A goodbye and a hello!

This month, we’re waving a fond farewell to Sarah Sheerman-Chase, who has been part of Team Code Club for the last 5 years… but we’re delighted to welcome Lucia Manzitti, who is taking Sarah’s place as Head of Code Club UK and Ireland.

Goodbye from Sarah  

The last five years working at Code Club have been a period of amazing personal and professional growth, and as I prepare to move on to a new adventure, here are just some of the highlights that I will remember:

Training for volunteers on FutureLearn

In 2017, I created a free online course for Code Club volunteers called Prepare to Run a Code Club. It was released in November after a year of writing, wrangling, and filming — one of the biggest challenges for me was learning how to read an autocue to make the video content!

More than 7000 people have taken part in the course so far, and I have absolutely loved reading and replying to the comments and questions from learners all over the world who are setting up clubs in their local communities.

Twitter chats

I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to interact with the thousands of passionate and enthusiastic volunteers in the Code Club community, and our regular Twitter chats have been my favourite way to communicate and share with them about teaching kids to code.

I learned how to construct a great question that gets people talking to one another online — and of course, not to schedule the chat at the same time as the Great British Bake Off.

Why not join us at the next global Code Club Twitter chat on Tuesday 16 July, 7pm? Follow #CodeClubChat and join the conversation.

Capturing Code Club on film

Some of my most memorable moments have been filming in various Code Clubs all around the country. I love the video What do kids say about Code Club?, which we created at Liverpool Library in 2016. Meeting the club members and hearing about how Code Club inspired them was wonderful.

It’s been an absolute privilege to work with the incredibly smart, talented, and funny people in the Code Club team and community. Thank you to you all for a remarkable journey!

Hello from Lucia

Lucia Manzitti joined our team on 28 May, and she will be focussing on the growth of our Code Club UK and Ireland programme, including engagement of volunteers.

I am so excited to be joining the Code Club team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and I look forward to getting to know our community of volunteers and educators over the next few months!

– Lucia Manzitti, Head of Code Club UK and Ireland

Lucia has previously worked on integrating creative education programmes in primary and secondary schools all around the UK, and on nurturing school communities through social media. She loves colourful art exhibitions and walking the narrow streets of Istanbul.

If you want to connect with the Code Club team, drop us a line at hello@codeclub.org, or reach out to us on social media @CodeClub.

Club members make micro:bits into lucky charms

On an island off the eastern coast of Canada, one Code Club has been getting creative with micro:bits. Club leader Michelle spoke to us about the benefits of bringing code to life with physical computing.

Random Island Academy Code Club

Code you can hold

At Random Island Academy Code Club in Hickman’s Harbour, Newfoundland, club members have recently been making the jump from block coding with Scratch to physical computing.

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, the club coded micro:bits — microcontrollers that can be programmed to do tasks such as lighting up LEDs and measuring temperature — and put them inside shamrocks made of card and paper. Students coded the micro:bits to display lucky messages using the skills they had learned in their club. Some students even made interactive games as part of the project.

Creating ‘ah-ha’ moments

Club leader Michelle thinks that there are a lot of benefits to encouraging children to learn to code.

“I really love the ‘ah-ha’ moments, when it clicks and the student experiences success in their code. They work so hard, fail, try again, and again, and again, and when they finally get it, the happiness in their eyes and the smile on their faces tell me it is worth every minute of volunteering my time.”
– Michelle, Code Club leader

Moving code from a screen and into the real world has also had an impact:

“The students really put their problem-solving strategies to task as they work through this project. They are finding coding micro:bits much more rewarding than simply writing code on the computer. The fact that they have a tangible piece [of technology] holding their very own code astounds them!”
– Michelle, Code Club leader

Random Island Academy Code Club with their micro:bits

Got micro:bits? Get coding!

If you have micro:bits and want to use them in your Code Club, then head on over to our micro:bit projects for ideas. If you’ve been inspired by the Random Island Academy Code Club, you could start with our Fortune Teller project and adapt it to display your own lucky messages.

Share your creations with us on Facebook and Twitter — we’d love to see them! To find out more about Code Club in Canada, visit www.codeclub.ca.

Code Club and CoderDojo: which programme is right for you?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is proud to run a range of youth programmes all over the world, including the largest network of coding clubs in the UK. These programmes include Code Club and CoderDojo, which both support volunteers and educators to create coding opportunities for young people.

Code Club and CoderDojo

Code Club and CoderDojo are part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity.

Both programmes support free coding clubs, for young people to get excited about coding and digital making. In the club sessions, young people use guided projects to make animations, websites, games, and more!

Barrow Hill Code Club

“It’s a place to go to learn really cool coding activities and make friends. I’ve got a chance to try things from Scratch to drones, and even how to live code music with Sonic Pi!”
– Aoibheann, 11, CoderDojo member, Ireland

CoderDojo is for young people aged 7 to 17. Sessions are led by volunteers, and are typically run at the weekends or in the evenings in libraries, community venues, or offices. CoderDojo sessions are open for the whole community to enjoy.

Code Club is for young people aged 9 to 13. Clubs are led by teachers, either by themselves or with the help of volunteers. Clubs are usually run in schools as after-school clubs for the pupils of that school to attend.

Creating spaces for children to learn

Together, Code Club and CoderDojo reach 238,000 children each week across 160 countries. Both programmes are working to engage more girls in coding; we estimate that 40% of young people attending Code Clubs are girls, and that 33% of young people attending Dojos are girls.

How the two programmes differ

How you can help

Can you make a difference in your community by starting or supporting a Code Club or a CoderDojo?

“This is one of the most popular clubs we offer in school. The children who attend really enjoy improving their coding skills, and their knowledge during ICT lessons is noticeably better when they’ve attended Code Club!”
– Kate, Primary school teacher, UK

Both programmes offer great opportunities, and you don’t need a background in coding to get involved— just a willingness to learn some basics! We provide free training and resources to help you on your Code Club or CoderDojo journey.  

CoderDojo in action

If you would like to set up a CoderDojo in your community, check out our guidance on how to start a Dojo, or email info@coderdojo.com.

If you are a teacher looking to start a Code Club in your school, we will support you to set up a Code Club. Are you looking to volunteer at Code Club? We can help you too.