Why is it important to cheer on learners’ coding achievements? We’ll tell you!

An important part of Code Club is celebrating learners’ victories — both big and small. 

By recognising the importance of achievements and what they mean to the young person, you can encourage them to further develop life skills such as resilience, independence, self-esteem, respect, and compassion. 

Why is it important?

Acknowledging success and hard work is a vital part of creating a safe learning environment. It creates a positive and supportive atmosphere where young coders can feel confident in their abilities and comfortable making mistakes that they can learn from.

Celebrating the achievements of young coders encourages and motivates them to continue developing their skills and explore other coding interests. It provides recognition for hard work and dedication, and can also be a source of pride that young people can share with their families. 

By highlighting the efforts of your club members, you not only raise the visibility of your Code Club, but you may inspire more young people to join or seek out other coding opportunities in your local area. Celebrating success can also drive your club members to advance their skills further, be confident to learn from others, and help build a community of peers who collaborate and share ideas. 

Where you can acknowledge effort in your club 

Within a Code Club setting there are many different ways that you can recognise the efforts made by young people. These can be big or small, so don’t wait for a huge milestone to be completed. The small successes are just as important too! 

You could positively reinforce activities in your club setting when a young person: 

  • Accomplishes something alone
  • Develops their coding skills 
  • Perseveres when tackling a challenge
  • Completes a task, project, or coding path
  • Shows creativity in their coding
  • Supports a peer to solve a problem
  • Leads by example, e.g. helps you set up and tidy away your club 

There are lots of ways you can then celebrate these efforts or achievements, for example:

  1. Print one of the many cool certificates on your club dashboard and present them in your club or in an achievement assembly 
  1. Run an end-of-term showcase, where learners can show their coding achievements to parents and carers
  1. Write an article for a school newsletter or link into a wider school recognition scheme, like ‘star of the week!’  

Never forget the importance of recognition, what it means to a child and the impact it can have on their development. Share how you mark the milestones in your Code Club by using the hashtag #MyCodeClub on Twitter and Facebook

Code Club supports Safer Internet Day

Code Club is proud to support Safer Internet Day on 7 February, an annual event that promotes the safe and responsible use of the internet. This year in the UK, the celebrations and learning activities are based around the theme ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’.

With the internet and new technologies playing a more central role in our lives than ever before, it’s essential that young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the online world safely and confidently.

Code Club’s vision is to give every young person the skills, confidence, and opportunity to change their world. We want to help young people understand the potential of new technologies as a platform for creativity and self-expression, while supporting them to do so safely and responsibly. 

Code Club activities are designed to encourage resilience, problem-solving, and collaboration. But beyond these skills, Code Clubs can provide a safe and supportive environment for young people to share their experiences and ask questions about the digital world.*

How you can initiate online safety discussions in your club 

For club leaders, Code Club can be a perfect opportunity to discuss and model responsible behaviour. Below are some ideas on how you could weave in discussions about online safety into your regular club activity:

  • Image search: When searching online for images to use in a project, discuss how to use keywords and search for images safely online.
  • Passwords: When setting up new accounts, give young people tips on how to set a strong password and why it is important to keep it safe.
  • Personal information: When choosing a profile name, or personalising a new project, talk to young people about not sharing identifiable information.
  • Sharing projects: Discuss why you might want to share a project publicly, and when you might want to keep it private.
  • Commenting: In some shared project galleries, like Scratch, you have the option to comment on other people’s projects. Discuss with young people what sorts of comments are appropriate, and what might upset others.

This year’s theme is all about giving young people the space to talk about the online issues that really matter to them. Why not dedicate some time in your next club meeting to hold a discussion about what your club members are passionate about online, and what changes they would like to see to make it a better place for all? Do they have ideas for any new technology or computer programmes that could help make it happen?

Code Club is committed to helping young people have positive and safe experiences online. We believe that by fostering a culture of digital literacy and responsibility, we can help build a safer and more inclusive internet for everyone. With the support of you, our fantastic club community, we are proud to be playing our part in creating a safer internet for the future. 

What do you have planned for Safer Internet Day in your club? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook. Find more resources to help you celebrate Safer Internet Day at saferinternetday.org.uk.

*Talking about the online world can prompt young people to disclose issues that may raise a safeguarding concern. If this happens, follow your school’s or setting’s safeguarding policy. Find Code Club’s safeguarding policy and advice at codeclub.org/en/working-with-children.