Cypher runs engaging and innovative holiday coding camps for 4-14 years olds with enthusiastic and trained teachers, supported by top tech experts. Children learn coding with the emphasis on creativity and fun. Our teachers use a methodical and cumulative curriculum tailored to each child and built on a core foundation of computer science, which goes above and beyond the National Curriculum.
Cypher welcomes children from all levels of experience, from no previous knowledge of coding through to those who are seasoned coders.
Cypher was born from founder Elizabeth Tweedale’s vast knowledge and experience in the coding space. Elizabeth has taught coding to children of all ages for the past 5 years in London. She has written and co-written 6 books, her most recent focusing on teaching children Python, using real world career examples.
She and her team are passionate about unlocking the code to the future for the next generation and creating a world where children can explore their unlimited appetite and curiosity, by giving them the tools to open doors and tackle whatever our fast paced future brings.
Elizabeth’s mission is to empower children to navigate the changing world around us by understanding the universal technological language of code, the most powerful and ubiquitous language tool. She pioneers the idea that learning coding fosters an understanding of logic, advanced problem-solving, and the processes needed to turn ideas into functioning systems - inspiring the next generation to move freely and confidently in their future world. Elizabeth is a working mother of two, with a Computer Science degree and Masters in Architecture. Previously she was a computational design specialist at several leading architectural offices including Foster + Partners.
Why did you start Cypher?
E.T: I feel that inspiring the next generation to learn the language of the future is really important. Every child that can understand the importance and significance of technology in the world around them will be able to use that technology to their benefit - and hopefully to the benefit of everyone. I want to show them them that coding can help them achieve anything they set their minds to no matter what they want to be when they grow up. Starting an education company seemed to be the best way to get to as many kids as possible. However, it’s a challenge to balance developing the business, developing our innovative curriculum, finding investment to grow, making camps fun and being Mom to my two adorable kids...
What inspired you to get into Computer Science?
E.T: When I was a little girl, I wanted to be either a fashion designer, an architect or a plastic surgeon... all things I thought could make the world a more beautiful place and influence many people's lives. When I went to University, I decided to become an Architect. One of the degrees I pursued as part of my Undergraduate work was Maths. Computer Science 101 was a compulsory class as a Maths major which I happened to take my first semester. I loved it so much I changed Maths to a Minor and picked up Computer Science as my Major instead.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
E.T: I would say my favourite subjects were anything which included creativity and/or logic. At High School I loved Maths, Art and Music. I’m a sponge for absorbing new ideas, new technologies, new ways of doing things. Alongside my Computer Science degree, I also have a Studio Art Major and a Graphic Design Major. My minors ended up being Maths and Art History. All of my varied studies are what has helped form who I am today and the inspiration behind Cypher.
How do you encourage girls to get into code?
E.T: Starting at home, I make sure that conversations about tech, games and computers always include my daughter as much as my son. It sounds obvious - but nuances in how we communicate differently can amplify into stronger gender differences over time. At Cypher, our creative themes such as Architecture, Fashion, Nature, Minecraft, Robotics and Art encompass a broad range of interests, making coding more accessible to more children. Our Fashion and Coding camps in particular have been one of the best ways I've found to spark girls' interest into computing. I find the different approaches to problem solving from girls and boys amazing. By taking a hands-on, collaborative approach to learning girls quickly feel comfortable and find it easy to join in.
What are your ambitions for Cypher?
E.T: I’d love it if every child had access to a Cypher camp! It’s an expensive process to build a company, but if we can really get going with the help of some of the wonderful schools and Parent Ambassadors that have come on board so far, we will be able to open our doors wider. I would love to be able to set up something like a Cypher Foundation to encourage even more kids to see the creative potential of computer science and to gain the fluency they will need to be the leaders of the future.