OUR STORY SO FAR...
Our first year
In 2016, Gerard decided to buy a Raspberry Pi to teach children aged 9 - 14 to code. We started with a small group of students working on a 4-day Electronics Bootcamp in July 2016 and this has now become our most popular bootcamp and still run throughout the year. Following the success of these bootcamps, we were encouraged to start teaching weekly classes after school and on Saturday mornings. We realised after a few months that we would need to find our own space which could cater to all of our classes and would give our students the space to express their creativity and to thrive.
During the day, we would often use local cafes as our offices. One of these was 'The Cinnamon Cafe' located on Belmont Circle. In the Spring of 2017, the owners decided to sell their cafe and it felt like the natural future home of DiscoG Coding Academy. Throughout the Summer of 2017, we worked hard to run coding bootcamps for Mini Coders and Young Coders while working on-site to build our Coding Academy. Having done most of the work ourselves, our centre really feels like home. This video chronicles our journey from demolishing the old cafe to building our Coding Academy which, now, truly does feel like home.
The slideshow below was designed by a Year 10 student while taking part in a week of work experience at our academy. It chronicles the first year of our journey, from our first Electronics Bootcamp in July 2016 to our first class in our centre at 504 Kenton Lane, Harrow, HA3 8RD. The video showcases the process of demolishing the old cafe and building up our very own academy.
DiscoG's Winter showcase 2017
On the 19th November 2017 we officially launched our centre on Belmont Circle with a Winter Showcase to show parents, families & friends and the local community some of the amazing projects our students had taken part in so far. The day was a huge success and was a chance for students at different stages of their coding journeys to meet one another and strengthen the sense of community that is an integral part of our academy. A number of councillors and the MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, also attended the event.
Beyond teaching children to code, we Teach them how to
like computer programmers.
Our mission has always been to teach children (of all ages) to code. DiscoG Coding Academy is a modern initiative created to teach child and adults alike the learn the new language that writes the 21st Century; coding. Advances in technology have changed the way we view the world and our reliance on the latest technology is rapidly increasing. Through the progression of our programmes, our students will cultivate skills such as applying logical & analytical thinking skills and problem solving skills which is highly imperative in the modern world.
Learning to code is a new and powerful way of thinking. By learning the basic concepts and methodology, our students will learn computational thinking skills and will be able to create their own programmes and much more! As a family-run initiative, our ultimate goal is to build a thriving coding community of budding coders and innovators of all ages.
Gerard Papet is the CEO and co-founder of DiscoG Coding Academy.
His passion for technology can be traced back to an early age when he designed and built his first digital clock and crystal radio. He grew up in an era when digital technology and personal computers were taking off. Gerard learnt his first programming language (BASIC) on the Commodore 64, then moved on to the BBC Micro and Sinclair Spectrum ZX-80.
Gerard's love of technology was the definitive factor in choosing to study Electronic Engineering. Following that, he spent most of his working career within the Financial & Technology sectors designing and building large-scale financial products. He has held numerous senior management & CTO roles for companies such as Thomson Reuters, Mergermarket (now known as Acuris) and Pearson Education.
With the introduction of Apple's iPad, his passion for coding came to light again. He founded DiscoG Educational Apps. In 2015 he designed two apps for the London Borough of Barking, which specifically aids children with learning difficulties to understand basic numeracy and literacy. The success of these two apps were measured by their use in schools and at home across the borough.
After completing her BA in Architecture at Central Saint Martins in London, Katrina spent a year working part time in a small architecture firm during the day and working as a freelance fashion illustrator at night.
When her dad, Gerard, started the first set of term time classes at Stanmore College in September 2017, she came onboard to help. It was clear from the beginning that her creativity could play a big role in helping younger children to understand computational concepts, so she wrote DiscoG's first textbook for children aged 9+ to help them to learn to write programs in Python with an emphasis on digital art. This textbook later became the basis for a course developed to introduce younger children aged 6 - 8 (Mini Coders) to the world of coding.