builders and entrepreneurs, we were content for our children to become also-rans on the technology stage.
We at the Year of Code are going to help change that. The newcomputing curriculum starts this September, and it puts coding at the heart of IT education. Coding is the art of telling a computer how to perform complex tasks. Once you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds within the computer where the only limit on what is possible is your imagination. We want to put this power into the hands and hearts of every child in Britain.
Anyone can learn to code. In a few hours you can pick up the basic skills and in a few weeks you will be able to build useful applications and websites.
In the last few years, the UK has finally woken up to the importance of coding. Organisations like Young Rewired State, Code Club and Code Academy have led the way, helping young people learn these key skills.
Why is it so vital that we teach our children to code? We are already living in a world dominated by software. Your telephone calls go over software-controlled networks; your television is delivered over the internet; people don’t buy maps anymore, they use the web; we all shop online. The next generation’s world will be even more online and digital. Soon, your house will be controlled with software, some of your medical care will be delivered over the web and your car may even drive itself.
Software is the language of our world
Software is becoming a critical layer of all our lives. It is the language of our world. In the future, not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate are today.
Will every job in the future involve programming? No. But it is still crucial that every child learns to code.
This is not primarily about equipping the next generation to work as software engineers, it is about promoting computational thinking. Computational thinking is how software engineers solve problems. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world.
Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to tackle complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale. It involves creating models of the real world with a suitable level of abstraction, and focus on the most pertinent aspects. It helps you go from specific solutions to general ones.
The applications of this approach stretch beyond writing software. Fields as diverse as mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics, physics, biology, archeology and music are applying the computational approach. In business we are beginning to understand that markets often follow rules that can be discerned using computational analysis.
Computational thinking is a skill that everyone should learn. Even if you never become a professional software engineer, you will benefit from knowing how to think this way. It will help you understand and master technology of all sorts and solve problems in almost any discipline.
UK coding culture on the rise
The Year of Code is an amazing initiative and one I am very proud to be supporting. It brings together computer scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and political thinkers to promote the education of our children for the world to come. The aim is to ensure that every British school child learns to code; not in a decade from now, but next school year. The charity will help train teachers on the new curriculum and promote the growth of a coding culture in the UK.
The diversity of the project’s leadership and supporters is a great strength. The technology entrepreneur community strongly supports this effort as you can see from the list of advisers on the website. We are people with decades of deep technical experience, who understand the challenge involved in learning a new approach. We have members who have been pushing for coding in schools for years as well as new converts to the cause. This breadth stands us in good stead to accomplish a huge amount this year.
We will help teach coding to every child in the land. We will be teaching coding to anyone, of any age, who wants to learn. We are investing in Britain’s future. Will you join us?
Dr Dan Crow is chief technology officer of Songkick, visiting professor of computer science at Leeds University and adviser to the Year of Code