Adamsdown Primary School Code Club: fun, dedicated and ambitious

Adamsdown Primary School in Cardiff, Wales, launched a Code Club two years ago, for Year 6 pupils. Teacher Jessica Davies describes the club’s team of volunteers as fun, dedicated, and ambitious — so much so that they will be setting up a second Code Club for Year 5 pupils this year.

Practising classroom skills at Code Club

The children at Adamsdown get introduced to Scratch as part of the school’s IT scheme of work. Jessica knows that some children who attend the Code Club don’t have access to computers or the internet outside of school, so for them, the club is especially important.

Code Club provides a great opportunity for the children to build on their learning and explore new projects outside of the curriculum.

We chatted to Jessica about coding at Adamsdown, and about her advice for running a successful Code Club.

Tell us more about your Code Club

Jessica Davies: Our Code Club runs every Monday in the school’s IT suite for Year 6 pupils. The talented Jamie Wiseman helps to run the club. Jamie is also parent governor and works on websites for a living; he enjoys sharing his wealth of skills.

The club is very relaxed, and the children are at ease with each other and the Code Club volunteers. Our Code Club members have the opportunity to work at their own pace and on projects that interest them. The children are all at different levels of coding, some use Scratch or HTML/CSS projects, and others are experimenting with micro:bits.

Can you share one Code Club highlight with us?

JD: One of the the best things I will remember from Code Club is a pupil who left for high school and returned the next September to support new club members! She is a fantastic coder, and this is a beautiful example of a pupil who has extended her learning to help others.

What advice would you give someone setting up a Code Club?

JD: Have a play with Scratch, follow the projects that Code Club provides, and get to know the basics.

I picked things up as I went along and learned from the children — don’t be afraid of this: learn with them and let them teach you!

Allow the children some freedom: let them play Scratch games and investigate the code alongside. The projects are fantastic to build skills, and once the children have the concept, they like to take things in their own direction.

When the group is working on similar projects, pit-stop and share good practice with each other. The children will collaborate almost automatically once they start working on projects.

Get involved!

If you’re a teacher and would like to start a Code Club in your school, you can get started today by registering on our website. And if, like Adamsdown Primary School, you are based in Wales, you can access our projects and resources in Welsh!

Code Club close-up: Leeds Central Library

Leeds Central Library has hosted a Code Club since June 2015. Children’s Librarian and club organiser Rachel Ingle-Teare tells us about what makes her library unique as a venue, how the club has grown and changed since it started, and what her plans for the future are.

Rachel took over coordinating the Leeds Central Library Code Club with her colleague Andy in 2016. Her long-standing fascination with coding had previously led her to volunteer at family-oriented digital and coding events, and to create STEAM-based tinkering sessions linked to library themes.

Story-inspired coding

Her ambition for the library Code Club was to create an informal, open space, away from educational settings, where volunteers could help club members develop a love of lifelong learning. It was therefore essential that the children attending the club found coding fun.

To achieve this, Rachel drew inspiration from children’s literature:

“Being able to offer library-themed projects is what makes us unique. We had a Harry Potter exhibition that included artefacts, ancient books, and interactive exhibits. The Code Club coded a micro:bit to act as a Sorting Hat that flashed the colour of the Hogwarts houses when the person pushed a button. Visitors loved this element, and we received lots of great feedback.”

Growing attendance

This emphasis on connecting the children’s projects to the library has paid off. Since taking over the club, Rachel has seen regular attendance increase tenfold!

“We have gone from 1 or 2 children attending regularly to 15 to 20, with a ratio of about 1:4 girls to boys. The ages vary; the youngest member is around 5 and the oldest is 14. I sometimes get our Cubetto out for the very young ones. It’s a real family-friendly club, and it is always wonderful having the parents engaged in their child’s projects and seeing them work together.”

Building technical and soft skills

Club members also have the option of loaning micro:bits from the library, which allows families to take projects home with them to explore coding in more detail. The micro:bits have proven immensely popular with children and volunteers alike:

“I really enjoy the micro:bits. It’s great for the children to see something working in a tangible way once they have coded it. We’ve enjoyed doing lots of different electronics projects with them. One of our volunteers, Viktor, specialised in electronics at Leeds University, and he brings a wealth of knowledge with him.”

As attendance numbers have increased, club members have become able to collaborate more. This has not only helps young people of different abilities to progress through their projects, but it also lets them develop vital life skills that will benefit them:

“What I’ve been really impressed by is not just the coding skills the young people are building, but also social and team working skills, as well as creative problem-solving approaches. Peer-to-peer learning increases their confidence, and the clubs provide a space to try out ideas, make mistakes, and learn from one another, outside of school.”

The future for Leeds Central Library

As for the future of the Code Club at Leeds Central Library, Rachel has big plans:

“In the future we hope to see the clubs develop with our Librarians, attendees, and mentors, so that we can apply for Coolest Projects and host show-and-tells city-wide.”

Find out more about starting a Code Club or volunteering at a club in your local community at

Collaborating to create Code Clubs

Earlier this year, Code Club and West London Zone, a local children’s charity, started to work together to start up Code Clubs. In this blog, we found out how the collaboration has already reached 4 schools in West London.

West London Zone are a local charity who work with young people aged 3 – 18 in two boroughs of London, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea. Through their work with local schools, they offer children and young people a range of opportunities to help them achieve their potential, enjoy new experiences and develop important knowledge and skills.

At a meeting with some partners, they heard about Code Club and got in touch with Dan Elwick, our Coordinator for London.

“It is incredibly valuable for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to be working with West London Zone, they are helping us to reach schools that do not already have Code Clubs and their Link Workers are in a position to give children at those schools the opportunity to try coding and digital making activities that they might not have otherwise.”
– Dan Elwick

Dan in action at a training session, similar to the one he ran with the WLZ team.

In September 2018, Dan held a training session for 20 WLZ Link Workers, who are based in schools and work closely with children and young people to proactively identify opportunities for them. The training session introduced the Link Workers to Code Club and they created an animation using the Lost in Space project. Dan said: “For many, it was the first time that they had used Scratch and they were enthusiastic about introducing it to the children they work with.”

Only 3 months later, 4 Link Workers are already delivering Code Clubs.

Jenny Hoyle, Head of Partnerships at West London Zone said:

It’s been great to collaborate with Code Club and introduce more children and young people to develop the knowledge and skills needed to code. We’re really excited about how we might be able to develop more Code Clubs and our partnership in the future.

Code Club love to collaborate. If you work for an organisation and would like to know more about how we could work together to reach more young people through Code Club, get in touch at