Guest post by David Rushby, Head teacher of St Thomas CE vc Primary school

HRH the Duke of York visited St Thomas CE vc Primary school on Thursday 8th May to celebrate the school’s partnership with the University of Huddersfield. The school and the University have been involved in a coding project, with the University students, Jonny Miller and Chris Brenton, teaching a group of year five and six children how to code. The visit incorporated a meet and greet with the Head Teacher and staff, as well as plenty of time to chat with the children. Children from three years to eleven years old lined the hall and were engaged in cheerful conversation with His Royal Highness and the Lord Lieutenant.

After a thorough meet and greet, the party were due to meet the coding party in the school computing suite. Here, some of the youngest children in the school were seen to be testing and enjoying the programming of the older pupils. His Royal Highness took the time to talk to the University students involved and to ascertain how the children were acquiring and applying their new coding skills. The children had been working on a ‘fruit machine’ style game, that had been developed by the Coding club. The group talked about the learning taking place and His Royal Highness was interested and impressed by the children’s understanding of programming as well as their competence. The reception children in the suite happily played the games that had been programmed and were delightfully sharing their views with His Royal Highness.

Following the computing session, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the visit. Once again His Royal Highness took the time to chat to the staff and children before departing. All members of the school and University involved in the visit were thrilled by the event. In particular, the children appeared somewhat overwhelmed by the experience, and the idea of having such a special visitor at their school Coding Club.

An update (on our 2nd birthday)!

We turned two years old yesterday so we threw a party! Over 100 people came through the door to party with us – Scratch games made by our wonderful volunteers were played, cakes were eaten and drinks were drank (thanks so much to Twilio for those!)

We thought we’d give you a bit of an update about what has happened in the last year and what’s coming up in the future. It’s pretty long but that’s because there’s a lot happening!

The year gone by

A lot has happened in the last year. We’ve grown from one full time member of staff to a team of six. The number of Code Clubs has grown from 600 to over 2000 and continues to rise.

Since we started our aim has been to inspire children to build and share their ideas with the world. We think we’re doing pretty well at reaching lots of children but we’re not stopping now! We’re committed to giving as many children as possible the chance to learn to code in a fun and creative environment with high quality materials and enthusiastic, expert volunteers.

Our volunteers are so important to us: an army of programmers working with children all over the country, sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge. You can see some of them in this video we made and read about their experiences on our blog.

This year Linda and tef led on making our public projects page and facilitating contributions from our volunteers via GitHub. Clare and Parker worked hard to form lots of new partnerships which have raised funds to grow our team – this means we can give our volunteers more support, write new materials, improve our website and increase the number of clubs to get more children coding!

We’ve also created a new division of Code Club – called Code Club Pro – this delivers computing training to primary school teachers to get them ready for the new Computing curriculum.

People moving around

Laura, our former Growth Captain, has taken up the position of Managing Director of Code Club in the UK. Just a year ago she was an ICT Coordinator, getting her school coding, and now she’s getting the country coding (no big deal). This means Clare can focus on growing the Code Club movement around the world (world domination, no big deal).

Sam has moved from his volunteer support role to being our amazing General Manager – he’s keeping our finances in order and helping us plan for the future. We think he’s quite enjoying it (you should see his giant calculator!)

New team members

We have recently hired some amazing people. Michael, our Community Manager, has a background in training adults and runs a creative meet-up in his local area. When he’s not studying design and development with the Open University he is making cool stuff (the Pi robot he made was our fave). He’s totally nailing supporting our volunteers – if you haven’t met him yet then we’re sure you will soon.

We’ve welcomed Jonic to the Code Club team – he’s a pro developer who co-founded and runs Dot York. He’s helping us improve and expand our website with new and exciting features (news of those soon!) Of course, we still have great support from With Associates – they built our UK site and are currently working on the Code Club Pro site :)

We’re super psyched about the Head of Education we just hired – he is a computer scientist turned educator with 10 years of outstanding and innovative experience as a Computing teacher. He impressed us with his passion and knowledge and we’ll introduce him to you soon! It’s going to be so awesome to have someone with such strong pedagogical expertise on the team who will be entirely focused on our projects. We will continue to look to our volunteers for feedback and contributions.

If all that wasn’t exciting enough then we are also currently hiring National and Regional Coordinators so that we can make sure children in all areas of the UK get the chance to learn to code in a Code Club. We hope that these Coordinators will be people already running Code Clubs who are immersed in the developer communities in their area.

The year ahead

We want to maximise the learning (and FUN!) in our clubs and improve the experiences of our volunteers so we’ll be spending some time evaluating the impact Code Club has and improving all aspects of what we do.

We’ve got loads of exciting collaborations, meet-ups and other stuff planned – so watch this space! We look forward to continuing our journey with you all.

Love, peace and code – Team Code Club.

An update on our projects


The good news:

At the moment we have four terms worth of awesome projects. Two terms of Scratch projects, a term of HTML & CSS projects and a term of Python projects. We’re really proud of them so far — so proud that we are shortly going to take them out from behind the sign up wall so that anyone can enjoy them. You will soon be able to use these with your children at home, in class, or anywhere you see fit. YAY! More news of this to follow.

The not so good news:

We’ve been trying our best but we’ve got a little bit behind schedule. By now we should have another term of projects ready for the 120 clubs that started in September 2012 but we haven’t quite managed it. We are so sorry but don’t do a huge sadface just yet –  whilst you are bearing with us there are awesome things you can be doing with your club that don’t require any further hardware or resources, why not try Mozilla Webmaker toolsBlockly or Appinventor? Let us know if you find any other great resources.


If you want to get started with hardware we now have a crowdsourcing platform for you to raise money for your school: https://codeclub.hubbub.net/ We recommend getting started with an arduino kit, but it’s up to you what you want to do. Why not ask your club what they want to hack next?

Of course if you have other things available to you, feel free to try anything you like – hack away! Send us updates and let us know how you get on :)

How you can help:

We would love the help of our amazing volunteer community to make sure we turn our small fail into a massive win. You can help us by:

1. Making your own projects and uploading them to share with others – go to https://github.com/codeclub, pull requests make us super happy :) Some of the lessons volunteers have made include Flappy Parrot and Christmas Capers.

2. Applying for our Head of Curriculum job and helping us get up to speed.