Code Club is a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. We’ve been reflecting on what we’ve achieved this year and thought we’d write a little report so you can see how we’ve been getting on.
In September 2012 Code Clubs started in 120 schools. By September 2013 we had reached 1000 clubs, and in mid-December 2013 the number stands at 1575. With an average club size of 14.9 this means around 23,000 children are currently learning to code in a Code Club and our volunteers report that the drop out rates are extremely low.
40% of children in Code Clubs are female. With only 6.5% of Computing A-levels being taken by female students in 2013; it is encouraging that Code Club is reaching younger girls.
What are the children learning?
Teachers reported that less than 10% of children in their club had experience of coding prior to Code Club and all of them felt that the children in the clubs had made progress learning to code; half felt they had made a large amount of progress. In addition to this, 75% of volunteers reported good programming confidence levels within their group.
We also asked our volunteers rate the children’s confidence with different programming concepts. Most of them reported that the children are at least reasonably confident using a variety of programming concepts; though children are reported as being less confident with debugging than with any of the programming concepts.
The impact of Code Club seems to be felt outside of the club setting too. 83% of teachers leading clubs felt that learning to code had impacted on children’s progress in other subjects. They remarked most frequently about the impact it had on their problem solving skills:
The projects we write are given to the children by volunteers and teachers to teach children how to make games, animations and websites. The adults then support the children to work through the projects independently. The children start with Scratch then move onto HTML & CSS. From September 2013 some clubs have also moved onto our new Python projects.
92% of teachers felt our projects were pitched at the right level, the remaining 8% felt they were too hard. We like this fact as it means we are challenging the children in our clubs. Another encouraging fact is that in 78% of clubs half or more of the group tried the challenge activities. These activities encourage the children to adapt their work and apply what they have learnt.
What do teachers say?
45% of clubs are led by teachers from the school who feel confident with programming or want to learn more by doing it themselves. 46% of them say they have used our resources during their ICT or Computing lessons, not just in an after-school club. Whilst our projects aren’t designed with this in mind it shows that the need for resources like ours is considerable in a classroom setting.
Teachers unanimously described how running a club has been great for their professional development.
Who has supported Code Club since September 2012?
As Code Club is a not-for-profit we rely on grants and partnerships to fund our team and grow. This year we have been supported by grants from Nesta, the Nominet Trust and Google RISE. We have also been supported through our partnerships with ARM, Samsung and Canary Wharf Group.
Code Club World
We launched Code Club World in June 2013 as we had so many requests from people around the world to start Code Club in their country. We decided that we’d just help them set it up themselves. There are now over 70 clubs in 35 countries around the world, on every continent except Antarctica (we’re working on that!).
Our materials are being translated by volunteers around the world and have been translated in to Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, Dutch, English, German, Norwegian, Spanish and Ukrainian. We’re working with people in Argentina, Norway, Luxembourg, Ukraine to help them set up Code Club organisations that will be able to support their local volunteers.
Awards we have won along the way
Talk Talk Digital Heroes Award 2012
Critters Win of the Year 2013
Technology for Good Award 2013
A selection of other things that we’ve been working on:
We welcomed HRH The Duke of York as our patron
We made and launched a new website with With Associates
We launched a partnership in Camden
We launched a partnership in Tower Hamlets
We attended lots and lots of events like OHM and Campus Party
We joined in with the Make Things Do Stuff campaign
We welcomed Laura, Sam, tef and Parker to the team
We joined forces with Google to give Raspberry Pi’s to our clubs
We made and launched Robo-Boogie to celebrate our partnership with Samsung
The whole team would like to say a huge thank you to all the awesome people who run Code Clubs across the country, you are truly amazing in your generosity and enthusiasm and we couldn’t do it without you. We’ve got loads more planned for 2014 so watch this space!