THURSDAY 17 SEP 2015 11:22 AM


January 2015 saw the launch of the Barclays-run ‘Code Playground’. This, now regular, event is put on by the banking corporation to make coding learning accessible to more people. It has a specific focus on children age seven to 17 years, but also offers these valuable computer skills to their parents and grandparents.

With more and more aspects of daily life being run by or from computers, coding has become a natural part of society. From digital road maps to robotics, to games played on a television screen, coding is an intrinsic feature of almost every industry vertical.

Through the Barclay’s Digital Eagles project, Code Playground has deployed 600 tech-savvy staff across over 300 branches in the UK to offer bi-monthly two hour sessions in an attempt to educate the public about the importance of coding. Using Scratch 1.4 coding software, a programme often used to teach coding in a school environment, children learn to programme stories, animations and games, all while learning the importance of the digital environment and the impact it has on everyday life.

Barclays strives to be seen as a leader in digital banking; its Code Playground has been launched with the eye to promote CSR in an increasingly digitised world. With the majority of the 650 sessions already held becoming fully-booked within 24 hours, research by the bank, which found that 77% of parents deemed coding an important skill for their child to learn, is reflective of consumer demands in contemporary society.

Charlotte Snell, a member of the Barclays Digital Eagle team, says, “It’s really important that Digital Eagles offer support to families because we are going through a digital revolution at the moment, and we don’t want people to be left behind."

Over 5000 children have participated in the Code Playground sessions so far, and the importance of digital coding is also reflected through its uptake as a regular lesson across British schools.The importance of teaching children skills in preparation for the business environments of the future is reflected through such educational choices.