From Wonder Woman to Code Club — find out more about Blender

Did you know that the film credit sequences of Wonder Woman were created using Blender? We think that’s pretty cool!

Craig Fisk, a volunteer at Elton Primary School in Cheshire, has introduced Code Club Blender projects to his club. He shares with us how he got started and his top tips for anyone who wants to give Blender a try.

Why did you start using Blender in your Code Club?

When I discovered the Blender projects on the Code Club projects website,
I immediately thought, “I have to teach Blender to the children at Code Club, I know they will love it!” I studied 3D modelling and animation at university, so I know how much fun it can be to create and animate things in 3D.

An example of the Blender Party monkey project

How did you get started?

During half-term, I asked the school IT technician to install Blender on the machines in the IT suite. Then, we were ready to go!

To introduce Blender to the Code Club, I started by giving a little talk at the start of the first session and explained how software like Blender is used in the children’s favourite video games, movies, and TV programmes. Once they heard that, they were sold, and super enthusiastic to give it a go — so much so that they went through two projects in the first session!

What’s next?

We’ve now worked our way through all of the Blender projects, and are starting to work on some more animation projects. My plan is to get them to work collaboratively to create a new scene which they will animate. Each student will build something to put into the scene, which we will then combine, and then they can all have a go at animating it.

Blender in action at Craig’s club

What did you learn?

I was impressed at how quickly all the children picked up Blender, as it can look like quite a complex piece of software when you first open it. In the first couple of sessions, I had to make sure to keep reminding them to right-click to select things, but after that, they rarely had any trouble at all.

Do have any tips to share?

The best tip I can give to organisers and volunteers for getting started with Blender is to have a play around with the first few projects. Try to memorise the main controls for panning, rotating, and selecting things in 3D space.

It can take a bit of getting used to, as the controls are very different from most other programs you may have used. If you’ve mastered these, you will most likely be able to solve 90% of any of the issues that the children run into on their projects.

There’s a couple of things to watch out for, like adding a new object into the scene whilst still in edit mode on another object, meaning the two objects get stuck together rather than being separate — but it’s nothing that the ‘undo’ command can’t solve!

Try the ‘Colour a snowman’ project and teach yourself how to colour objects. My students absolutely loved colouring their creations from the get-go!

Has Craig inspired you to try Blender with your Code Club? Share your projects with us on Facebook or Twitter, or reach out to us at

From a coding beginner to running a successful Code Club

Nina was an absolute beginner to coding and had no experience of working with children, but now she runs a Code Club from the Raspberry Pi Foundation office in Cambridge twice a month, in partnership with the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. Nina’s story is a great example of how anyone can set up and run a Code Club.

Nina’s motivation to set up a Code Club

Nina works for the Raspberry Pi Foundation as the Translation Community Manager. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. She was keen to bring both organisations together, giving new opportunities to children and families who have been resettled in Cambridge.  

I work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Seeing the amazing work we do as an organisation inspired me to take personal responsibility for giving children the opportunity to experience coding and technology.
– Nina Szymor, Code Club volunteer

Nina Szymor supporting a member of her Code Club

You don’t need to be a coding genius

At Code Club, we often say that you don’t have to be a coding genius to set up a Code Club, and Nina is a great example of this. With no background in coding or working with children, she used the resources Code Club offers to gain the confidence to set up a club.

I don’t have a technical background or experience working with kids; I needed some support and guidance. Code Club is perfect for people like me, as all the resources are handed to you, and you are guided by the Code Club team.
– Nina Szymor, Code Club volunteer

She goes on to say:

For each session, I have to go through the project we will be working on so that I can guide the children and help them when they struggle, so I’m learning the same programming concepts as they are. I also noticed that I started analysing my teaching methods to try and find better ways. It’s definitely a big challenge, and I love it!

The group has made great progress

The club launched in September 2018, with the support of a group of fantastic volunteers. At the start, some of the children who attended were unable to use a mouse. Now, the children have successfully completed Module 1 of Scratch, creating some great games and animations!   

Recently, new members joined who were unable to speak English. To help with the language barrier, one girl who had attended from the beginning stepped in and started to translate, explaining to new members how to use Scratch and the project resources.

It was really great to see how confident she was and how easy it was for her to teach others what she had already learned. I think it was really empowering for her, and it was great for us to see how she has developed.
– Nina Szymor
, Code Club volunteer

A reason to celebrate

After the first term, to acknowledge the club finishing Module 1 of Scratch, Nina arranged a celebration to recognise the children’s hard work and achievements. Code Club certificates were printed off and handed out and parents were invited to see what their children had been working on.

The parents brought chocolates and biscuits, there was lots of laughter and happiness at receiving certificates, and generally such a lovely and friendly atmosphere. It was one of my best moments of 2018.
– Nina Szymor,
Code Club volunteer

Why Nina loves volunteering

I love seeing the pure joy on children’s faces when they make something work, and knowing that I may have contributed to them realising that computers and coding are for everyone — something I didn’t have as a child.
– Nina Szymor,
Code Club volunteer

Has Nina’s story inspired you to volunteer at a Code Club? Take a look at our website and see how you can get involved. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too.

Innovative project inspires Brighton students to volunteer

In 2018, we launched a pilot project in Brighton with Greater Brighton Metropolitan College to recruit students as Code Club volunteers. Four students from the college worked with the City Academy Whitehawk, a local primary school, to set up and run a Code Club — a valuable, exciting, and innovative opportunity for them!

The starting point

Dan Powell, Code Club Programme Manager, and Anna Pearson, Code Club Regional Coordinator for Yorkshire and the North East, initiated the project. The starting point was to find a college that was keen to get involved.

Dan met Emma Harrington, Curriculum Manager for Creative Industries at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, at the Brighton Science Festival. Emma was excited about the opportunity this pilot would offer her students, and so the college was found!

‘’I wanted our students to experience the breadth of opportunities within the digital careers landscape. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for our students to be able to work with Code Club and offer school children the chance to tap into essential IT and digital skills that the future workforce requires.”

– Emma Harrington, Curriculum Manager for Creative Industries at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Recruiting student volunteers

To start recruiting student volunteers to run a Code Club, Dan and Anna developed a step-by-step guide for the college. This resource provided guidance for the lecturer on volunteer recruitment and training. For the students, the resource included all the information they needed to set up and run a 12-week club.

Emma used this guide to recruit four student volunteers who would set up and run a Code Club at City Academy Whitehawk.

‘’I felt that it was important for us to recruit the ‘right’ candidates for the role of student Code Club facilitator. The application and interview process outlined in the guide allowed us to review the candidate’s suitability for the role in order to ensure that students interests and goals were matched to our outcomes.”  

– Emma Harrington, Curriculum Manager for Creative Industries at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Finding a primary school to collaborate with  

Emma reached out to the City Academy Whitehawk, a local primary school in Brighton, and arranged a preliminary meeting to talk through the proposed pilot idea. This meeting was followed up with the student volunteers and the primary school staff to finalise the details.

How does Code Club work at City Academy Whitehawk?

The Code Club runs weekly during term time and is attended by eight children from Years 4, 5, and 6. The student volunteers from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College are supported by members of staff from the academy.

With guidance from the student volunteers, the children are working through the Code Club Scratch projects and creating their own games and animations with code.

Student volunteer Sydney shares her experience of taking part in the programme:

“I liked working with the kids, they were enthusiastic about coding and the projects were very simple for them to follow and complete. And they were able to ask us questions when they struggled.”

– Sydney Lichauco, Brighton MET Student and Code Club volunteer

What’s next for Greater Brighton MET College?

‘’I would like to continue to develop further links by offering the school children opportunities to be involved in digital tasters here at Brighton MET College.

Every digital college should incorporate this scheme into their programme! This provides real work experience for our students, not just centred on games design, but to develop related skills relevant to the industry. It enables students to pass on technical skills, as well as to develop teaching and planning skills, and to gain further invaluable experience of teamwork. It also reinforces the core professional skills that we teach and nurture here at Brighton MET.”

– Emma Harrington, Curriculum Manager for Creative Industries at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

If you work within a college and are interested in setting up a student-led Code Club, reach out to us at