Free online course: prepare to run a Code Club

On 20 November, Code Club will be launching a brand-new free online course called Prepare to Run a Code Club on FutureLearn. Join it, and in just a few hours you will learn the skills and gain the confidence you need to start up a Code Club.

Sarah Sheerman-Chase, Participation Manager for Code Club UK, tells you more.

Over the last year, the team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation has created three free courses on the FutureLearn platform, and I am very excited that Prepare to Run a Code Club is the fourth!

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a digital education platform which offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. It uses interactive formats and encourages learners to connect with each other through comments and discussions.

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Therefore, it made perfect sense to me to offer Prepare to Run a Code Club as a free course on their site, giving anyone who wants to start a club practical, hands-on advice on how to do it.

Prepare to Run a Code Club

The course is spread over three weeks, and you can join it at any point. Each weekly module takes approximately an hour to complete.

Week 1 kicks off with advice on how to prepare to start a Code Club, for example which hardware and software are needed. Week 2 focusses on how to deliver Code Club sessions, with practical tips on helping young people learn and an easy taster coding project to try out. In the final week, the course looks at interesting ideas to enrich and extend club sessions.

Each week features suggestions and insights from experienced volunteers and teachers, as well as articles about everything necessary for setting up and running a Code Club.

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The course is not a requirement for becoming a Code Club volunteer, but I hope that lots of volunteers will take advantage of the tips and information offered in it, and that they will also use this opportunity to connect with other volunteers through discussions on the site.

If they wish, learners can choose to purchase a certificate at the end of the course, but this is completely optional and not necessary for volunteering with Code Club.

As part of the course launch, we’re waving a fond farewell to the online training that was previously part of signing up to volunteer, so now it’s even easier and quicker for you to get registered!

Get started

The first course run starts on 20 November — sign up now! Don’t worry if you can’t join this time, as the course will be running throughout the year.

Do you have questions? Then check out our training FAQs.

New benefits for activated clubs

We’re excited to announce that we are launching three new benefits for Code Clubs that register and activate on our site!

Welcome packs

In July, we sent end-of-term packs to clubs across the country. We didn’t want new clubs to miss out, so now each new club that activates on our site will receive an email offering them a welcome pack including top tips, stickers, and posters for the club space.

WelcomePack

Code Club welcome pack

 

Competitions

Starting this autumn, we’ll be running regular competitions which activated clubs can enter. We’ll send out an email with details soon, so if your club is activated on our website, be sure to check your inbox for news and a chance to win great stuff for your club. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

News and updates

Activated clubs can expect to see us popping up in their inbox regularly, as we’ll be sending roundups of new projects, resources, and blog posts — and of course details about competitions.

How to get active

These benefits will be exclusively for those clubs who are registered and active on our website.

Activating your club is as easy as one, two, three:

  • The venue host registers the club.
  • The venue host adds a volunteer using their Club Hub.
  • The club is activated!

If you would like some help to get your club activated, drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk. And if you’re new to Code Club and you’d like to get involved, find out how to start a club.

Raspberry Pi Code Club Sonic Pi

Get groovy with Sonic Pi

You asked, and we delivered: today, we are introducing our six new Sonic Pi projects for Code Clubs!

What is Sonic Pi?

Sonic Pi is a programming environment that lets you create music and other sounds with code while learning programming concepts at the same time.

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Despite the name, you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to get started with Sonic Pi. If you do have one, Sonic Pi is included with Raspbian, but it is also available as a free download for MacOS, Windows, and Linux.

Our new Sonic Pi projects

Some of you already have experience with Sonic Pi, so it’s no wonder that so many of you asked for some projects for your clubs in our last survey! The scope of what you can make with Sonic Pi is incredible – from live DJ sets, to indoor musical rocketry, to a winning Pioneers entry!

So what do we have for you to get your groove on?

Compose Your Own Tune

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

Bored of the standard buzz or ring of your doorbell? Get creative and code your own personalised chime. You can even download the tune and make a ringtone for your phone or notification sound for your tablet or PC!

Drum Loop

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

Get more boom for your tish with the Drum Loop project, in which you will learn to create a drum solo, with added intro and outro. Whatever you compose, it will always need more cowbell!

Special Effects

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

You’ve already been coding games in Scratch, and now it’s time to add a wow factor by including some special effect sounds. Suspense, horror, action, and more — whatever your game’s genre, Sonic Pi will make it stand out from the rest.

Code the Tetris Theme Tune

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

The world’s most infectious earworm is now yours to create. Learn how to convert sheet music into code and mix your own version of the classic Tetris theme tune: the Russian folk dance Korobeiniki.

Musical Round

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

From music class to school trips, everyone had practiced their skills at singing in the round. With the Musical Round project resource, you will learn how to stagger code to play the same tune at different times. Frère Jacques, anyone?

Live DJ

Code Club Raspberry Pi Sonic Pi

Sam Aaron, the creator of Sonic Pi, uses his software to code live music for the audience of his events. Be like Sam Aaron using the Live DJ project, in which you will learn how to add and edit code without stopping the music.

Do more with Sonic Pi

If you’re itching to get lost in the world of Sonic Pi, or to improve your skills, you could also check out The MagPi Magazine’s Sonic Pi Essentials guide. As with all publications from The MagPi team, the Essentials guides are available as a free PDF download online, or in physical form for £3.99 via The Pi Hut.

We can’t wait to see what awesome Sonic Pi creations come from Code Clubs across the UK! Make sure to tag us and Sonic Pi on Facebook and Twitter with any music you think we’d like to see, and always keep your Code Club Regional Coordinator in the loop — they love to show off the creativity of their clubs.