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.

From a coding beginner to running a successful Code Club

Nina was an absolute beginner to coding and had no experience of working with children, but now she runs a Code Club from the Raspberry Pi Foundation office in Cambridge twice a month, in partnership with the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. Nina’s story is a great example of how anyone can set up and run a Code Club.

Nina’s motivation to set up a Code Club

Nina works for the Raspberry Pi Foundation as the Translation Community Manager. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. She was keen to bring both organisations together, giving new opportunities to children and families who have been resettled in Cambridge.  


I work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Seeing the amazing work we do as an organisation inspired me to take personal responsibility for giving children the opportunity to experience coding and technology.
 
– Nina Szymor, Code Club volunteer

Nina Szymor supporting a member of her Code Club

You don’t need to be a coding genius

At Code Club, we often say that you don’t have to be a coding genius to set up a Code Club, and Nina is a great example of this. With no background in coding or working with children, she used the resources Code Club offers to gain the confidence to set up a club.


I don’t have a technical background or experience working with kids; I needed some support and guidance. Code Club is perfect for people like me, as all the resources are handed to you, and you are guided by the Code Club team.
 
– Nina Szymor, Code Club volunteer

She goes on to say:


For each session, I have to go through the project we will be working on so that I can guide the children and help them when they struggle, so I’m learning the same programming concepts as they are. I also noticed that I started analysing my teaching methods to try and find better ways. It’s definitely a big challenge, and I love it!

The group has made great progress

The club launched in September 2018, with the support of a group of fantastic volunteers. At the start, some of the children who attended were unable to use a mouse. Now, the children have successfully completed Module 1 of Scratch, creating some great games and animations!   

Recently, new members joined who were unable to speak English. To help with the language barrier, one girl who had attended from the beginning stepped in and started to translate, explaining to new members how to use Scratch and the project resources.


It was really great to see how confident she was and how easy it was for her to teach others what she had already learned. I think it was really empowering for her, and it was great for us to see how she has developed.
 
– Nina Szymor
, Code Club volunteer

A reason to celebrate

After the first term, to acknowledge the club finishing Module 1 of Scratch, Nina arranged a celebration to recognise the children’s hard work and achievements. Code Club certificates were printed off and handed out and parents were invited to see what their children had been working on.


The parents brought chocolates and biscuits, there was lots of laughter and happiness at receiving certificates, and generally such a lovely and friendly atmosphere. It was one of my best moments of 2018.
 
– Nina Szymor,
Code Club volunteer

Why Nina loves volunteering


I love seeing the pure joy on children’s faces when they make something work, and knowing that I may have contributed to them realising that computers and coding are for everyone — something I didn’t have as a child.
 
– Nina Szymor,
Code Club volunteer

Has Nina’s story inspired you to volunteer at a Code Club? Take a look at our website and see how you can get involved. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too.

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:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 10.31.39

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.

teacher quote