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. 

Teachers! We need you!

Are you a teacher interested in setting up a Code Club in your school?

We’re looking for teachers to run weekly after school coding clubs! It’s easier than you think to run a Code Club yourself – you don’t need existing coding skills, just a can-do attitude to get stuck in learning alongside your students for an hour a week!

We provide everything you need to run your Code Club – free online or face to face training, and projects which offer structured and fun content for the clubs, so you don’t need to have any existing coding skills to run a club. The projects are step by step guides for children to follow to create animations, games, websites and much more. Children will build up their programming skills as they move through the projects, and challenges provide them with opportunities to demonstrate and apply what they’ve learnt.

By starting a club at your school you’ll be joining a huge community of teachers who do the same thing – more than 50% of our 4300 Code Clubs are run by teachers.

Here are a few tips to set you on your way to get a Code Club started.

Start a teacher-led club in these simple steps:

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If you have any issues setting up your club, have a read of our registration guide for teacher-led clubs. You can also contact Code Club Regional Coordinators in your area – they are there to help you through the registration process and to answer any questions once your club is up and running. Contact a Regional Coordinator near you.

There are thousands of teachers running their own Code Clubs across the country, and around the world. Get involved and see what benefits it can bring to you and your school.

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