Surfing the Flow of 2021

So 2020. That was a strange one! Jam Coding entered the new year with the same goals as the last. To reach as many children as possible and deliver vital life skills to the next generation of digital citizens. 

We have adapted and extended our services to meet an ever-growing market and need. Our virtual classroom initiative, which we launched last spring, remains as popular going into 2021. This service includes laptop hire, a virtual code coach and various cross-curricular lessons and activities that children can complete from home. 

Even though schools are closed for most pupils, children of key workers are still in attendance and teachers are working hard to educate both those in the classroom and those at home. 

Our code coaches are working in more schools to help with the delivery of the computing curriculum and allow teachers the time to catch-up pupils that may be behind from Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0. All whilst they deliver the rest of the curriculum. Teachers are heroes.

The continued closure of schools across the country has only highlighted the importance of technology and the need for services like ours. That’s why, just weeks into the new year, we launched our very first Online Coding Club.

The club will be delivered in weekly group sessions that cater for all year groups and abilities. Led by a live code coach, children aged 4 to 11 can join in via Zoom and learn to build their own computer game and complete other coding challenges.

All our clubs are educational, interactive and fun and the online sessions will be no different. 

The pandemic has presented challenge after challenge, but we’re proud to be riding the tides, surfing the flow and finding new and innovative ways to do more of what we do. Where there’s a WiFi connection, there’s a way! In fact, scrap that, we don’t even need a Wi-Fi connection sometimes. 

Our achievements in 2020 and plans for the future

Another year has come to a close and, despite the challenges, Jam Coding is delighted to be ending it on a high. This year has proven that with every challenge comes the opportunity to innovate and grow. 

In March, the closure of schools and other lockdown restrictions inspired us to launch Jam Academy, a virtual classroom initiative that would allow children to continue their education whilst schools were closed. 

We did this by delivering and loaning laptops, fully equipped with a range of cross-curricular workshops. Each workshop contained tasks, challenges and lessons for children to complete then submit back to the group. Our code coaches even recorded detailed explanatory videos to ensure the children were fully engaged with the programme. 

Having supported the learning of 62 children across the county, the initiative was a huge success. One parent commented, “The Jam Coding workshops, and the new service Jam Academy is excellent. Our 10-year-old daughter is absolutely loving the content and using the technology to do some of her homework whilst home-schooling.” 

By the time September came round, we were back at school, supporting teachers in the delivery of PPA and CPD, as well as general cover. We even conducted some lessons via Zoom (where schools were not permitted to welcome visitors) so that entire classes could take part and benefit.  

Jam Coding is based in Lancashire, but we believe that all children should have access to our digital / life skills workshops. This year we were delighted to welcome 5 new franchise partners on board who will help us deliver computing education to children across the nation! 

To top of it off, we recently became finalists in the QFA’s Virtual Franchising Awards which celebrates innovation, achievement, and excellence within the franchising sector. The winners will be revealed on 29th January 2021 – keep your eyes peeled! 

What’s next for Jam Coding? 

Another year has passed but our vision remains clear. We want to reach as many children as possible and deliver life skills to the next generation of digital citizens.  

Jam Coding has an exciting year ahead with plans to further grow our franchise network and deliver workshops to new schools who have booked in with us for 2021! 

We will also be releasing some new fun and engaging extracurricular workshops to grow the digital knowledge of the children we teach. 

Jam Coding become finalists in the QFA’s Virtual Franchising Awards

Jam Coding is delighted to be a finalist in the QFA’s Virtual Franchising Awards. Sponsored by Barclays, the awards celebrate innovation, achievement and excellence within the franchising sector.

Founded in 2014 by teacher and digital professional Roger Grogan, Jam Coding delivers computing and coding programmes that help children and young people engage in the computing curriculum. 

Roger commented, “We believe every child deserves the chance to unlock their innate, unlimited capacity to learn. Not just where we’re based in Lancashire, but nationwide.

Through our franchising program, children across the UK can access the tools they need to develop vital computing skills. Whether or not they choose coding as a career, these skills will help them throughout the course of their lives.

We see digital skills as life skills and we also, unfortunately, see a widening digital divide. We are seeking to address this at key ages and are very proud to be recognised for that.”

The awards, which are conducted virtually using technology to select and present the winners, received 175 nominations.

Jam Coding was shortlisted to win the ‘best technology and innovation’ category alongside Just Cuts, Swim Time, Busy Lizzy, Magikats, Franchise Resales, Really Awesome Coffee and Pass The Keys.

Other categories include: marketing excellence, best franchise support, best franchising supplier, new franchisor of the year, best adaption to change, franchise of the year and franchisor of the year.

What happens next?

Now, we wait! The shortlisted applicants will be reviewed by a judging panel who will then vote for the franchise they believe should win. The winners will be announced on 29th January 2021 until then its back to teaching the future…. 

Love what we do?

Get in touch to find out how you can become a Jam Coding franchisee.

Why every child should get a Rubik’s cube this Christmas

Why every child should get a Rubik’s cube this Christmas.

The Rubik’s cube is always our first suggestion when parents ask what toys or games will help their children digitally.

Invented in the mid-70’s by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik, the colourful cube is one of the most popular toys of all time. Over the last 45+ years, people of all ages have taken on the challenge of solving the 3-dimensional puzzle, yet only an estimated 5.8% of the population have been successful.

Despite popular belief, the low success rate isn’t down to the cube being too difficult to solve. Anyone can solve it. It just requires a lot of patience and focus which is where most people fall short. 

So, how does it work and how will it benefit my child?

To solve the cube, your child will need to learn a couple of algorithms. Don’t worry, it sounds a lot scarier than it is!

An algorithm is essentially a list of step-by-step instructions that must be followed in a particular sequence in order to solve a problem. Once you master the first algorithm, the others will follow much more naturally.

This part of the process can actually improve patience and focus – essential qualities in any computing role. It can also increase speed and boost muscle memory which is great for coding and any other role that requires typing.

As you come closer to solving the puzzle, you’ll start to get a better understanding of how the cube actually works. This can have a positive effect on your child’s problem-solving capabilities, forcing him/her to think ahead and discover new ways to solve the cube.

Learning to solve the Rubik’s cube comes with a number of benefits that will help your child in the real world, but it’s also a great conversation starter, an amazing achievement and something they will always be proud of.

Thinking of getting your child this popular brain teaser for Christmas?

Statistics reveal that only 1 in 20 people who own a Rubik’s cube can actually solve it but the chances are definitely less if your child doesn’t have one at home.

Solving the Rubik’s cube is a challenge, but one that will have a great impact on your child whether or not they see it to completion. Thinking of giving it a go? Head over to YouTube where you’ll find hundreds of step-by-step tutorials – this one is our favourite!

For more information, please get in touch. Good luck!

Celebrating Digital Skills Week (14th – 18th September)

Celebrating Digital Skills Week (14th – 18th September) – Win a FREE workshop for your child & school.

In celebration of our return to teaching, and as part of Digital Skills Week (14th-18th September), we will be providing both parents and schools with the opportunity to win a free workshop. Entries made by schools will have the option to use the session either as a full session delivered by one of our Code Coaches or for CPD for their teachers.

The courses on offer are:

  • eSafety
  • Robotics
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • 3D Modelling
  • Coding Crash Course

To enter all you have to do is email your nominated school and workshop to roger@jamcoding.co.uk.

Three schools will be picked at random with the winners being announced at the end of digital skills week by Direct Message or eMail.  

Thank you and good luck. 

We’re back…

We’re Glad to be Back…

We’re Back!

Jam Coding are pleased to be back in schools, doing what we love, teaching the next generation of digital citizens some important life-skills. 2020 has certainly shown us that technology is hugely important for education and connecting people and will only grow in significance for future generations.

We have been busy over the last couple of months planning and preparing for the next school term with exciting new curriculum lessons and extra-curricular workshops starting this week.

A lot has changed…

Getting children back into the classroom has been highlighted as being so so important for their development and well-being. But of course, we, like everyone else in the great communities we serve, cannot ignore the difficult circumstance under which we have to operate now in the classroom. 

In order to ensure the safety of your children, Jam Coding have put in place the following a list of policies and procedures:

  • The disinfection of all equipment prior and post-use in each of our sessions. 
  • The use of gloves by all staff if requested by the school
  • The use of face masks or visors as required by the school
  • Temperature checking of all staff on a daily basis
  • Class Bubble or smaller group sizes for After School Clubs (1 child per laptop) where children are operating out of class bubbles. 
  • Use of group bubbles to distance and seat learners as appropriate
  • Sanitisation of hands by learners before and after each session
  • Full staff training for all Jam Coding Code Coaches with risk assessments for the management of groups and environments

We have taken these steps to ensure we can get back working with our budding young coders as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to us about coding in a school then please contact us. 

A lot is changing…

The fact is 9 out of every 10 jobs will require sound digital skills in the next 10 years. Jobs in digital will represent a huge proportion of the future workforce and we are on a mission to make sure as many young people as possible are digitally ready to join that workforce. If they aren’t then they are at a serious disadvantage to their peers. It’s Digital Skills week from the 14th September and we are going to be launching some workshops FREE for schools in the UK. Watch this space for more information.

Bridging the Digital Divide with Devices Dot Now. Supporting home learning for parents and children.

Bridging the Digital Divide with Devices Dot Now. Supporting home learning for parents and children.

When Lockdown began and schools were closed, the dependency on technology for education increased beyond all comprehension, and where there is dependency on technology, there exists inequality.

The gap between those who have access to the latest technology and those who do not is called the ‘digital divide’. The digital divide is a global issue as well as a national issue. In the UK it is mostly due to the availability of technology and network coverage.

Lockdown has exacerbated the issue in the UK:

According to research carried out by Lloyds Bank, an estimated million children and young people do not have adequate access to devices or the internet at home

There are in-fact 1.9 million households with no access to the internet and tens of millions more reliant on pay-as-you-go services.

Simply put, without intervention, millions of families across the UK will not be getting a proper education. That is why we are calling on our network of schools, parents and community groups to help. 

Jam Coding is very proud to be working with the Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, on the DevicesDotNow initiative.

How does it work?

Via crowdfunding donations, Future Dot Now and Good Things Foundation have purchased laptops in bulk on a national level. Theses devices are being distributed through a network of community partners who specialise in supporting vulnerable people in our society.

As one of these community partners, Jam Coding are looking to distribute laptops, support and training to local households who are in need. It is important to understand that the laptop will include tuition for adults and children. From surfing the internet, setting up emails to word processing. The laptop will support home learning for all.

If you work with primary schools or community groups in your local area and know of any family who could benefit from a laptop then please get in touch and leave us a message, or, email:  info@jamcoding.co.uk

To find out more about how you can contribute to DevicesDotNow and help protect and empower some of the most vulnerable households in the UK go to-  www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-the-vulnerable-stay-connected

Jam Coding’s Guide to Instagram

Although you have to be thirteen to have an Instagram account, we are that this is not the case and that many primary aged children are in fact on Instagram.

Instagram has a reputation for having a strong influencer culture who flood Instagram with filtered selfies and food-pics. Unfortunately, this “doctored” representation of reality is having serious consequence to the mental health of some impressionable youngsters.

Nevertheless, children are going to use Instagram so it is important that they use it in a safe way!

Download our ‘Guide to Instagram’ to learn about Instagram and help your child understand how to use the platform responsibly.

Used safely, Instagram is an excellent creative outlet for a child to showcase their passions. This is particularly true if they have an interest in photography, as Instagram is most notably a visual platform.

Social media can be a great thing. A budding artist can post their creations. The next Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver can post their bakes and recipes!

So download our guide and talk with your child about they can get the most out of Instagram!

G-Suite for Education. Apply for funded support.

G-Suite for Education. Apply for funded support.

Through our connection with Bett, we recently learned about a brilliant opportunity available to schools who do not currently have a digital education platform.

Schools can now apply for Education-funded support to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.

Why G Suite for Education?

Google and Microsoft can each help you to create a virtual school that mimics real-life schooling as closely as possible. G Suite for Education contains a free set of productivity tools for classroom collaboration. Accessible from any device, it is used by over 120m+ users worldwide and enables teachers and students to continue teaching and learning remotely.

No matter which platform you choose, you won’t have to compromise on your pupils’ education or sense of community. You’ll be able to live-stream assemblies, upload video lessons, set work and provide feedback so pupils can continue learning. Learn more.

Further to the virtual opportunity with G-Suite; It is also excellent for use in the classroom allowing instant feedback opportunities, learner assessment and progress and easy classroom management of curriculum subjects. G-Suite is something we have used in some of our CPD and PPA schools first hand.

How do I get G Suite for Education for my school? Learn about the set-up process here.

To apply for funding, visit the digital education platform hub over at The Key Support to get started. 

Jam Coding’s Guide to TikTok

It’s the latest social media trend to have youngsters fixated but in spite of a rapid rise in popularity there are still many, mostly parents and older people, who aren’t quite sure what TikTok is.

Download our ‘Guide to TikTok’ to learn about TikTok and help your child understand how to use the platform responsibly.

Used safely TikTok can be a fun and creative platform that children can enjoy, so download our guide and talk with your child about they can get the most out of TikTok!

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