Creating guidelines for your Code Club can be a simple way to help your young coders make the most of the non-formal environment that Code Club offers. In this blog, we share a few ideas to help you get started.
Code Clubs are fun, creative, and at times wonderfully chaotic spaces. If you’re a teacher running a club at your school, it’s not always easy to transition from the role you take during class time, to a club leader hosting a more relaxed space. If you are a Code Club volunteer, there can also be challenges with entering a school as a new and unfamiliar face.
Club leader Janine Kirk at the King’s Academy in Stoke-on-Trent shared how the informal element of Code Club has changed the learning experience for both her and her students:
“In classrooms it’s often quite structured, whereas in Code Club I can be a little bit more free and they can get to know me. We can have a bit of a joke – the students really enjoy that!”
Code Clubs should be less structured than the school day, but encouraging an atmosphere where everyone takes care of themselves, club equipment, and each other can help turn a good Code Club into a great one! One way to do this is to get your young coders to come up with a set of club rules with you. This helps create a Code Club that everyone can enjoy, whilst providing boundaries that keep your club safe, happy, and fun.
Create your club rules together
At the start of your Code Club journey, you’ll need to spend some time figuring out how best to run your club and then you can fine tune the details as you go. Involving your young coders in creating your club guidelines is a simple icebreaker activity, and being involved in the process can provide them with a sense of ownership and expectation around their behaviour.
Spend ten minutes during your first session discussing how your Code Club should run, with club attendees giving their ideas on how to make that vision a reality. Right from the start, you can use this as a chance to model expected behaviours: for example, should your club members raise their hands to share an answer, or are you happy for them to call out ideas?
Once you’ve decided on your final list, you can write them up using the “Our Code Club rules” template in your dashboard, or you could ask your club members to design their own reminders of the rules using paper and coloured pens or pencils.
All ideas are welcome!
It’s up to you to choose ideas that will let your coders and Code Club thrive. Code Clubs should be fun and safe spaces, so your club rules could cover anything from behaviours that encourage exploration and imagination, to requests outlining how everyone should set up and pack away equipment each week.
If you need some inspiration to get started, here are a few ideas you could suggest:
- Be kind, respectful, and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
- During Code Club sessions, you can call the Club Leader by their first name.
- If someone is talking, make sure to listen. It’s okay to chat to each other during Code Club, but we listen quietly when someone is speaking.
- See three, before me. If your code isn’t working:
- 1) Check you have completed all the steps
- 2) Compare your code to the example in the instructions, and
- 3) Ask the person next to you for help, before you ask the Club Leader.
- Be mindful of your behaviour online. Don’t share any personal information about yourself and follow any guidance shared.
- Take care of the equipment. Don’t eat or drink near computers, and put everything away neatly at the end of the session.
- Have fun and be creative! Enjoy learning new things and don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild!
What rules will you include in your Code Club? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #MyCodeClub.