From Adelaide to Worcestershire: How two Code Club volunteers 21 hours apart met up to share their experience of running a Code Club

Code Club has a global network of coding clubs in over 150 countries. Find out what happened when a Code Club volunteer from Australia visited the Code Club at The Hive in Worcester, UK!

It took a plane trip for this Code Club visit!

Angela Brown is a Code Club volunteer at Aldinga Library near Adelaide, Australia. Angela loves making connections and thought a family trip to the UK would be an excellent opportunity to visit a UK Code Club.  

Angela with her two children sat at a desk look at a laptop.
Angela and her children taking part in The Hive’s holiday programme.

Midlands Regional Coordinator Tim Wilson contacted Anita Kiss, who runs two Code Clubs and a Coder Dojo at The Hive, a library in Worcester. 

The club was running a special one-off coding session as part of their holiday programme — perfect timing for Angela’s trip to the UK:

When we’re on holiday, I don’t just stop thinking about coding, so the first thing I thought of was: can we find a Code Club to visit? 
– Angela Brown

What happened on the day 

The Hive ran a special family coding session, where at least three generations of budding coders got stuck into a fun selection of Code Club projects, including Beat the goalie, Scratch Cat goes skiing, and Archery:

It was fun to see the interaction across the generations not just between mums, dads and their kids, but also to see grandparents with their grandchildren as well.
– Tim Wilson 

Differences and similarities

At the end of the Code Club session, Tim had a chat with Angela and Anita about the differences and similarities between the two clubs.

One major difference was the locations of Code Clubs. Children travel for up to half an hour to get to Aldinga Library, their nearest Code Club, while children at Code Club at The Hive are predominantly from the local Worcester area. 

As it is a long way between clubs in Australia, it can be tough to visit clubs, meet other volunteers, and discuss challenges and share good ideas. So, Angela welcomed the opportunity to network while on holiday in the UK: 

Despite differences in scale, budget, and venue size, many of the challenges and success running Code Clubs, whether large or small, are similar. We can all learn a lot from each other!
– Angela Brown 

Both Angela and Anita talked about the benefits of having a good mix of boys and girls learning to code, as well as a shared philosophy of everyone learning together.

They also talked about the importance of encouraging parents to explore coding alongside their children, and of having an inclusive approach to young people from all educational and learning backgrounds: 

I think public library Code Clubs work hard to be welcoming to everyone who is keen to try coding in a friendly, relaxed and informal atmosphere.”
– Angela Brown 

Why visit a Code Club? 

No matter where you are on your Code Club journey, visiting a club is inspiring, informative and fun! 

Angela and Anita and Angela's son stood in front of a book case.

Angela found her visit to The Hive valuable: 

Meeting with Anita and visiting The Hive was really inspiring. It is something I will learn from as a Code Club Volunteer and I think it will help us grow our Code Club in different ways I might not have considered.
– Angela Brown  

Anita from The Hive also enjoyed welcoming Angela to her Code Club:

It was so useful exchanging ideas and experiences with Angela and we absolutely loved having her at The Hive. It was very interesting to hear how they run Code Club at Aldinga Library as (although similar), I think all Code Clubs are different and have their own personality due to the lovely volunteers and staff who run them and, obviously, because all coders are different and have got unique and cool ideas!
– Anita Kiss 

If you’re interested in meeting other volunteers, why not join us at a Code Club event? If you’re based in Australia and want to get involved, find out how to set up a Code Club near you!

Five things we want to share about Scratch!

At Code Club, we love Scratch, and so we’ve put together a list for you with helpful tips, projects we like, and an exciting Scratch opportunity.

1.Choose your club’s next Scratch project today!

Take a look at our specially designed Scratch projects, which include step-by-step instructions showing you how to create games, animations, and much more with code.

Try out some projects and start choosing which ones you’d like to do with your Code Club members in the new term.

A girl and boy looking at a computer screen which shows the the Scratch programme and a project they are working on.
Two students working on their Scratch project

2. Adam loves Ghostbusters! 

Adam the Code Club Regional Coordinator for Wales favourite Code Club Scratch project is Ghostbusters:

“This is a project that just keeps on giving: it’s great fun to remix and build upon by adding new features learned from other projects. You can make it a two-player game, and add more difficult levels, easter eggs, and bonus challenges too!”

– Adam Williams, Code Club Regional Coordinator for Wales

3. Aim high 

Be inspired by this Scratch project created by three young coders from Cheam Code Club. who entered the Open Schools Coding Competition, coordinated by Red Hat. The three girls won third place! 

These girls started with the basics, and while attending their school’s Code Club, they have built competition-winning skills. We were so impressed by their project and the illustrations they designed in Scratch that we just had to share it with you!

Screen shot of the Scratch project. The screenshot shows an illustration of a young girl with a text box with the words, hello everyone.
Digital Hope

4. Celebrate success

Recognise your Code Club members’ Scratch achievements! Your club profile houses beautiful Scratch module certificates just waiting for you to download them and award them to your proud young coders. You could even share a photo of the celebration with us on Twitter so we can cheer your club members as well. 

5. Join us at Scratch Conference Europe

Are you an educator working in a school or a volunteer supporting a Code Club and you want to know more about Scratch? Then don’t miss out on Scratch Conference Europe, coming to the UK for the very first time this August!

The conference schedule is packed with:

  • Talks from world-class computing educators, including Scratch co-creator Mitch Resnick
  • Hands-on, in-depth workshops to develop your Scratch knowledge
  • Loads of opportunities for you to network with fellow educators and volunteers 

Book your ticket and join us at Scratch Conference Europe in Cambridge, UK, from Friday 23 August to Sunday 25 August 2019. Accommodation is available on-site at Churchill College; read the FAQs for more info. Scratch Conference Europe is kindly sponsored by EPAM

To set up a Code Club in the new academic year and get your learners to start with Scratch or grow their Scratch skills, head to our website and find out how easy it is.

Meet the young designers who won the first Code Club T-shirt competition!

This spring we asked young people at Code Clubs across the UK to grab their pens and pencils, put on their creative hats, and design the next Code Club T-shirt!

Children from Cheam Code Club wearing the winning T-shirt design.
Cheam High School Code Club and the winning T-shirt design.

A new challenge

Coding is about creativity and design as well as logical thinking. That’s why our latest competition for young people attending UK Code Clubs was the first-ever Code Club design competition.

The task? To create a design for the next Code Club T-shirt, inspired by what you love about coding or Code Club.

The prize? T-shirts with the design for all Code Club attendees and volunteers of the winning club, and the design on a shirt in our official Code Club online shop

The result? 104 children from 72 Code Clubs across the UK made amazingly creative, clever, and fun designs! 

Over 100 designs

More than 100 young people sent us their designs, and from robots and computers, to Scratch blocks and messages in binary, we were blown away by how amazing the designs looked.

We got together a team of judges from across Code Club and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who put together a longlist of our 18 top favourites. Head to the end of this blog to see our galley wall!

And the winners are… 

The final task of picking the winning design went to Philip Colligan , our CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It was a tricky decision for him, but he finally chose the design of Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam High School. 

Here’s Philip on why this became the winning design: 

I love this design, particularly the use of binary to say “hello world”. It’s a great way to start a conversation about how computers work, and a reminder that however complex the computing system, it all comes down to zeros and ones.

– Philip Colligan, CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

The image on the left shows the worked up design from Cheam High School Code Club. 

What happened next?

Alex, one of our designers, worked up the design Sophie, Arani, and Emily had created to make it ready to be printed onto T-shirts. 

With the T-shirts hot off the printing machine, our Programme Coordinator Zoe headed to Cheam High School to personally deliver them and say a huge thank you to Sophie, Arani, and Emily and their whole Code Club for taking part.

Sophie, Arani, and Emily told Zoe what inspired their design: 

We wanted to show what we like about coding, and how fun it is. We used part of the original Code Club T-shirt design and used binary to say “hello world” to show how computers work.

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

The three designers said they felt happy and proud when they saw their design on the T-shirts for the first time! And for anyone entering a Code Club competition, this is their advice:

Go for it, you never know if you’re going to win or not. If you try hard enough, you might!

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club.
Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club

Get your own T-shirt

To get your own T-shirt with the winning design, head to our official online shop. You’ll also find lots of other fun Code Club swag there. All proceeds from the shop go to Code Club, allowing us to continue creating resources and supporting you to help young people learn to code!

The gallery wall

Take part in our exclusive competitions

This competition and others like it are only available to registered Code Clubs.

Looking to start a Code Club in the new academic year? Register on our website today to get exclusive access to unique competitions and more Code Club resources.