The impact of Code Club around the world

In November 2018 we asked Code Clubs across the world to share their experiences and feedback through our survey. The survey was translated into eight languages and we received responses from 1340 volunteers and club leaders in 59 countries!

Read on to find our key highlights and the most important things we’ve learned about the impact of Code Club around the world.

Picture of a Code Club volunteer  

We wanted to build up a picture of what a Code Club volunteer looked liked across the world. We started by looking at the characteristics of a volunteer and found that there was a wide age range among educators and volunteers. The three largest volunteer age ranges were 35-44 (32% of all volunteers), 45-54 (28%), and 25-34 (18%).

55% of these volunteers told us they were professional educators, and 30% said they work in a STEM occupation.

The gender of educators and volunteers was fairly balanced: 52% are female, and 46% male.

What a Code Club looks like

Unsurprisingly, we found that 67% of educators and volunteers told us their club is hosted in a school, followed by libraries where 20% of Code Clubs are held. The size of a club varied, with 15 children on average attending each session.

We were really interested to find that clubs in North America tend to have more attendees on average, whilst clubs in the UK tend to have fewer.

Girls in Code

Globally, over 400,000 girls have accessed Code Club, and the overall proportion of Code Club attendees who are girls is 40%. This is fantastic and we’re very proud of this achievement.

Over 52% of the volunteers who support Code Clubs globally are female, too.

“The girls are definitely more confident in their abilities to solve problems using computers and coding.”

– Amy, teacher, UK

We will continue to encourage girls to engage in coding and share good news stories in our blog and social channels.

How children are developing their skills and abilities  

Children come to Code Club to have fun and learn new skills, and the graph below shows the impact Code Clubs are having on children’s skills and abilities.  

These statements show how children attending Code Club are more confident in their own computer skills, and an amazing 92% of volunteers say that young people they reach have improved their problem-solving and programming skills.

Code Club projects

Our free projects are an essential part of the running of a club. We asked clubs how they made use of online and printed resources, to see how the learning experience varies from club to club.

It was clear that the reliability of internet access was a key factor in deciding whether to use online or printed versions of our resources.

Experiences of volunteers

It was great to read volunteers’ feedback on their own experiences. Many told us how excited their members were to learn new skills, but more than this, they also described how running a Code Club has encouraged them personally to pursue and develop their own interests in coding and computing.

I enjoy passing on my skills, and young people have fun and learn in the process. I know that some that have gone on to secondary school have been very much ahead of their peers in computer skills.”

– UK volunteer

Volunteers also shared with us how opportunities at Code Club have helped children to grow in confidence and resilience, to develop problem-solving skills, and to transfer these skills to their activities outside of Code Club.

This word cloud shows some of the most commonly used words in your feedback.

What’s next?

Because many clubs use printed resources only and we think some of these might benefit from giving the online versions a try, we will continue to communicate the advantages of using our resources online, and develop new features to support learning via our online projects with accreditation and assessments. We’ll also continue to support clubs who feel printed resources work best for them.

We’d like to understand the local factors that contribute to clubs in different regions having different average sizes, and particularly the reasons clubs in North America tend to be larger than those in other parts of the world. To do this, we’ll be speaking to clubs about how they run and the factors that have determined the size of their group.

We also hope to encourage even more girls to get involved with Code Club this year. Stay tuned on International Women’s Day (8 March) when we’ll be sharing stories from female Code Club volunteers around the world on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who gave their time to complete this survey. To show our appreciation, we picked respondents at random and sent some Code Club swag to them in the US, UK, Iran, India, and Australia.

Your immensely valuable feedback allows us to take a close look at our programme, and at the opportunities for young people and volunteers to learn and develop their computing and digital making skills with Code Club.

For more in-depth results, the Research Team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation has put together a full survey report.

We’d love to hear how you are using our project resources or how you are encouraging girls to join your Code Club. Share your ideas with us on Twitter or Facebook, or by emailing us at support@codeclub.org.

Free and flexible – building your skills with our FutureLearn courses

Thousands of Code Club volunteers and educators give their time each week to help young people learn coding and digital making skills, but what about growing your own skills? Our free online courses from Raspberry Pi, using the FutureLearn platform are an easy and flexible way to learn in your own time.

Short on time? Learn online

One of the joys of learning online is versatility. Learning isn’t confined to a classroom but can be done in your garden at the weekend, or with a cup of tea over your lunch break, at a time that suits you.

In 2017 the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched a series of free online courses, to give educators the opportunity to build their digital skill set. Each course, hosted on the FutureLearn platform, is written by our team of UK-based educators and contains helpful videos, tips, and advice on your chosen digital topic. Learning is collaborative, with courses featuring multiple discussion points where learners ask questions and share their thoughts.

So far, more than 27000 people have trained on one of our FutureLearn courses, including many Code Club leaders from across the world.   

And don’t forget, for educators based in the UK, these courses can also help you work towards your National Centre for Computing Education certificate.

Get involved

There are lots of courses for you to try, whatever your current level of experience. Here are some highlights we think would be useful for any Code Club leader or volunteer:  

And there’s more! If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, there are even more courses for you to try on more advanced topics, from Demystifying Computation to Object Oriented programming.

Learn new skills, pursue your interests, or advance your career by signing up for one of our free online courses. Head on over to FutureLearn to take a look at our full range of topics and sign up today!

Making Code Clubs accessible for every child

We think all children should have the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who they are or where they come from. We chatted to Gravesend Library in Kent, where staff members started a Code Club in 2015. They incorporated the Code Club into their Kent Digital Dens project in 2017, and in 2018 they set up their first autism-friendly club session.

With 1 in 100 people in the UK on the autistic spectrum, Nicola Tubbs from Kent Libraries, Registration & Archives decided to explore how to make Gravesend Library a more autism-friendly space. As part of this, she set up an autism-friendly Code Club, which provides specific support for young people on the autistic spectrum so they can learn and develop through coding.  

Getting started with an autism-friendly Code Club  

In summer 2018, Nicola met Tim Cook at a community event. Tim is an autism professional and a member of the National Autistic Society’s Dartford and Gravesham branch. Between the two of them, they had a wealth of experience to draw upon while creating a safe space where children on the autistic spectrum are able to explore their interest in digital technology.

Nicola and Tim knew that noisy and crowded environments are difficult to cope with for young people with autism, so they found space away from the hubbub of the main library that would be suitable for the club. Then they promoted this new learning opportunity through the National Autistic Society Facebook page and the library’s own networks. And finally in October, Gravesend Library held its very first autism-friendly Code Club session!

The first club sessions were a great success, and the Code Club now runs every other month. The club is small but growing, with six children aged between 9 and 14 attending the sessions; parents are invited to stay as well. Nicola, Tim, and Digital Dens volunteers engage the children in a variety of activities, including Scratch projects and physical digital making opportunities.

Next up: other autism-friendly digital activities

Based on the success of this club, Nicola, Tim and the Digital Dens team are developing ideas for running other autism-friendly digital activities, including a CoderDojo. Tim says: “We’re really excited by the opportunities this could offer! We would love for other libraries to learn from what we’ve done, and to see whether it could be replicated elsewhere.”

Are you running an autism-friendly Code Club in your community? Share your story by reaching out to us on Twitter or Facebook.