by Dave Hazeldean, Code Club Community Support Assistant
It’s really exciting to see how schools across the UK are getting involved in different digital activities. Running a Code Club is just one of many ways that schools can develop their school’s digital offering for pupils.
I recently paid a trip to Wormit Primary School in Fife to attend Scotland’s inaugural Digital Schools Awards – a national awards programme which recognises excellence in the use of digital technology in primary schools. Overseen by Education Scotland, the programme also supports the efforts of schools, teachers and learners in making the best use of digital technology in the classroom.
It was fantastic to see that nine out of the twenty-one primary schools who received awards were running their own active Code Clubs, and the event was a wonderful opportunity to meet with some amazing Code Club leaders and members.
I spoke to some of the awards recipients to find out more about how running a Code Club has helped build their school’s digital skills.
Gemma Sanderson is a teacher from Largo Primary School in Fife, which has been running a Code Club for the past four years. She told me that “it’s been amazing to see the children’s skills developing, and also their self-esteem”. One of her pupils, Tristan, who has been attending the club for two years, said that “at Code Club, I really enjoy making my own games in Scratch, and using Python.”
Ruth MacDonald, Head Teacher of Echt School, told me “The school has worked very hard to get their Digital Schools Award.” Seven of the thirty-six pupils at her small rural school regularly attend their Code Club. “We have been encouraging other schools to sign up for Code Club as it’s not a hard thing to do. You don’t have to know all about coding to run the club as the children get on and do it themselves”.
195 primary schools in Scotland have signed up to become a Digital School since the launch of the programme in September 2016. The programme aims to sign up 400 primary schools in Scotland to participate in its first full year, and we hope many of those register Code Clubs as part of their effort to achieve digital excellence.