Are you a teacher looking to start a Code Club at your school, but think you don’t have the necessary skills or experience to run the club yourself?
We’ve heard about some amazing teachers across the country who started a Code Club to learn more about computer science and develop their own skills.
One of these teachers is Esther, who runs a Code Club at her school in Derby. Read on to learn more about her story, and how she improved her coding skills at her own Code Club.
Before I started my Code Club I had absolutely no knowledge of coding, other than pulling my hair out when the PC didn’t start properly and showed lines of numbers and letters which I assumed were code!
I decided to start a Code Club because my school requires all teachers to run a club. I am also responsible for teaching the computing curriculum, even though I have no prior training in the subject. Luckily, I had a very supportive ICT Tech, who had heard about Code Club and suggested I try it out. I signed up a couple of weeks before half term and thought the resources were amazing! We started at the beginning of the following half term.
Our club has now been running for 3 years. We operate out of our tired computer room and we use the downloaded version of Scratch so we don’t have to deal with any access or security issues. When I started, I recruited the kids by running a Code Club assembly with the junior children. I don’t need to do that anymore as it’s almost a rite of passage that you get to do Code Club when you get into Year 3.
Code Club fits easily into my working schedule. At first it was more of a push to do the games and animations before the kids, but now I’m more confident I have a more relaxed approach. All the resources are there – they just need printing off and you’re good to go.
My current club is made up of children from year 3 to 6 who are all super interested, and we have just as many girls as boys coding. All the pupils can work independently, they usually support each other but I’m on hand to help them debug if they really need it.
When we had our OFSTED inspection a few years ago, computing came out as an outstanding feature and that’s down to Code Club. The children’s maths and problem solving abilities have all improved alongside their teamwork and resilience.
I am very proud of the school’s Code Club, and what we have achieved. When we had our OFSTED inspection a few years ago, computing came out as an outstanding feature and that’s down to Code Club. The children’s maths and problem solving abilities have all improved alongside their teamwork and resilience. Getting something wrong isn’t a bad thing anymore, it’s just a problem to be solved.
Code Club has given our school a unique selling point. Despite being a tiny village school in the middle of nowhere, we have children who are great at coding and are expanding their minds and their career prospects.
Most importantly, Code Club offers the children some great experiences. One term, our chair of governors joined the club. She was into her sixties but a keen mathematician and wanted to see how it all worked. It was fab to see her learn a new skill and show her work alongside the children’s. The children loved to show their work to her, they explained what they had done so simply and they were all beaming with pride.