Run a teacher-led Code Club & improve your skills

Are you a teacher looking to start a Code Club at your school, but think you don’t have the necessary skills or experience to run the club yourself?

We’ve heard about some amazing teachers across the country who started a Code Club to learn more about computer science and develop their own skills.

One of these teachers is Esther, who runs a Code Club at her school in Derby. Read on to learn more about her story, and how she improved her coding skills at her own Code Club.

Before I started my Code Club I had absolutely no knowledge of coding, other than pulling my hair out when the PC didn’t start properly and showed lines of numbers and letters which I assumed were code!

I decided to start a Code Club because my school requires all teachers to run a club. I am also responsible for teaching the computing curriculum, even though I have no prior training in the subject. Luckily, I had a very supportive ICT Tech, who had heard about Code Club and suggested I try it out. I signed up a couple of weeks before half term and thought the resources were amazing! We started at the beginning of the following half term.

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Esther & her Code Club at Fritchley Primary School

Our club has now been running for 3 years. We operate out of our tired computer room and we use the downloaded version of Scratch so we don’t have to deal with any access or security issues. When I started, I recruited the kids by running a Code Club assembly with the junior children. I don’t need to do that anymore as it’s almost a rite of passage that you get to do Code Club when you get into Year 3.

Code Club fits easily into my working schedule. At first it was more of a push to do the games and animations before the kids, but now I’m more confident I have a more relaxed approach. All the resources are there – they just need printing off and you’re good to go.

My club is made up of children who are all super interested, and we have just as many girls as boys coding. All the pupils can work independently, they usually support each other but I’m on hand to help them debug if they really need it.

When we had our OFSTED inspection a few years ago, computing came out as an outstanding feature and that’s down to Code Club. The children’s maths and problem solving abilities have all improved alongside their teamwork and resilience.

I am very proud of the school’s Code Club, and what we have achieved. When we had our OFSTED inspection a few years ago, computing came out as an outstanding feature and that’s down to Code Club. The children’s maths and problem solving abilities have all improved alongside their teamwork and resilience. Getting something wrong isn’t a bad thing anymore, it’s just a problem to be solved.

Code Club has given our school a unique selling point. Despite being a tiny village school in the middle of nowhere, we have children who are great at coding and are expanding their minds and their career prospects.

Most importantly, Code Club offers the children some great experiences. One term, our chair of governors joined the club. She was into her sixties but a keen mathematician and wanted to see how it all worked. It was fab to see her learn a new skill and show her work alongside the children’s. The children loved to show their work to her, they explained what they had done so simply and they were all beaming with pride.

Interested in finding out more about starting a Code Club? Go to our website to find out more. You can also arrange a visit to see Esther’s Code Club in action via our Star Clubs network.

Code Club Champions

We think all our Code Club volunteers are amazing for giving their time to help children learn to code. We noticed that some volunteers in our community have been doing lots of things to support us, in addition to volunteering at a club. For example, they had been spreading the word about Code Club at their workplaces and at local events, championing Code Club and encouraging more people to join the Code Club volunteer community.

We thought it would be good to recognise these “Code Club Champions” for their extra contributions. So we chatted to a few of them, and they agreed to take part in a pilot scheme. The aim of this scheme is not only to recognise these volunteers’ additional contributions, but also to understand how we can better support them.

The pilot was launched a few weeks ago and will run until August 2016. From now on, you may spot Code Club Champions at events around the country. They’ll be also doing things like giving advice on our forums and contributing to our blog and generally helping us spread the good word about Code Club even further!

We’re very happy to introduce our ‘pioneer’ Code Club Champions taking part in the pilot:

Steve Manson, Mia Chapman, David Gibson, Lydia Quinn, Jasjit Atwal, Sean Price, Jon Rogers, Bob Bilsland, Nathan Fuller, Marc Grossman, Brent Woods, Sebastian Marek, John Brannan, Vivian Richards, Alex Clewett, Clare Dodd

We’re starting the scheme small to try it out and get lots of feedback. We’ll be able to offer an update on where we go next in September.

Any questions? Sarah Sheerman-Chase, our Participation Manager is looking after the scheme and you can drop her a line at

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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