The staff and students at Wolverhampton University started a Code Club in November 2015 to help children in the local community learn coding skills after-school. They have created a fantastic and fun Code Club, inspiring the next generation of coders.
Mark Bircumshaw, Education Advisor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, told us how the club at Wolverhampton Children’s Library got off the ground.
“We registered 3 students and one member of staff as volunteers with Code Club, and started off with some taster sessions during the October half term. We then began our first Code Club on Monday evenings once the school term began. The Children’s Library has 12 computers and to accommodate all those interested we ended up doubling up children to work in pairs. The space is very limited but we managed to create a fun, busy atmosphere each Monday.”
They began the club by using Code Club’s Scratch projects, trying out a different project each week. “The first few weeks were as much about us learning alongside the children as they were about running a club in the community and working in collaboration with the Library.” Mark said, “The Library staff were very helpful, assisting with advertising the club via posters in the library, and gathering the children’s details and parental permissions.”
The demand continued to outgrow the computers and the space available, so they began running two back-to-back sessions after the Christmas break. The first group was for follow on students and the second for newcomers.
Kevin and Callam were two of the computing students that helped to lead the Code Cub sessions. Kevin is thrilled with how the club has “grown from strength to strength… this has been by far one of the best teaching environments I have ever been in. All of the students who visited each week were well behaved and were eager to just get on with the task in hand to complete, to the very best of their ability.
Being a member of Code Club has shown me that people of all walks of life can be interested in programming, from such early ages; for me, as an aspiring Teacher of Computer Science, this is a really amazing thing to witness.”
Callam also noted that “Code Club gave me the chance to explore a classroom environment from the perspective of a teacher or an authoritative figure. This has provided me with invaluable experience. Not only has Code Club allowed me to develop a teaching technique, it has also helped me to grow as a person. It has helped to build my confidence and to learn to communicate with others.”
If you would like to find out more about starting a Code Club through your University, Sixth form or Higher Education College, head over to our website: https://www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club/volunteers/student-volunteers