Code Clubs share their highlights from 2019!

With 2019 coming to a close, we asked Star Clubs in the UK and clubs around the world to share their highlights from the past year.

Young boy working at a computer with Zoe from Code Club smiling looking over his shoulder at the screen he is working on.
Zoe from Code Club visiting a club in London

From robots to outer space! 

From having code run in space with Astro Pi, to showcasing great ideas at Coolest Projects, to creating a robot named Meriden, 2019 has proved to be an awesome year! We asked Lucia Manzitti, the Head of Code Club UK and Ireland, to share her highlight of 2019: 

For me, it was visiting the fantastic Burnside Primary School in Cramlington, where Shona and Joanne have been running the Code Club for 2.5 years. It was wonderful to see the children’s eyes sparkle when they showed me their digital creations! 

As the year comes to an end, I would like to thank all of the educators and volunteers, who do an amazing job inspiring the next generation of coders and digital makers. 

To celebrate another fantastic year, we asked educators and volunteers to share a story from their Code Club. Read on to find out their highlights of 2019! 

Coding can take you anywhere (even space)!

“The enthusiasm of our young coders and energy from our growing volunteer team saw Longlevens Code Club shoot for the stars. Aisha (8) and Ruban (10) launched a joint entry into the Astro Pi: Mission Zero challenge and saw their code run in space! 

The local radio station thought it was mission impossible, but an interview with the young coders proved that coders can! It was great publicity for the club, and we saw our club numbers increase. Go Longlevens Code Club, we are so proud of you!” Longlevens Code Club, UK

Celebrating successes is important!

“A highlight would be the celebration event to mark our Code Club being awarded Star Club status.

It was an awesome way for our hard work to be recognised; it shows how well we have built a community through Code Club, not just with the kids who attend and create and have fun, but also with their parents and guardians. It’s great to see groups of adults and children working together to experiment and tinker, and they all have that sense of belonging. The celebration is probably my favourite moment of my Code Club volunteering experience so far.” Leeds Library Code Club, UK

Image of a screen with a HTML project called the website of Jimmy
The website of Jimmy! A great project from a club member at Leeds Library Code Club.

There are lots of people who love to code!

“We joined as a Growth Leader 12 months ago and have established more than 50 Code Clubs in public schools across Malaysia. 

In November, we ran a Coolest Projects event in Penang to give the children an opportunity to showcase their great ideas. Over 110 children from across Malaysia showcased 54 projects. They talked to the judges and the public about their work. One even borrowed a fridge from their hotel to complete their project after the airline didn’t let them fly with it!” Penang Science Cluster, Growth Leader for Malaysia

It’s fun learning new skills! 

“Our Code Club members have enjoyed being creative with the sound feature in Scratch. One member used the sounds section to copy and paste different sound clips together. She made a sound collage and then wanted to play it to the volunteers. We were so pleased, we gave her a certificate for creativity!” Jubilee Crescent Library Code Club, UK

“This term, we were determined to try robots using the skills we had learned from Code Club projects. We have started to create our own robot, ‘Meriden Robot’! The students have been learning to program with Python and micro:bit with support from volunteers Jon and John. So far, the children have been working on stop/start, speed variation, circling, forward, and reverse.” Meriden Code Club, UK

A photograph of the Meriden robot being held in a gentleman's hand
Meet Meriden the robot!

Creating inspiring learning environments! 

“From being involved in the community since we launched our Code Club, we have learned so much from the kids, and from being leaders. We want to continue learning, and to keep offering kids a free, fun learning environment where they can feel like they can become anything they want.” Coding Doctors Kids Club, Miami, Florida

Two female Code Club leaders smiling  in blue T-shirts.
Leaders from the Coding Doctors Kids Club

“Our Code Club has been running for three years. Children come with their own ideas, and sometimes, projects that they have already started! Our volunteers help and support them in taking those ideas further, showing them how to fix bugs, solve problems, or explore other opportunities.” Cullompton Library Code Club, UK

Hear from Code Club members! 

We asked the children at Woodland Grange Code Club, UK, what their highlights of this term have been. Some talked about enjoying the sessions:

“I like making the projects. They take a long time and are quite tricky, but in the end, you can play the games and see what you’ve achieved.”

“I have fun and have learnt a lot.”

Some talked about what they have learnt:

“I like creating variables, which I can use in my own projects.”

“Code Club has helped me to understand Scratch.” 

And some talked about projects that they have enjoyed:

“I like Rock band because it’s musical.”

A gif of the Rock band animation - featuring a female singer on a stage wearing a pink dress.
Has your club had fun with Rock band?

What has your Code Club’s highlight been this year? Share it with us on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World and use the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

How the National Centre for Computing Education can help your Code Club

Whether you’re a teacher just starting out on your Code Club journey, or you have been running a Code Club for many years, the National Centre for Computing Education can support you and your professional development. 

We invited Paul Thornton, Network Education Lead for the National Centre for Computing Education, to share with us what the programme is and what support is available for teachers in England who are running a Code Club or looking at setting up a Code Club in their school. 

A primary school classroom, with a row of three boys are sat at a desk working on laptops. 
Classroom displays can be seen in the background, along with a Code Club volunteer.
Children learning to code at Welwyn St Mary’s Primary School Code Club

What is the National Centre for Computing Education? 

The National Centre for Computing Education was established in November 2018, backed by £84 million of government funding. It is led by a consortium of STEM Learning, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

The National Centre is working to equip teachers in England with the skills and confidence to teach the new, reformed computer science curriculum, with the aim to encourage more participation in the subject at GCSE and A level.

“Our vision is for every child in every school in England to have a world-leading computing education.”  

– National Centre for Computing Education

How will it benefit teachers running Code Clubs?  

If you’re a teacher running a Code Club, the National Centre for Computing Education offers a number of opportunities that you can access for free, including training, resources, and local support for both primary and secondary school teachers.

A young Code Club girl is sat at a desk smiling whilst looking at her laptop. Knelt down beside her is a female volunteer who is looking at the laptop and is smiling too.
A young Code Club member sharing her project

Professional development

The National Centre for Computing Education provides free online and face-to-face training on a variety of topics and skills, with something to suit everyone. 

This includes a wide range of pedagogy-based courses for Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 3, which offer ready-to-implement teaching techniques, from ‘unplugged’ activities to programming lessons.

You may also be interested in the Computer Science Accelerator Programme, which can help you develop the subject knowledge needed to teach GCSE Computer Science. Although this programme is aimed at KS4, upskilling to this level will increase your confidence to set up and run a club for 9- to 13-year-olds. 

Resources

A growing collection of learning resources are available for free on the National Centre for Computing Education website. These resources offer a wealth of inspiration to help you run your club, including teacher guides and activities. 

Community support

Wherever you live in England, there are local experts on hand to support you to set up a Code Club, access equipment, and share your experiences with other teachers: 

  • Computing Hubs provide local, responsive, and tailored support for teachers across England. Soon the Hubs will also have physical kits that schools can borrow, which is perfect for trying something new at your Code Club.
  • Subject Matter Experts are situated across England and can support you and your school to set up your own Code Club.
  • CAS Communities (run by Computing at School) are networks of Computing teachers that share expertise, resources, and best practice, including sharing tips and advice from clubs that they have run.
A Code Club leader is sat at a desk, looking at  printed copy of Code Club project.
A Code Club leader trying out a project

Get started with Code Club and the National Centre for Computing Education

If your school is looking at setting up a Code Club, start your journey today and find out how you and your school can get involved. You can also keep up-to-date with Code Club news on Facebook and Twitter

Register for free on the National Centre for Computing Education website to find the latest news and courses. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know about any new opportunities available to you and your school. 

Code Club #ScratchDay activities

This Saturday is Scratch Day, when people all around the world come together to celebrate Scratch and the people who use Scratch.

As you probably know, here at Code Club we love Scratch – it’s the first tool we use in our projects, and most of our volunteers, Code Clubbers and parents are well aware of how awesome it is for making animations, games and all kind of creative projects.

We’re keen to join the Scratch Day party, and have created a brand new project – (starring Scratch the cat and some evil space junk!) which can be used in the classroom, Code Club or at home. Click here to check out the project.Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.05.04 In Manchester, we’re also taking part in some Scratch Day activities, as local Code Clubs will be heading to the National Football Museum to take part in some awesome football-themed coding workshops. T

here’s also a chance to have your Scratch games displayed at the museum – it just has to be footy themed and uploaded to https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/1112522/ – and if you made it in a Code Club, then be sure to note that down!

Scratch Day is all about sharing our enthusiasm and passion for Scratch, so be sure to tag us @CodeClub on Twitter & Facebook with any updates on your activities! You can also use #ScratchDay to join the conversation worldwide! For further information about Scratch Day, visit http://day.scratch.mit.edu/host/