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. 

Girls leading the way

In early January we were introduced to a group of inspirational young female Code Club ambassadors who are making a difference at their primary school, RGS The Grange in Worcestershire.

Millie, Daya, Lily and Rosie are all aged 11. They talked to us about how their club is encouraging more girls into coding.

RGS The Grange

RGS The Grange is a Code Club Star Club and runs a well-attended club on Thursdays working on projects ranging from Scratch, Robotics, Python, Makey Makey and lots more!

Millie, Daya, Lily and Rosie were regular attendees at this club, but they wanted to encourage more girls to get involved and learn how to code.


The Thursday Club was packed full of boys and we thought we needed more girls to learn how to code.

– Rosie, a young Code Club ambassador

Let’s start our own club!

With the girl’s imagination sparking, they approached their teacher Matt Warne about starting a girls-only Code Club.


The girls came to me with this idea of launching their very own Code Club, without hesitation, I gave them a lunchtime slot which I could help facilitate, we then planned the logistics behind launching a club.

– Matt Warne, Head of Computing & IT, RGS The Grange

The launch of the new Code Club

With support and guidance from Matt, the girls launched their new Code Club, which they called Girls Can Code. The club was aimed at young girls from years three and four, and takes place on Friday lunchtimes led by the female Code Club ambassadors. The girls are working through Code Club projects and are currently looking at Lost in Space.  


We hoped girls would give up their playtime to learn to code.

– Daya, a young Code Club ambassador


It inspired me to help other people to code. People are looking up to me, I like helping people and that’s a good feeling.

– Lily, a young Code Club ambassador

Matt Warne shared this:


The girls who lead the club have developed fantastic social skills and support our year three and four pupils incredibly well within the session.

– Matt Warne, Head of Computing & IT, RGS The Grange

When I grow up…

We wanted to know if the young ambassadors had thought about how they could use their coding experience in their future career:

Rosie wants to be a Computer Scientist and knows that this coding club will really help her achieve this – “Code is part of my life. I like to Code, I do it as a hobby and it’s fun!”

Millie said that coding is fun and that she going to carry on learning so she can get better.

Daya shared that she knows that her coding experience is something that she can take with her into other industries.

Having girls like Millie, Daya, Lily and Rosie leading the way for other young female coders, the future is in safe hands. We can’t wait to hear what they plan to work on next – whatever it is we know they have the determination and drive to succeed!

A final comment from the school


This club has been a huge success and is a testament to the art of empowering pupils. They have learnt as much as the pupils they inspire within the session.

– Matt Warne, Head of Computing & IT, RGS The Grange

We love to celebrate our young female role models. Are you working with inspiring young female coders or female volunteers? Share their achievements with us by reaching out to us on Facebook and Twitter or email us at support@codeclub.org.  

Code Club ideas: young people teach their peers how to code

To inspire more young people to fall in love with computer science, some Code Club volunteers and teachers have had a brilliant idea: get the young people to do the teaching! Here we talk to members of two different Code Clubs that are led by teenagers, and that prove that young people often are the best role models.

St Mary’s and St John’s CofE School

Calvin Robinson is the Assistant Principal and Head of Computing at St Mary’s and St John’s CofE School (SMSJ) in London. He currently runs two Code Clubs in the school as a way to encourage pupils to have fun with computing outside of the curriculum.

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Mr Robinson with the Code Club mentors

One of the Code Clubs is exclusively for Year 8 girls, and it’s run by six girls from Mr Robinson’s GCSE Computer Science cohort:

“The idea behind this was that as a male teacher I appreciate that I may not be the best person to bridge the gender gap, but I certainly recognise it as an issue.”
– Calvin Robinson, Assistant Principal and Head of Computing

Positive role models for younger learners

Interest in the club is high, with a huge amount of Year 8 girls wanting to get involved. Being taught by older girls means that the learners can identify with the people teaching them, and they learn to view what their older peers have achieved as possible for themselves.

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Mr Robinson thinks that participating in Code Club enables the Year 8 girls to become more confident and passionate about the subject, making them more likely to take GCSE Computer Science next year.

“We currently have a higher than national average number of girls taking GCSE Computer Science, and it’s the most popular GCSE option in the school, but we’ve still got a long way to go in bridging that gender gap.”
– Mr Robinson

Benefits for the teenagers

Of course it’s not just the younger pupils who benefit from having older students as their mentors: running a Code Club also gives the GCSE students the perfect opportunity to solidify their coding skills:

“I like how I get a chance to develop my coding skills by teaching younger children. Coding is hard to explain and understand, and being able to teach others is a whole other skill, which is why it has helped me so much in my Computer Science GCSE.”
– Weronika Pawelczak, GCSE Computer Science student and Code Club volunteer

“Running the sessions means that I get to consolidate my knowledge and share it with younger people who may take Computer Science GCSE in the future. Also, the sessions improve my coding and I learn new things I could use in my code in lessons. For me individually, it has boosted my confidence to socialise more.”
– Nadia Wu, GCSE Computer Science student and Code Club volunteer

The Year 10 girls at SMSJ are clearly proud to be encouraging younger girls to fall in love with computing. They also think that more female Computer Science GCSE students should be setting up similar clubs, seeing how successful it has been in their school.

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Dragon Hall community centre

Another Code Club that is partly led by a teenage volunteer is one at Dragon Hall community centre in London. After volunteering at the centre over the summer, secondary school student Alvin was encouraged to participate in running their weekly Code Club.

Club host Keeley Reed has been hugely impressed by the effect Alvin has on the club members:

“Having a student volunteer allows the young people to have a role model to look up to. Alvin has been an asset to the group, as the young people connect with him very well. He brings the whole package to Code Club, that you wouldn’t get with adults.”
– Keeley Reed, Youth Work Manager at Dragon Hall and Code Club host

Like the girls at SMSJ, Alvin recognises the positive impact that helping at Code Club is having on his studies:

“I am now a lot better at explaining concepts, especially in exams, because
explaining code to children always has to be clear and precise. Teaching helps me learn new things as well, because I have to explain concepts very clearly so that the children understand.”
– Alvin, secondary school student and Code Club volunteer

Start a student-led Code Club

Peer-led Code Clubs offer huge benefits, not only for the learners but also for the young people leading the clubs. If you’re starting a Code Club in your school this term, why not get one of your older students to act as a mentor? Anyone over 16 can sign up on our website and help run a Code Club alongside an adult — find out more at www.codeclub.org.uk.