What we thought of Code Ninjas Enfield overall and holiday camp experience
I signed my daughter up for Code Ninjas Enfield holiday camp, and here is my review of the overall set-up and the course. It was really interesting to find out more about this place as I have walked past it quite a few times when shopping in Enfield Town. Code Ninjas Enfield is run by a current Head of Computer Science, who is passionate for coding and all things STEM.
Anyway, on to the review!
Location and facilities:
Location of Code Ninjas Enfield is very central to Enfield Town, and easy to get to walking or driving. There are parking areas nearby, although a quick drop-in and drive is difficult as you can't park right outside it.
Inside the facilities were clean and modern, and children's and adults bathrooms were separated. All staff wore masks, and parents were asked to wear masks too.
There was a friendly staff member at the front of the house greeting incomers and ensuring everyone checked in. Outside the classroom dojo there are benches, where parents are asked to wait for their child, rather than going in themselves to get them. I really liked this from a safety conscious aspect as well - this meant no-one could wander in or a child could not leave without the staff noticing.
My daughter tried an introductory session, which is a 30 minute play session with one of the senseis, who is quite intensively helping them to get accustomed to the computer and games. After the introductory session, if the children continue at the classroom by taking regular sessions, the senseis are hovering around helping them, but not as intensively and kids have more free time with their games in between learning about coding. As they learn more, they progress through different levels of coding skills.
Much of the education on coding at Code Ninjas is learning through gaming, and Roblox and Minecraft appear to used a lot for older kids (+7yo). This will of course be a fantastic place for kids that love gaming, and gets them learning too! However, it is important to note that for kids (or parents) that aren't keen on gaming Code Ninjas might not be a right fit.
Reviewing the holiday camp: Become a YouTuber course
Since my daughter has been talking about wanting to be a YouTuber for a while now, I booked her into the Become a YouTuber camp at Code Ninjas. This camp was three full days, from 9AM to 4PM, with one hour lunch (packed lunch to be provided by the parent). From a parental perspective, a full day like this was great as it allowed me to have a good chunk of hours for work during those days.
During those three days she set up her own channel, having come up with her niche and name, learned about copyright and search engine optimisation (using descriptive language and key words), used Canva to design thumbnails, and an animated intro and end rolls for her videos, and shot six gaming videos for her channel. They also learned to do screen recording and some video editing, and how to do time marks for their videos.
All in all, she was very happy and came back bouncing with excitement everyday. She had great fun with her gaming buddies everyday, and is now very keen to "get lots of subscribers and viewers" on her Harry Potter- inspired gaming channel.
From my perspective, I was really happy to see how much fun my daughter had, how much the kids learned and got to do, and how confident my daughter became using a computer. An area of improvement could be to introduce some variety in the videos - now all of them were based on gaming, probably because it is easy to record and many kids love gaming. Introducing some variety, for example filming a review video or a tutorial, would teach kids about different types of content.
All in all, I was really happy with the experience. Safety of kids at Code Ninjas Enfield was great, and my daughter really enjoyed her time there. I also really liked the look of some of the other courses, such as Adventures in 3D Printing, and Robotics Bootcamp Using Lego Solutions, and STEM-day courses and I am sure to book my kid on one of them in the future.
That said, Code Ninjas are not the cheapest of courses, and they vary from £40 for a half day course, to £250 for a course of three full days. Similarly, the lessons are on the dearer side of children's hobbies. This is to be expected of course with technological costs, and small course sizes, but may be prohibitive for some parents.
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