A new kids coding studio, built around the fundamentals – with an emphasis on ‘fun’ – of game-building and STEM education is coming to Cheltenham. Code Ninjas, which opened to the public in June with a full range of summer camps available to students aged 7-14, will play a key role in equipping the next generation of tech talent with the skills needed to excel in a digital world.
Cod Ninjas is a fast-growing global kids coding franchise, with hundreds of locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
At its centres, kids learn to code while building their own video games. They gain problem solving, critical thinking, and STEM skills in a fun, safe, and inspiring environment.
“We’re so excited to play a role in the town’s regeneration and plan to become the UK’s answer to Silicon Valley by 2023,” explained Code Ninjas’ co-owner and dad-of-two, Dafydd Moore. “The demand for our curriculum and specialist camps really helps demonstrate that we are, as a society and a community, taking positive steps towards equipping our younger generation with the ability to navigate the ongoing technological developments in the workplace.
“But, although our programme is built around teaching children how to code and build video games, Code Ninjas is about so much more than that. We develop our students’ sense of self-confidence by showing them how to work as part of a team. In my role as Head of IT for a global technology brand, no one sits me down at the end of the day and tests me on what I’ve retained – it’s about how I work with my colleagues. That’s a transferable skill that is truly invaluable.”
Dafydd and his wife, Mel, decided to launch their own kids coding studio – based in the new cyber training facility located within Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham campus – when searching for coding camps and clubs for their own sons, William, 13, and Oliver, who is 11.
“When I was growing up, I was told to learn a trade and you’ll always be employable. In 2021, learning to code and being able to navigate the ever-evolving digital technology that society relies on, on a daily basis, is the new version of that. Ensuring our own children are not only digitally literate but also digitally capable is important to both of us,” added Dafydd.
Code Ninjas Cheltenham’s coding camps will provide various programmes throughout the school holidays. Through hands-on education, children learn how to code by building robots and creating their own games that friends and family can play at home – all during the course of a week-long workshop.
“The fundamentals of coding can’t be taught in just one hour – like any other form of educational enrichment, knowledge is gained over the course of an extended period of time,” explained Mel. “And because at Code Ninjas we emphasise the importance of fun through learning, camps offer our Code SenseisÔ the chance to deliver the sessions in a relaxed environment, customised to a pace that suits each child.”
At Code Ninjas things are done differently. The locations are called dojos, the teachers are called Senseis and the students are called ninjas! The ninjas work their way through a colour-coded programme to earn wristbands that symbolise their experience, just like in martial arts. ‘Belt up’ sessions are held for the ninjas who graduate up a level.
“One of the things we’re most excited about is witnessing the professional growth of our team,” said Dafydd. “Having already welcomed three members of the team, Finn Vallely, a local Computer Games Design student, Aaron Bottomley and Hannah Manual, we’re passionate about bringing employment opportunities to young people living in the area. We’re looking forward to equipping them with valuable workplace experience that will benefit them in the future.”