Search

Google descends on Hampstead primary schools to find the next Bill Gates

10:16 07 February 2014

Kids as young as nine are being taught how to code at Christ Church Primary School in Hampstead. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Kids as young as nine are being taught how to code at Christ Church Primary School in Hampstead. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Employees from global tech giant Google have joined forces with teachers in Hampstead as they begin their search for the next Bill Gates through after-school coding clubs.

Pupils at Christ Church Primary School were asked to put their hands up if they had to teach their parents how to use technology. Picture: Nigel SuttonPupils at Christ Church Primary School were asked to put their hands up if they had to teach their parents how to use technology. Picture: Nigel Sutton

In a bid to develop the next generation of computer geniuses, some of the best and brightest from the £160billion firm have been teaching nine-to 11-year-olds at Christ Church Primary School how to make their own apps, webpages and games.

Run in partnership with Camden Council, the after-school clubs are being repeated across all 41 primary schools in the borough – threatening to further widen the gap between children and their parents when it comes to computer know-how.

Dominik Grewe, 27, a software engineer at Google, gave pupils their second lesson last Thursday. “Just like physics, this is giving the children a basic understanding of how their world works,” he said.

“Computers have undoubtedly 
become a key tool in all our lives and we hope these classes encourage people to study the science behind them.

“It can be a well-paid vocation, is certainly future proof and can be very rewarding. But it’s quite astonishing how much the kids already knew 
before we came here. By the end of the second session they were actually teaching me how to do things.”

The pupils are no strangers to having to teach their elders. The digital revolution and the arrival of smartphones and iPads has prompted one of the rare moments in history where youngsters not even in their teens are teaching their parents how the world works.

One 11-year-old, who created his own game website so his friends could get around parental controls, said his parents “didn’t seem to know much”.

“I teach my dad, who then teaches my mum,” he said. “They never grew up with technology like we have and like a lot of my friends, my parents will always be coming to me for help.

“I love computers and would love to work somewhere like Google. We’re all learning really useful and fun skills with these classes.”

With Google aware that coding has traditionally been seen as a male-only enterprise, the company is keen to make sure an extra effort was made to enrol as many girls as boys.

But teacher Sarah Shaw, 38, said there was no need. “Girls have flocked to it so we didn’t need to adjust the class at all. The kids love it,” she said.

“Subjects like maths and English are traditionally seen as the most important for young people – and this will continue – but it’s clear learning about computers is essential for most jobs today,” she added.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 21:44
The scooter was in collision with a car driven by a member of the public

A teenager hospitalised after his scooter collided with another vehicle while being pursued by Camden police remains in critical condition.

Yesterday, 16:30
Steve McQueen's Porsche 917 driven at Le Mans.

The roar and growls of supercar engines will soon get pulses racing as St John’s Wood gears up for its annual supercar pageant – this year in association with the Ham&High and its sister title the Wood&Vale.

Yesterday, 11:53
Royal fans celebrate outside the Lindo Wing entrance at St Mary's Hospital after reports from Kensington Palace announced the born of a baby girl (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a girl - with mother and baby both doing well, Kensington Palace has announced.

Yesterday, 08:00
Tim McArthur with Hi-de-Hi! star Su Pollard at Lauderdale House. Picture: Polly Hancock

The star of 1980s sitcom Hi-de-Hi! has given her support to a £2.1million fundraising campaign to restore a historic Highgate house.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder