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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Start a Code Club in your library

Over the past year, we’ve had more and more Code Clubs starting in libraries around the country. Ipswich County Library is host to one of those new Code Clubs, and they filled us in on they’re progress so far:

My name is Charmain Osborne and I’m the Assistant Library Manager at Ipswich County Library. As part of my role I have responsibility for the Enterprise and Innovation Hub located on the top floor of the library, this is where our weekly Code Club is held.

I first heard  about Code Club a while ago while carrying out a volunteer role I have outside of the library. The concept interested me, but at that point I wasn’t in a position to be able to move forward. When I started at Ipswich County Library in August 2015 I was quite keen to investigate the idea of a Code Club further. By coincidence a volunteer came in to ask if we could start a Code Club in the library. I didn’t need asking twice!

We’ve set up our Code Club with combination of volunteers; Code Club, STEMnet and High School students. I started off with one volunteer who was very pro-active about getting some other volunteers on board, she continues to be extremely helpful and is an active volunteer at the sessions.  

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The library’s Code Club was featured in the local paper, the East Anglian Daily Times.

At each session we generally have 2 Code Club/STEM volunteers and a couple of High School students. The High School students focus on troubleshooting IT and this allows the Code Club/STEM volunteers to interact with the children. Our group started off at 8 children, after the first group of sessions this was increased to 14. The children range in age from 6-11, the youngest children generally have their parents helping them with the material and the group all work well together. We don’t have rigid structure where the children work systematically through the projects. Instead the children choose their own projects to suit their interest and ability working at their own level; if they choose one that is too hard or too easy they soon change it for another one.

The greatest challenge for our Code Club is also our greatest triumph. The club has been more popular than I imagined. The waiting list continues to grow faster than we can create spaces in our club! I’m now considering starting a second Code Club, I’ve approached a local college who have Level 3 Game Design and IT students to see any of them would like to gain some valuable work experience.

My advice to anyone else working in a library and considering starting a Code Club would be: go for it, what have you got to lose? It’s a really great experience to see the children engaged and learning at a Club they have chosen to come to.

If you’d like to start a Code Club in your library, find out more about hosting a Code Club here: www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club/venues.

You can then visit www.codeclub.org.uk/register/host to register as a Club Host.


Parent volunteers: Run a Code Club at your child’s school

We’re always keen to get more parents involved in running Code Clubs at their children’s school. Here we profile two amazing parent volunteers who are currently leading a Code Club. They share how simple and rewarding it has been for them to take part in their school community by helping to give children the opportunity to learn to code.

At Firfield Primary School in Derby, three parents, Jas, Amanda and Ian, have been working together to run a weekly Code Club after school for the past 3 months, with some assistance from one of the school’s teachers.

Jas, a mum of three, came across Code Club as she was looking for a way to entertain her two eldest children over the summer holidays;  “I did not want the boys to be stuck in front of the TV all day and I was seeking activities that would stimulate making skills, problem solving and persistence.” So she scoured her local library for ideas, and came across a coding book, which taught Jas how to get started with the free coding software, Scratch. “Despite my lack of technical knowledge, that I was secretly embarrassed about, I was able to get started, and soon the boys and I were absolutely hooked. I was then getting stuck trying to find projects for them at a suitable level to keep their interest and it occurred to me that I would like to learn more myself so that I could teach them, and perhaps even boost my own career skills.”

JGhostPicas then attended a local Code Club meetup in Derby, and was convinced to start up a club in her children’s school. While chatting in the school playground, Jas also managed to convince her friend Amanda to help her run the club.

“My reason for getting involved was to help set up a Code Club in our community.  I believe that coding is an essential skill for the modern workplace and wanted to help all of the children in the school gain that skill.  I remember when I was growing up how my sister would not take part in any computing/ coding at home: she thought it was too difficult so never even tried.  Lots of the parents I know feel the same way.  But computational thinking, problem solving, coding, these are all things that can be simple and easy and fun!”

With the Code Club now in full swing, other parents have expressed an interest in getting involved. Jas told us that there are now “at least three other mums wanting to get more involved and there is considerable interest on the school playground, with people finding out about Scratch and going off to get started on their own.” Jas and Amanda are planning to do more activities to get the whole school community involved in coding activity, “We do hope to offer a Scratch workshop for parents soon and will be going in to do a presentation for teachers one INSET day. We may even be able to start running a second club.”

Yet Amanda told us that, initially, there was some resistance from other parents who doubted whether they had the right skills to help run the club. “People think they need to be expert coders in order to take part, but that isn’t the case.  Code Club projects give the club such a strong backbone that all you really need is a love for the subject and the ability to logically go through a set of instructions and find the mistake – every person who can follow a recipe or cook a Roast Dinner could code!”

ChildPic1For Jas, running a Code Club has brought a whole list of benefits, which has now moved beyond her initial aims of keeping her children entertained in the holidays;

“I love helping out at my children’s school and I know that this has generated a lot of excitement for kids and parents alike which gives me a great feeling…. Though, as a parent, I also understand that digital too often means passive consumption.  We all worry about too much screen time and worry that our children know more about technology than we do.  I feel that it is time that parents became more confident in the digital sphere that our children so fearlessly parade around, so that we can better guide and protect them, but also inspire them, empower them, to be creator-makers.”

Do you think that you could join parents like Jas and Amanda to run your own Code Club? Find out more about getting started on our website.