How Universities can support student volunteering with Code Club

The staff and students at Wolverhampton University started a Code Club in November 2015 to help children in the local community learn coding skills after-school.  They have created a fantastic and fun Code Club, inspiring the next generation of coders.

Mark Bircumshaw, Education Advisor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, told us how the club at Wolverhampton Children’s Library got off the ground.

“We registered 3 students and one member of staff as volunteers with Code Club, and started off with some taster sessions during the October half term. We then began our first Code Club on Monday evenings once the school term began. The Children’s Library has 12 computers and to accommodate all those interested we ended up doubling up children to work in pairs. The space is very limited but we managed to create a fun, busy atmosphere each Monday.”wonderbot

They began the club by using Code Club’s Scratch projects, trying out a different project each week. “The first few weeks were as much about us learning alongside the children as they were about running a club in the community and working in collaboration with the Library.” Mark said, “The Library staff were very helpful, assisting with advertising the club via posters in the library, and gathering the children’s details and parental permissions.”

The demand continued to outgrow the computers and the space available, so they began running two back-to-back sessions after the Christmas break. The first group was for follow on students and the second for newcomers.

Kevin and Callam were two of the computing students that helped to lead the Code Cub sessions. Kevin is thrilled with how the club has “grown from strength to strength… this has been by far one of the best teaching environments I have ever been in. All of the students who visited each week were well behaved and were eager to just get on with the task in hand to complete, to the very best of their ability.

Being a member of Code Club  has shown me that people of all walks of life can be interested in programming, from such early ages; for me, as an aspiring Teacher of Computer Science, this is a really amazing thing to witness.”Halo 001

Callam also noted that “Code Club gave me the chance to explore a classroom environment from the perspective of a teacher or an authoritative figure. This has provided me with invaluable experience. Not only has Code Club allowed me to develop a teaching technique, it has also helped me to grow as a person. It has helped to build my confidence and to learn to communicate with others.”

If you would like to find out more about starting a Code Club through your University, Sixth form or Higher Education College, head over to our website:

New Star Clubs for 2016!

We are delighted to be welcoming a grand total of 23 new clubs to the Code Club Star Clubs network.

Welcome to: Derby Central Library, Chuter Ede Primary School, Ipswich County Library, Enterprise and Innovation Hub, The Spinney Primary School, Stokenchurch Primary School, Shacklewell Primary School, Bishop Ian Ramsey CofE Primary School, Liverpool Central Library, UKFast, Rolls Crescent Primary School, St Raphael’s Catholic Primary School, Lundavra Primary School, Duddingston Primary School, Fryern Junior School, Castlewood Primary School, Longlevens Library, Plymouth Central Library, Penarth Library, Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd, CHESS Centre, Tile Hill Library, Cedars Academy, Thirsk Library.


“ We were so pleased to find out we had been made a Star Club.  The trophy has taken pride of place in our school awards cabinet, alongside the school’s other achievements.  We will continue to enjoy the excellent projects provided by Code Club and look forward to sharing our adventures with visitors and online.”
Tim Head, teacher, Chuter Ede Primary School

Star Clubs have committed to sharing their expertise to help grow the Code Club community. They do this through hosting visits from VIPs, contributing to online discussions and hosting training sessions for new volunteers. They are also happy to have visits from potential volunteers who would like to experience a club before they start.

Funsi, a new volunteer in Nottingham, told us how visiting a club really helped her on the road to getting up and running as a volunteer:

“I got to observe the club in action as they created a game on Scratch – for instance I observed how the children supported each other. Also I had the chance to interact with some children by asking what aspect(s) of the programme they liked and why. So, yes it was worth visiting to see how a club runs!”

Head over to the Code Club website to find your local Star Club and get in touch to arrange your visit.

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2016!

Tuesday the 11th October is Ada Lovelace Day – an annual celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

If you’re looking for an activity for your Code Club or classroom to mark the day, you may be interested to check out our Ada-themed Scratch project and school assembly pack, which we created with support from our partners at ARM last year. It offers a fun and informative way of helping to shine a spotlight on Ada’s achievements and to help inspire more women and girls into careers in the technology sector.

Inspired by Ada’s “poetical science” approach to her study of mathematics, the Scratch project shows how to create a poetry generating machine!

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Have a go at “Ada’s Poetry Generator” on the Code Club website.

The ready to use assembly plan focusses on understanding the story of Ada Lovelace. This includes looking at the significance of her achievements, the problems that can be solved by computer science, and sharing stories of women in computing today. You can download the assembly plan and introduction notes here.

Please do share these resources far and wide to help inspire more children to get excited about coding and Ada Lovelace Day! We’d also love for you to share your completed projects with us on Twitter or Facebook using #ALD2016.