24 November 2015

Schools across Northamptonshire are being encouraged to put their computer skills to the test by entering the Race To The Top coding competition.

The competition, organised by Northamptonshire County Council, the University of Northampton, The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) and Code Club, aims to improve the teaching of computer coding and develop pupils’ technology skills.

Age categories

There are two categories for different age groups. Pupils in Years 4 to 6 are being invited to design a game based around saving energy using the coding programme Scratch, while Year 9 students will create an app.

Teams will present their game or app to the judges with a two-minute video uploaded to YouTube and the winners will receive a personal Raspberry Pi computer.

The competition forms part of Northamptonshire’s Race To The Top school improvement strategy, which identifies that pupils are currently underperforming in maths, science, technology and engineering.

Computer skills

Counsellor Matthew Golby, county council cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said: “This competition is a great way for pupils to put their computer skills to the test and show us what they can do.

“We’re looking forward to seeing some fantastic games and apps with an energy-saving theme and I’d encourage all schools to put together a team to enter for a chance to win a Raspberry Pi computer.”

Scott Turner, Associate Professor in Computing and Immersive Technologies at the University of Northampton, said: “I’d urge schools in the county to get involved with the competition, as it’s a really exciting opportunity and shows coding is creative and fun.

“Coding promotes problem solving, team-work and analytical thinking – and those who code from an early age will have a real advantage in the future jobs market.”

How to enter

The closing date for entries is January 8, 2016 and the winners will be announced in February. To find out more and to enter, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/codingcompetition.