Learning to code can be a great first step for children to gain an interest and passion in computing. This interest can open up a range of options for academic subjects and a variety of career paths in the future.
But it’s not just children who stand to gain career-boosting digital skills: running a Code Club is also a great way for adults to develop their coding knowledge.
Helping children learn to code builds your own skills and understanding of computing. We already have hundred of volunteers who have boosted their confidence, and their CV, by running a club.
Julie Sheppard, a parent who volunteers at a club at Widcombe Primary School in Bath, told us: “Before helping at Code Club I knew very little about coding. Now I have the basic knowledge to be able to create games and animations using Scratch, with future opportunities of using other languages. I would not have made the time to develop these skills if I was not involved in the club.”
For those who already have coding skills, Code Club can offer some new and rewarding challenges. Guy McCusker is another parent who volunteers at Widcombe Primary’s club, and is Deputy Head of Bath University’s Computer Science department. He told us that despite teaching programming to undergraduate students in huge groups for nearly 20 years, “helping at Code Club is a whole new game. Because the volunteers are not teachers, and because the club is meant to be for fun as well as for learning, we have to nudge the members gently along while sneaking in the instruction and recaps that are needed for the information to stick. All the members want something different from the club — everything from just passing time to being super keen to learn programming, and all points in between — so we have to adapt to them all individually.”
Guy believes that parents and other prospective volunteers thinking about starting a Code Club “shouldn’t think twice — just do it. You absolutely do not need to be a coding expert to be able to run the sessions effectively. The Code Club resources are excellent, very well pitched for year 5 and 6 children, and the demands on volunteers are not that great. The rewards for the children are plain to see as they get to grips with programming concepts and create projects they are excited about.”