Announcing our new partner: Tech North

Today we are excited to make the announcement that Tech North has joined Code Club as a Supporting Partner for 2016, hooray!

Tech North is a government-funded initiative whose mission is to accelerate the development of the North’s digital economy. Their team is particularly focused on the seven cities of Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland. They joined us this week at a Code Club being run by a group of volunteers at Liverpool’s Central Library to launch the partnership.

Volunteer Mark Sabino with children at the Liverpool Central Library club

Volunteer Chris Huffee with children at the Liverpool Central Library club {credit: Tech North]

We’re thrilled that Tech North will be working with us to increase the number of children becoming excited about digital making, as well as encouraging more businesses to get involved in their community by running Code Clubs

Herb Kim, Executive Chairman of Tech North explained: “The future success of the Northern digital economy is reliant upon skills and access to talent…This partnership will future proof the boom in digital industry by fostering a pipeline of tech talent.”


Councillors Gary Millar, Jim Noakes and Natwest’s Heather Waters join the Code Club and Tech North teams at the Code Club in Liverpool’s Central Library [credit: Tech North]

One of the Liverpool library club’s volunteers, Zarino Zappia, said: “It would be fantastic if the new partnership between Tech North and Code Club results in more public clubs like ours popping up in libraries and public venues all over Merseyside.”

We’re looking forward to working with Tech North over the next year and thank them for choosing Code Club as a partner. To find out more about their work, you can visit their website here.

You can see what happened on the day in this great video from Tech North:

Code Club Annual Report 2015

2015 was an exciting year for Code Club. For anyone keen to find out more about our progress and growth over the past year, we have complied an annual report, which you can download a copy of here or view our handy summary below…


Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.05.03During 2015, Code Clubs have been created in a further 1295 schools, libraries and community venues in the UK, bringing the total number to 3472 by the end of December 2015.

We’re working hard to ensure children from all regions and backgrounds have access to Code Club – at the moment the regions we are strongest in are the North West, East Anglia, London and the South East.

With an average of 14 children per club, Code Club is currently reaching over 75,000 children – including 40% girls. We hope these girls will continue their Computing journey in secondary school and that this will help close the GCSE and A-Level Computing gender gap.

In 2015 we began to increase the numbers of Code Clubs set in libraries. We also developed a partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians to support the Digital strand of their Universal Learning Offer.


Code Club join forces with Raspberry Pi

Our biggest news of the year was our merger with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which will see our two organisations working together to help many more young people learn how to build their ideas with code.code club & RPF

Evaluating our impact

In the Spring term we began an evaluation process with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). The aim of the evaluation is to explore the impact of Code Club on pupils’ coding and computing skills, as well as the development of transferable skills and their attitudes and aspirations towards coding and computing.

As part of the evaluation, children were asked to complete a coding quiz, attitude survey and computational thinking challenge at the start of the programme, and they will complete them again in July 2016, so that their progress can be assessed. We will be publicising the results of this first assessment in Autumn 2016.

Updates to the Code Club website

Over the summer term, we re-designed the Code Club Projects site, adding loads of useful info about the specific skills that are covered in our projects and lots of other lovely educational stuff. We streamlined our registration process and adjusted the way that volunteers, club hosts and children in clubs access our projects page, introducing the Club ID and PIN system.

These changes helped to ensure that all Code Clubs were registered on our site, which allowed us to monitor the increase of our club numbers and to ensure that we:

  • measure our impact to find out how well we’re doing and what can be done better
  • know who is running our Code Clubs, and ensure that our volunteers are appropriately checked to ensure child safety
  • measure our reach so we can secure funding to help us continue to develop and provide free resources and support for our volunteers


In autumn we implemented some changes to our Teacher Training programme which has reached over 1300 teachers across the UK. We updated the Teacher Training materials, focussing on creating more interactive sessions to increase participation from the teachers.

The new sessions are:Teacher Robot 001

  • Computational Thinking: an introduction to computer science concepts, maze based practical application for KS1 computing elements, and lesson ideas for cross curricular computing
  • Programming: using scratch to create a chatbot, interactive learning for the KS2 programming aspects and unplugged ideas for classroom activities.
  • Networks and the Internet: learning to use HTML (the ‘language’ of websites), how the internet actually works and the principles of searching the web.

Sessions are now free at the point of access for teachers. Teachers can register for training through our website and we will set up the session as and when we secure funding. As a not-for-profit, we rely on financial support to run our teacher training programme – and we hope this new approach will offer more opportunities to reach more teachers and children across the UK.


GlobeCode Club has grown internationally over the past year. We have brought on board four countries which already have an established presence and activity – with a significant number of Code Clubs being run. These are Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Ukraine who between them run over 700 Code Clubs.

In September we ran our first application process for new countries to join the Code Club family. We welcomed Country Coordinators for another four countries – Poland, France, Spain and Canada – who will be looking to establish more Code Clubs and secure funding for their operations.


Sapce Ship 002

In the next year, Code Club will accelerate their growth to continue to increase the number of clubs in the UK. We will launch new campaigns to help raise awareness of Code Club’s activity with the general public. We’ll continue to create new special projects and activities for children, teachers and volunteers.

During 2016 and beyond we will seek to strengthen the focus of the Teacher Training programme and build school and teacher engagement. We will deliver a comprehensive programme of CPD to primary teachers, and, in response to teacher demand, will provide more activity ideas and cross curricular work.

We will be working next year to continue Code Club’s global growth. We have invited 10 countries to apply for Code Club’s second cohort in our international onboarding programme, which will begin early next year. We will also organise our first ever Global Summit, where the Code Club community across the world will meet for the first time.

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.