Thousands of Dorset schoolchildren took part in the county’s first-ever Coding Day.
Organized by Dorset Council, BCP Council and Barclays Digital Eagles, Dorset Coding Day brought together 43 schools across the county, from Christchurch to Beaminster and north through Gillingham to the Portland coast.
Additionally, 25 local tech companies supported the event by offering their expertise to schools on the day.
The online event asked five-, six- and seven-year-olds to participate in an interactive “code-along” session.
Using software called Edublocks, the kids learned how to format and code a basic website.
Christopher Daw, Head of IT at Allenbourn Middle School and Wimborne Academy Trust, said: “Dorset Coding Day has been a great opportunity to engage our students in what is an essential skill.
“There are now so many exciting careers that involve coding so it’s important that all kids get a broader experience in this area.
“Dorset Coding Day did just that and complemented our own computer science curriculum very well.”
Dorset Coding Day was held during National Coding Week to help inspire future Ada Lovelaces and Bill Gates.
Video footage from the day will also feature in Dorset Council’s annual Futures Festival next month, when participants give their thoughts on the event’s Ferndown Day on October 11.
Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council portfolio holder for business development and transformation, said: “Thanks to the power of digital, we were able to bring together over 2,000 school children for this fantastic Dorset Coding Day.
“By joining forces with our partners BCP Council, we could make this a truly pan-Dorset event, which hopefully inspired many young people to pursue a career in digital.”
The Dorset Coding Day held two sessions in the morning and afternoon, covering computer programming topics in the key curricula for stages two and three.
Run by Barclays Digital Eagles, the online sessions allowed schools to participate virtually across the county.
IT specialists from Dorset tech companies also supported the event by attending some of the participating schools to talk to pupils and share their own experiences of using coding.
Kevin Garner, Head of Barclays Code Playground, said: “We were delighted to run these sessions for Dorset Coding Day, and it was wonderful to see so many children and schools taking part.
“Events like this can equip young people with new digital skills and give schools the opportunity to introduce students to the exciting world of coding.”
People who want to find out more about how the kids got along on Dorset Coding Day can attend the Festival of the Future on October 11 at the Centre, Tricketts Cross, Ferndown.
On this day, young people will also have the opportunity to create their own animation. Families can also learn about the digital help available in their communities – from computer clubs to face-to-face sessions with a volunteer digital champion.
For more information on this and all the events taking place during Festival of the Future (October 10-14), go to www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/festival-of-the-future-2022