Computer Coding with Minerva.
"They loved it! So happy with how much the boys enjoyed it."Katie, Coding Parent
We provide outstanding coding tuition to children of all ages and abilities. A Minerva coding tutor is trained, DBS checked, and professionally vetted. Hiring one to teach your child to code will give them the best chance to develop new skills quickly and to become coding experts at a young age.
Coding is taught by the hour at your home (if you are based in Greater London) or online via an interactive whiteboard, so your child can learn to code wherever you are based in the world. We teach Visual Basic, Java, C#, Perl, Ruby, Modding on Minecraft, Scratch, Python and more.
Classes usually last one hour, and you will need a basic laptop (we can provide equipment if required). We can also run weekly intensive courses over half term and the summer holidays.
What is coding?
Coding is the instructions given on computers in the form of symbols and letters in order to perform a particular task. This includes the process by which we can create computer software, apps and websites.
At its simplest, it can be incredibly straightforward and graspable to even the least technologically-inclined mind. At its most complicated, it can be used to write highly sophisticated, multi-layered programmes with many functions that respond to complex algorithms.
Why is it important?
It is virtually impossible at this point to run a successful company without at least one person who is competent at coding. It is already mandatory for a lot of professions, with requests rising exponentially in many sectors. Every successful business needs a website – and if the website doesn’t look slick, you can’t realistically hope to attract customers. Whether you want to start a business, become a career coder (a field where demand currently far outstrips supply), or build a personal blog/portfolio online, coding is a vital skill, and one that is transferable to any field that uses computers (so…any field).
Even if you don’t see yourself as a ‘techie’ person, you will still need to be able to deal with technology on a regular basis, and it’s infinitely better to be able to take control of the situation yourself, rather than always be asking that one indispensable techie friend for help… instead, you could BE that one indispensable techie friend.
Why learn now?
Coding is currently taught in some schools, but by no means a majority, although it tends to be those that are ahead of the curve. In many ways, it is as valuable as learning a foreign language, except this is a language that is spoken globally, and so knowing it can help take you wherever you may want to go. Like it or not, computer technology and coding is undeniably the language of the future, and those who don’t speak it are more likely to struggle and get left behind.
In a few years, it is likely to be mandatory in schools (at least in the most ambitious schools) and demanded for many jobs: those who learn it now will be the best prepared for this future, and not playing catch up.
How can it be taught?
Because coding is a computer language, we have found that it can be very successfully taught online, as well as tutored in person. The benefits of online include flexible timing, some fantastic online teaching resources, and greater independence for the student.
Thomas, one of Minerva’s expert coding tutors, says: ‘I have had students that responded really well to online tuition whereas others needed for me to be next to them in order to help them understand particular concepts.’
Interview with a Minerva Coding tutor.
Hi Thomas, what exactly is coding, and what can it be used for?
Simplified, coding is the instructions given on computers in the form of symbols and letters in order to perform a particular task. All of the electronic systems surrounding us are programmed to function using coding, so it could be said that coding is implicitly involved in our everyday lives!
As a coding tutor, do you mainly teach older students, or younger ones too?
It’s usually taught to teenagers and older students, when they already have a basic mathematical background. However in the last few years a lot of parents – and some schools – have started getting their children to learn basic coding skills from ages 7 and above, as far as I am aware. I think that’s particularly useful since children at those ages learn much easier than adults, since they are at that age where they simply absorb information. Myself, I teach coding to children from ages from 7 to 17!
Do you think coding is taught enough in schools? If technology is the future (and the present), could it not be as important as maths or English?
Yes, I believe that coding should become an essential subject in schools. Whether we like it or not, technology is taking over in all of the sectors of industry and academia. Therefore if children start learning how to think in terms of coding from a young age, things will be much easier when they will have to use coding in university, or even work.
Do you think coding will be mandatory for a lot of professions in a few years’ time?
It’s already mandatory in a lot of professions to be fair, and requests for it are increasing exponentially in many sectors.
Do you find it easier to teach coding online, or in person? Why?
I teach both, although mostly in person, however this depends on the student. I have had students that responded really well to online tuition whereas others needed for me to be next to them in order to help them understand particular concepts.
5 Programming Languages to Help Kids Learn Coding.
There’s a huge number of different programming languages around that can be used to learn coding. However, many of these are fairly complicated, requiring tricky syntax or appearing to be overly mathematical. Something that intimidating could easily put a child off trying to learn coding, so we’ve collated some of the best programming languages to get kids started with, that can set them on the way to acquiring an invaluable lifelong skill.
Some programming languages are so beautifully simple – requiring minimal or no syntax and typing – that kids won’t even realise they’re learning a new skill. These are programming languages that work intuitively and are relatively easy for kids to pick up – whether they want to build games, make music or create an interactive story!
Scratch is one of the favourite introductory programing languages, as it is easy to grasp for beginners while also including enough options and complexity for more experienced programmers. It can be used to make art, music, games and interactive stories, and is currently popular in schools, being available free online and usable on any operating system. There’s even an active online community of users who share their work, and help other users develop.
Ruby is a dynamic, open-source coding language that has proven self-explanatory for a lot of children, with its focus on simplicity and productivity. It has some of the easiest syntax of any programming language, and is brilliant for learning the fundamentals that will teach children how to write good script. It produces sturdy code, and was originally used for Twitter, making it one of the best examples for how coding can be used to create something fantastically popular and important.
Unlike more advanced programming languages, Python is written in plain English, rarely requiring one to add comments. It can help kids to think like a programmer without needing to first learn the intricacies of coding syntax. Python also has an extensive library of common coding functionalities, making it easy for users to turn a programming idea into something that can be interpreted by a computer. Hello, World!
This is an ideal programming language for any children who love gaming, and can be convinced to turn that passion for playstation into something more productive. The basic version is free, and is a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of video-game design, through an epic adventure-based plot. Users can also publish and share their created games, but in the interest of online safety, the site closely monitors all published content, and there is no live chat feature. And parents can even set a time limit on how much a child can play the game in a day! Ideal.
This language will teach you how to talk to robots, and is perfect for designing anything from desktop programmes to video games. From telling a machine what to do, to introducing conditional statements and creating functions, C++ can be taught to even young children and allow them to get to grips with the possibilities of coding.
"Clarice is fab"Tessa L, Coding Parent
"It’s going very well with Andrew, and Esme has a lot of fun during her lessons."Stephanie C, Coding Parent
"My daughter Tatiana enjoys her classes with Betty very much. She says she learns more than in any other computer class she has taken. Betty is also a wonderful role model as a Hispanic woman in a STEM profession."Gloria C, Coding Parent