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.
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!