Five ways to inspire your club members about code!

Whether your Code Club is just launching or has been running for a while, here are five ways for you to get your Code Club members excited about coding

A young girl is sat in a classroom working at laptop. A female volunteer is looking at her laptop screen. Both are smiling!
A young Code Club member showing her code to a volunteer.

1. Make Scratch Cat say hi! 

Just starting out with new Code Club members? Christina from Code Club USA encourages you to begin with the basics:  

“We often forget that the simplest things can inspire folks — start with the basics! Show your Code Club members how to make Scratch Cat say hi, and then have them change what the cat is saying and encourage them to try and make the cat do a dance.”

– Christina Foust, Club Program Manager, Code Club USA

2. Be ready, inspiration is contagious!

Make sure you are the first one to be inspired: join us at a FREE online webinar and make sure you’re #CodeClubReady! Talk to our team from across the world, ask your questions, and find out what support we’ve got for you. 

An illustration with too robots, the Code Club logo and words, we are #CodeClubReady

3. Send your code to space

How cool would it be to have your own code run aboard the International Space Station? Your Code Club members can do just that with the European Astro Pi Challenge!  

The Astro Pi Challenge has launched with two missions.

  • Mission Zero: With the help of a step-by-step guide, your Code Club members write a very simple Python program that will run on the International Space Station and show a message for the astronauts there! This mission is a great introduction to Python for learners who want to move on from Scratch. 
  • Mission Space Lab: participants design and write a program for a real scientific experiment that has the chance to run aboard the International Space Station. This mission has four phases and runs over eight months. 
An illustrated image with the Astro Pi logo, two astronauts and the launch date details.

4. Encourage a show-and-tell 

Hold a show-and-tell session to celebrate you club members’ achievements! You can even invite your club members’ friends and family and teach them about coding by having the club members showcase what they’ve been creating and learning. If your Code Club is registered on our website, download certificates from your dashboard to hand out to your members at the end of the show-and-tell to make it really special. 

“A show-and-tell is a great place for your club members to share what they’ve learned and also talk about anything they found challenging. It leads to great discussions and encourages the other children to ask further questions.”

– Rohima Cooke, Code Club Regional Coordinator, South East 

An older ladies hands working on a laptop, drawing a person on the laptop screen.
A family member taking part in a show-and-tell session

5. Build your own game

Who doesn’t love to play games at home? Inspire your learners to create and code their own games. With our free step-by-step projects for Scratch, Python, and Blender, children can easily learn how to make games. You never know, you may have the next Tim Sweeney, game developer of Fortnite, in your group!

How do you get your Code Club members excited about coding? Share your ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

#VolunteersWeek – Run a Code Club to learn new skills & meet new friends

This #VolunteersWeek, we celebrate by sharing the experiences of the amazing people who help to inspire children across the UK to get excited about coding and digital making. Amanda Coffey is a parent and she runs a Code Club at Firfield Primary School. We spoke to her about how she got involved with Code Club, and what she has gained from volunteering at her local school. Here is what she told us:

sam_1532-e1496317446153.jpg“I was inspired to volunteer when I was talking to another mum, Jasjit, in the playground and she started telling me about Code Club. It sounded really interesting. I am not a coder, but I had dabbled in the past. For me, coding wasn’t a scary thing, it was just something I hadn’t learnt, but I knew that most of my peers didn’t feel the same way: they were scared of coding. I wanted my children to grow up seeing coding as just another tool, not something scary, but I didn’t know enough to teach them. So when I heard about Code Club, it sounded perfect.

That day I went to my running club and was talking to Ian, the coach, telling him what Jasjit had told me about Code Club, and he was really interested as well. So together the three of us started a club at our school. We have been great friends ever since.

Our Code Club has been running for almost two years. We have between 16 and 18 pupils each week, with a teacher from the school there for support. The club is oversubscribed with a waiting list, we had to put names in a hat in order to choose who could come! I think the reason we have so many pupils wanting to come and code is because we ran a celebration assembly last year, where we were able to share our children’s coding projects with the rest of the school and to hand out certificates. We are lucky that our head teacher values coding enough to give us that opportunity. It is not just parents that don’t know what coding is – the children don’t know either, so inviting them to a Code Club means nothing to them. Showing the whole school the different projects the first batch of Code Clubbers had been able to try taught every child what coding is and how much fun it can be.

I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mum at the moment, so I have time to run a Code Club. But I’ve been volunteering for different causes for years. If you haven’t tried it before, give it a go. With Code Club the projects are already made for you, so you don’t have to spend hours planning. It is a very easy club to run. You really will love it.

By volunteering with Code Club, I met two of my best friends, Jas and Ian. I just spent Mother’s Day running a half-marathon with Jas, and she is trying to teach me to cook proper Dal, whilst Ian and I share music and books. It’s been such a rewarding experience running our club together. I love showing the children new things and seeing them getting excited.  They always have the best ideas for what to make and by supporting them I am learning so much.”

Interested in volunteering with Code Club? Find out more on our website.

I’m a Parent, how can I help Code Club?

If you’re a parent looking to contribute to your child’s school community, how about starting a Code Club? Whether you’re a coding expert or an absolute beginner, we’re looking for enthusiastic parent volunteers who can start an after-school coding club in their child’s school.

Interested to find out more? We spoke to Elbrie de Kock, the co-founder of Tech Age Kids, a blog about technology for kids and families.  She started a Code Club in Chandlers Ford in January 2016, and she told us about her experiences so far:


I was inspired to start my own Code Club whilst trying to help my son find his feet in the world of computing as an enthusiastic young coder. I wanted to make sure my own kids and their peers at school have access to the fantastic resources Code Club have to offer.

At first, fear of not having the right qualifications prevented me from starting a Code Club. However, now I’ve got started, it’s incredible, and I realise my fear was unfounded.

Getting the club up and running

I registered as a volunteer on the Code Club site and then approached the school about starting the Code Club in November last year. From there, we sent out letters to all year 5 and 6 classes and it didn’t take long to fill the club and have a waiting list. We used all the resources available on the Code Club website to help us get started quickly and after Christmas we were up and running.

Our Code Club started in January 2016 and we used the curriculum and materials provided by Code Club straight out of the box. We meet once a week after school for an hour in the school’s computer lab with 18 year 5 and 6 pupils. The school is really lucky to have such a fantastic facility, allowing each child to have their own PC and we have room to grow.

Together with a teacher from the school and 2 other parent volunteers we decided to start with the 1st Scratch module and work our way through the projects. The kids found the first projects fairly easy, but now we are starting to get to more challenging ones. We’ve also added some fun elements, by trying out their Scratch projects with a Makey Makey.

The kids and school liked the Makey Makeys so much, they are planning a fundraising project to buy cool tech gadgets for the school. One fun idea was to host a Code Club for parents!

The benefits of volunteering

I am not a computer programmer and work in digital marketing. Code Club has definitely shown me learning new digital skills isn’t hard.  If the kids can do it, so can I. Every week, I try out the project we are going to do at the Code Club at home. I’m really enjoying it and impressed with my own growing coding skills.

My 7 year old son attends the club with me. I love being able to be part of an activity he really enjoys at his school. It’s great to be able to support your child in their school by starting a Code Club. I see the time I give to prepare and run the Code Club at my kids school as important as volunteering on the PTA or governing body. The school benefits from having a computing focussed activity, your child benefits from seeing you take an active interest in their schooling and you benefit from enabling other kids to be creative with technology.

In terms of volunteering with Code Club, it is really easy and there is a lot of support in the Code Club community. I would say, don’t over think it, just do it! There is a lot of support on the way.

Favourite Code Club moments

I think Code Club is brilliant, and my favourite moments are when the kids’ eyes light up when they get something right, or they have a new experience with technology that is fun and creative. The last week before half-term, we did a more tricky Scratch project. It was fascinating to see how differently each child responded to the challenges they faced.

My best moment has to be, when one of the coders, said at the end of the session, eyes shining with excitement; “Elbrie, I just can’t wait to get home and solve this problem! I am going to get it right!” Now that is what I call a great success.