The New Idea – EOTAS Coding Programme a resounding success

Jan 24, 2024

In 2023 the Go Bezerk Coding initiative was launched in all EOTAS Centres in Northern Ireland with funding from The James Kane Foundation.

The initiative, entitled ‘The New Idea’ was a massive success. At the beginning of the project, EOTAS had two aims.  
– To give young people in EOTAS Centres across NI access to coding software. 
– To up skill EOTAS staff so they can confidently teach young people how to write HTML code.  

120 young people in EOTAS have proven that they are capable of learning a new digital skill – coding. They have completed a program that required them to develop a range of skills to show they can write HTML code and design a webpage.   EOTAS ICT teachers now feel confident teaching young people how to create webpages using HTML code.   EOTAS young people have a new sense of self belief and confidence. They are prepared to tackle more subject areas and apply the critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed in the New Idea project to other aspects of the curriculum.

The unforeseen benefits of the New Idea project are astronomical. When we initially partnered with the JKF we did not intend to connect the project to the curriculum directly. However EOTAS ICT Manager Michael O’Hare thought outside of the box to connect the New Idea project to two OCN Qualifications. The New Idea was a catalyst for a new teaching resource he created called EOTAS Connects. EOTAS Connects takes the skills developed in the New Idea and adds them to additional OCN Units in two OCN qualifications. He has also managed to link the skills developed in the New Idea project to the Prince’s Trust Award. Now young people in EOTAS are thematically learning how to digitally transform their learning through a combination of cross curriculum themes and skills.

Michael O’Hare commented “Many of our young people have been neglected or let down by adults in their lives. You guys did not do this. You made a commitment to our young people and provided a project that inspired them to believe in their own self-worth. They will always be grateful to you for this. As well the whole of EOTAS.”