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/