The benefits of Code Club for schools & teachers

Challenged by the computing curriculum, or looking to boost your confidence with coding software such as Scratch? Starting an after-school Code Club can help! But don’t take our word for it.

We spoke to Matt Warne, a primary teacher and now Head of Computing and IT at RGS The Grange in Worcester, who told us all about his experiences with Code Club, and how it gave him the boost he needed to further his career.

Before I became immersed in Code Club my background knowledge in Computing could be described as ‘emerging’. I was passionate about the subject and keen to improve my pedagogy, yet struggled for an immediate hook and way in with the kids.

I wanted to start a Code Club to give pupils who were enthusiastic for the subject a chance to try different things, as well as exploring their own ideas.

Getting the club started

I had run computing clubs at school in the past, but they were quite experimental and lacked consistency. Once I started an ‘official’ Code Club, using the projects and running the progressive tasks and engaging challenges, pupils could work at their own rate and really improve their understanding of computer science concepts.

I have run Code Clubs in two different schools over the past three years. In my last school (Malvern Wells Primary) myself and volunteer Robert Bilsland ran the sessions which were attended by around 20 pupils, which in a school of 100 is quite impressive.

matt warne

Gaining confidence with computing

In my current role as Head of Computing and IT at RGS The Grange we have 22 places in our Code Club, which have been filled each term since September. I currently run this club myself as I am now much more confident.

We are using Scratch for most of our Code Club sessions, yet in the future we plan to offer HTML and Python for more advanced students. I am very aware that this is not something to rush and the Code Club projects in Scratch will provide the foundations of the children’s understanding in the subject.

The impact of Code Club reaches far beyond a chance to play on Scratch, the sessions are fun yet purposeful and the pupils always leave the sessions knowing that little bit more than they did before. The projects also inspire pupils to try different things and I always hear the comment ‘I didn’t know you could do that on Scratch!’

matt warne 2For myself, the benefits of running a Code Club are enormous. The resources are excellent and build upon prior knowledge, the ease to set it up and get it off the ground are also a big factor. The support is there if you need it, and there are always opportunities to seek help and assistance.

New opportunities & experiences

Code Club has provided me with an excellent platform on which to embed Computing in a school setting. Pupils have a natural love for creativity, technology and challenge – Code Club ticks all these boxes. Code Club was my way into computing and with the support of a passionate volunteer, I had been inspired.

One of my best Code Club moments was setting up the first Code Club Skype session between RGS The Grange and Malvern Wells Primary. We Skyped at the start of the session and set each other a challenge, at the end of the session we ran a show and tell with pupils being positive in commenting upon the other schools work. This was pretty inspiring for teachers and pupils!

For anyone thinking about taking that leap of faith – go for it! Before my first ever session my knowledge was limited, as I sit writing this my job title is now ‘Head of Computing and IT’, Code Club was a big factor in my journey as a teacher and also the impact of a volunteer Robert Bilsland was enormous. He was a fabulous role model and continues to inspire pupils and teachers to ‘have a go’ in this enormously rewarding subject.

So what are you waiting for…?

Register your own teacher-led Code Club in three simple steps! Find out more on our website.

You can also check out more from Matt’s Code Club by visiting:


Code Club and Bloomberg release new resources to celebrate London Tech Week 2016

At Code Club, our vision for the future is one where all children are given the opportunity to learn to code and become digital makers, no matter who they are or where they are from.

So to celebrate this year’s London Technology Week, we have teamed up with a company that shares this vision: Bloomberg, the leading financial information and news leader.

Together, we have produced a coding project and accompanying assembly pack for schools to use to engage pupils’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers.

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This coding project offers a fun way to introduce coding concepts (sequencing, selection and repetition) to children. Additionally, there is a free assembly plan to download. This offers inclusive activities to encourage pupils to think about the role technology in their own lives, then looks more widely at the different ways technology and computers can be used in the world, and in different industries and jobs.

Clare Sutcliffe, co-founder of Code Club, said: “Knowledge of computer science is key to helping children prepare for digital futures within multiple professional roles, regardless of industry or occupation. Coding is a skill that children use at school, but it can also play a role in their hobbies and careers, helping them to become doctors, artists, engineers and more.”

Bloomberg Philanthropy & Engagement harnesses the skills and talents of employees and their business expertise to support causes such as STEM education. In partnership with Code Club, Bloomberg employees were involved in the design of the project and will be delivering assemblies in partner schools across London. With a global engineering team of more than 4,000 software engineers, data scientists and infrastructure architects responsible for systems that make an immediate impact on the global financial markets.

Try the “Green Your City” project here.

Download the schools pack here. 

BBC micro:bit update

This week we received confirmation of the delivery date for Code Club’s assignment of BBC micro:bits, so it is with much excitement that we can now announce that active Code Clubs will be able to apply for their micro:bits from 12pm, 17th August 2016!

We want to make sure that every active club who wants micro:bits can get some. This is why we are asking you to apply to receive your micro:bits, so we can share our allocation of 20,000 as fairly as possible.microbit-smile

Each active club will receive a minimum of four micro:bits. Once the applications are in, we will assess demand and if we can send you a few more, we will!

In order to be able to enter our application process, your Code Club must be registered and active by 12pm on Friday 24th June 2016. Your club is considered active if you have a Club ID and PIN.

If you need help checking your club is active before the deadline, please email our team at

We’ll be posting more details about the application process on August 17th, so you don’t need to do anything yet. There will be a one month window for all clubs to apply, closing on 16th September. The micro:bits will then be sent out after the application window closes.  Until then, thank you to all our volunteers, teachers and supporters for your patience – we’re so excited that Code Clubs will be able to start the new academic year with micro:bits for their clubs!

All our micro:bit projects are available to view on the Code Club projects page. The project pages link to an emulator, so you can still have a go at trying out the projects online. Why not give the projects a go over the summer?