Take time out and try the NEW ‘Look after yourself’ Scratch module!

Last month, a brand-new Scratch module was launched called ‘Look after yourself’.

This module has six projects based on wellbeing, which will get children making digital games, interactive animations, and apps!

Let’s try the projects! 

Our colleagues at the Raspberry Pi Foundation have been trying the projects. Find out how they got on: 

Relax and stretch is based on an exercise routine project that I worked on with my 11-year-old son during the lockdown. We tried a few exercise apps and videos but none of them did exactly what he wanted so he decided to write his own. That’s the great thing about being able to code: you can make stuff that’s useful to you.”

Tracy Gardner, Content and Curriculum Manager 

Relax and stretch

“My daughter developed a love of puzzles during the summer, so when we came across Focus on the prize, naturally, she couldn’t wait to try it out. We’ve had great fun in both doing the project and challenging members of the family to complete the challenge.”

Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator, Code Club Ireland

“Being 9 years old can be hard, so when my son was feeling a bit ‘funny’ about life, we opened the laptop and tried out the Butterfly garden project. It was the perfect distraction and he had such fun making it. I loved that he was worried about the butterflies flying all the time so extended the project by coding some rest breaks. Apparently, ‘it is important to take breaks’!”  

Lorna Gibson, Programme Manager, Code Club 

Butterfly garden

“I recently moved and now live far away from any woods or hiking. I love the Serene scene project because I can code what I miss most about the outdoors: trees, animals, and forest sounds! I can even add rain sounds, which always helps me to relax. I think for my next scene, I’ll have to add some snow :)” 

Christina Foust, Club Programs Manager, USA

A new certificate 

To celebrate this module, we have designed a new ‘Look after yourself’ certificate to recognise children’s achievements.

If you’re based in the UK, the USA, or Ireland, head to your dashboard to download your copy of the ‘Look after yourself’ certificate. 

If you’re based outside of the UK, the USA, or Ireland, head to our Code Club International website to download the certificate. 

Digital Making at Home

The Digital Making at Home team has created a fun range of videos to support young coders to follow this module. If you like, you could use these videos in your online sessions, or send them out as remote activities.

Tell us how you get on with the new module and share your finished projects with us on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World and use the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

Community members share advice for running online Code Club sessions!

We understand that going online to run a Code Club session might be making you feel a little nervous. We’re here to support you every step of the way on this new learning journey. Check out our new guidance on online sessions, and read on to hear top tips and words of advice from Code Club educators around the world.

Try it! 

After a summer break, Meriden Code Club are back running online club sessions on Zoom. They shared these words of encouragement: 

“For people worried about starting something online, or doing anything different with their club, a tip would be to just try it; people won’t expect perfection from day one and you’ll learn so much about what works for you and your club.” 

Encourage creativity

Leeds Libraries created a multilevel game at their online Code Club session. We asked what their top three tips would be:

  1. Make content available in a range of formats and on different platforms to allow as much accessibility to participants as possible.
  2. Create projects with flexible goals in mind to allow for different skill sets and interpretations. 
  3. Encourage creativity! If a coder wants to try something different to what you had in mind, let them run with it. You’ll be amazed at what they come up with.
Lee has attended Leeds Libraries online sessions

Slow your sessions down 

Nicola from Code Club Australia has given some advice on how the pace of your Code Club may change:

“Talk and progress through the lesson much slower than you would face to face, and explain every detail (otherwise you’ll have to repeat it, many times).”  

Nicola from Code Club Australia

Adjust your Code Club start time

Adam runs Fleetville Code Club and has been running online Code Club sessions, using Scratch and Minecraft. Adam shared his advice to help your online sessions run more smoothly: 

  1. Assume your first session is going to be all about getting people set up on their computers. The students might use Scratch at school, but getting it running at home at the same time as a Zoom call takes a little getting used to. 
  2. An after-school online club session will need to start a bit later than an in-school club since the children need to get home ( now many schools have staggered leaving times). 
  3. Students are just as thrilled by receiving online certificates as they are by the paper equivalents – use the Code Club ones or prepare some of your own.

If you are running online sessions and want to share your tips with the rest of the community, write to us at support@codeclub.org and we’ll make sure to pass them on.

Let’s get back to Code Club safely

Move over August, September has arrived and Code Club has a range of exciting new options to help you restart your Code Club safety.

Guiding you through options

We’ve developed a framework to guide you through which option will suit your club’s current situation. The options are flexible, to allow you to pick and combine elements that will work for your club and venue. 

Members from the Code Club community have kindly shared their learnings and experiences on the options, and provided top tips for getting back to coding this September. 

In-person sessions

When you are ready to restart your club, in-person sessions will run as normal, following guidelines from your local health authority and safeguarding for your venue. Hear how Richard Hayler from Cranmere Code Club in the UK is preparing his club for in-person sessions: 

“We’re really looking forward to when we can resume our in-person sessions and are working with our school on the safest way to do this.”

Online sessions

During August, Rohima and Christina from the Code Club team had fun running online sessions for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. An online session is run by an educator or volunteer; it takes place at a regular chosen time and runs using video conferencing or live-streaming tools.

If your club is considering running online sessions, take a look at the advice from Rohima and Christina: 

  • “Be prepared in your setting — check the sound on your laptop is working, plug in your charger, and have the club window open so you can start promptly.” (Rohima) 
  • “Don’t worry if you only have a couple of children turn up, embrace it. They are there because they want to be, make it a fun place to be, you may just inspire a future coder!” (Rohima)
  • “I learned how different it was to do group coding online vs in person. In some cases, your role is to just check in with kids every 10–15 minutes and facilitate the sharing. Sometimes, it’ll be quiet, so talk to your group about having music!” (Christina) 
  • “Remember to be patient with yourself, participants, and parents, especially with the first session. You’re going to learn so much during the first session that will make your second, third, and fourth session run super smoothly!” (Christina)  

Remote activities

We checked in with D&G libraries in Scotland who are regularly sending out remote activities from the Digital Making at Home programme to parents via their Facebook page. They’re then on hand to answer questions and offer support when needed. 

Here’s what a parent said about the activities:   

“My son really enjoyed the coding club over the summer, he had done a little before and picked up how to do it very quickly. It was fun and interactive and he has been back time and time again trying new things.”

Keeping your club flexible 

The pandemic is keeping us on our toes, and we know that clubs may not always be able to run consistently in-person, online, or remote activities. Leeds Libraries used a pick-and-mix approach to running their Code Club, read about how they got on.

We encourage you to feel confident to pick and combine the options according to what best suits you and your venue.

Take a look at our ways to run a Code Club page for everything you will need to get your club back up and running this September, including new resources, the framework, and updated safeguarding guidance.