Nursery tots get to grips with computers

THEY say you are never too old to learn. But one city nursery proves you are never too young either, with children as young as three being taught how to master the latest computer technology.

Children at Bruntsfield House Nursery are receiving specially-designed lessons to make them fully computer literate by the time they reach primary school.

The programme has been designed by ComputerXplorers and uses popular characters from films and TV shows such as Nemo and Bob the Builder to develop children's numeracy skills and letter recognition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They also get to grips with basic programming, by giving instructions to BeeBot – a robot in the shape of a bee – which helps their spatial awareness and basic maths.

The children, who are taught in groups of three for 30 minutes at a time, get reward stickers after every session and a certificate at the end of each module.

Jean McIntyre, manager of the Bruntsfield House Nursery, said teaching children computer skills at such a young age has huge benefits both now and in the future.

She said: "I didn't even know how to use a computer until I was in my 30s but computer skills are essential for today's children. By introducing them to technology at an early age they will have a head start on other children when they start big school.

"My sister's kids in New Zealand all have to have laptops once they go to high school.

"It's brilliant to give children to chance to learn how to this them at such an early age.

"The sooner they start, the easier it will be for them to pick up.

"It doesn't matter what you do with children, if you make it interesting, they will learn."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The programme is also used in primary schools for older children, who get to do more advanced work such as website design, film-making courses, and core IT skills.

The course for primary pupils ties in with the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence, which is now being rolled out to all primaries in Scotland.

Lynne Kerr, owner of the ComputerXplorers franchise in south east Scotland, has just started teaching the technology to youngsters in Edinburgh.

She said: "I worked in IT for ten years, so the whole concept of this really appealed to me.

"It loses the fear of computers at such a young age and kids are not just getting the benefits from a technology point of view, it is also reinforcing literacy skills and problem solving.

"At that age, the main thing is getting to grips with the mouse and improving hand-eye coordination.

"I've got two children myself at nursery and they've had such a positive reaction to the computer."