Over the late May bank holiday weekend, socially distanced crowds flocked to celebrate the grand opening of a brand-new kids coding studio – Code Ninjas on London Road in Newbury.
Launched by local IT whizz and much-loved scout volunteer, Marcus Brind, the family-focused business owner was determined to make it a day to remember for video-game-loving kids in his community.
“It’s amazing to see how our ninjas – the name we give to our students – are progressing in our dojo during these tough times. Last year was challenging for everyone, but for kids it will have been especially difficult. Not only did they miss out on time in school, but they also missed out on spending valuable time with their friends and loved ones. The team and I were proud to welcome so many local families on the day and want to thank them for celebrating our launch with us.
“At Code Ninjas, we want our ninjas to develop a real passion for technology, so while the whole programme is loads of fun, it is also very educational. They are learning the language of the future – we want to give kids a gift that lasts a lifetime. My partner, Heather, and I truly believe that technological education is the future, which is why we aim to teach children aged 5-14 to think and solve STEM problems using coding, engineering and robotics. Learning about computers at such a young age is crucial because it helps build the vital foundations for future success,” said Marcus.
Amongst the crowd on the opening day was the Mayor of Newbury, Billy Drummond, who got involved in the fun, free coding activities and kicked off the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Children were then invited to take part in a whole host of fun activities including robot building, drone piloting, video-game creation and other STEM challenges.
Code Ninjas is the fastest-growing kids coding brand in the world, with 400 other like-minded business owners, like Marcus, launching their own kids coding locations across the US, Canada and, since 2019, the UK. Code Ninjas in Newbury is the first of its kind in the town – and a much-needed digital hub for tech-loving kids living locally.
“We’re based on London Road, just opposite the Pets At Home and Lidl shopping park, so very handy for any parents dropping their children off for their sessions. Our ninjas can attend sessions up to twice a week, but our timings are flexible, which means you don’t have to come at the same time or on the same day. To offer parents in our local community some relief, we also provide a welcome service for local families, called Parents’ Night Out. Essentially, parents drop their children off with us after school for a few hours whilst we work through some fun activities and sort out their dinner. This is our way of giving back to the mums and dads in our area, who all deserve a break after such a tough year. We want them to know that this is a safe place to leave their kids while they go out for some well-deserved time off!
“We’re here to guide the children through our exciting curriculum and, with the help of our team of Code SenseisTM, truly put Newbury on the map for kids’ technological education. We’re looking forward to a ninja-fuelled future, that’s for sure!” added Heather.
The Code Ninjas mantra is ‘kids have fun, parents see results®’ – for Marcus and Heather, this isn’t just a motto, but a commitment. And so far, ninjas are enjoying the experience they were promised – which hasn’t gone unnoticed by their parents!
“Code Ninjas is fun and engaging, so our daughter is learning future skills whilst enjoying building the games and activities,” explained Christine. “She loves talking about what she has learnt and share her progress with us. We also love the Parents’ Night Out once a month!”
And Steve, another local parent, said, “My son loves coming to Code Ninjas. He’s always buzzing when he gets home and looks forward to his next session.”
The studio is also helping the community in terms of youth employment, having already taken on twelve local college and university students as their Senseis.
To sign up or find out more about Code Ninjas, please visit: www.codeninjas.co.uk/newbury-brk-uk