ST Hilda's Anglican Girls’ School is on a mission to bust the myth that information technology is a man’s world only.
To combat this common misconception, Head of Junior School Andrea McNally has introduced coding – the language of computers – into the curriculum for primary students.
“Last year, St Hilda’s established a designated STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based program embedded into the timetable,” Ms McNally said.
“All the research shows we need to start it earlier. We’re seeing it as a new language and it needs to be taught the same way as we teach literacy and numeracy.”
As well as including coding in the curriculum, St Hilda’s signed on with Code Camp – a program that runs school holiday programs.
Code Camp city director Magda Thibault said coding was important for both genders to learn.
“We are big on working with girls schools because of the gender gap in technology,” she said.
“Fewer than 28 per cent of women in Australia are represented in tech jobs, so it important we engage girls and pique their interest early on.
“Coding is important going forward for jobs of the future, not just for IT but also for logic and problem solving.”
Ms McNally said the best part about coding was it was good fun.
“Because there’s a gaming element, students learning to code in a fun way,” she said.
“Introducing coding allows the girls a greater choice in their secondary experience.
“Our focus for the girls is for them to have that breadth in the workforce that at the moment is showing that huge gender gap.”