Whether you’re a coding enthusiast, an educator, or someone who is new to coding, Code Club’s online workshops offer you the opportunity to learn alongside like-minded people in a supportive environment.
Code Club online workshops introduce you to a wide range of coding languages. From Python to Scratch, HTML to Unity, you’ll get hands-on experience using different tools and programming languages, as well as exploring the Code Club projects and resources that can support the running of your club.
Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator, leads on the delivery of our workshops and shares more about the format:
“Our shorter format workshops have been designed to turn educators’ curiosity into empowerment and to help build your confidence as a Code Club leader. By developing your coding skills through our online short codealongs and deep dives into our projects and resources, it will allow you to support young coders to explore different coding languages and design projects that matter to them.”
Here are three outcomes that you will gain from attending our workshops:
One of the highlights of the Code Club online workshops is the opportunity to engage in short codealongs of our projects to understand basic concepts like loops, conditionals, and variables. Through interactive exercises and practical examples, you’ll gain confidence in your coding abilities, see your projects come to life, and be able to take this learning back to your Code Club.
Our workshops foster a collaborative learning environment. You’ll have the chance to connect with fellow Code Club community members and learn alongside each other.
By engaging in group activities and discussions, you’ll enhance your problem-solving skills, learn from different perspectives, and build valuable connections with the Code Club community, who share your passion in providing coding opportunities for young people.
We believe that coding is not just about lines of code; it’s a place for self-expression, imagination, and creativity. During each workshop, you’ll have fun exploring our coding projects and discover how you can encourage learners in your Code Club to get creative and code projects that matter to them.
Our workshops are developed to give you the tools, knowledge, and confidence to deliver a fun and inspiring Code Club. Our event series changes monthly, so make sure you keep an eye on our events calendar.
If there is a workshop that you’d like us to run, please email Darren at email@example.com he’d love to hear from you!
On a lovely autumn day, before the start of the academic year, the Code Club team met to discuss a dream: helping schools in areas without many Code Clubs to get started. Find out what happened next!
Connecting with our community
Our Code Club community is strong because of the many different organisations who work together to support computing education, both inside and outside the classroom. We have been developing our understanding of the communities we have focused on, by partnering with Computing at School (CAS) community leaders, Computing Hub leads, STEM Ambassador Hubs, and local councils. We have also met with head teachers, co-hosted workshops for teachers and volunteers, and presented at partner conferences.
Our first in-person workshop was held in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire at Acklam Grange, well supported by partners from CAS Middlesbrough and Durham and Tees Valley Computing Hub. Another workshop, co-hosted by CAS Hartlepool, was facilitated online for Hartlepool schools. A teacher that attended had this to share:
“The training was very informative and interesting and a good range of activities.”
A few weeks later, we hosted an in-person workshop for Sandwell, West Midlands schools. Like the others, it was a fantastic networking opportunity between schools that were already registered with Code Club and schools that were looking to start their Code Club journey and we loved the buzz of conversation as ideas were shared.
We’ve really valued the support of local councils, especially Haringey, London and Bradford, West Yorkshire, who helped us reach new schools who would benefit from discovering Code Club. Kathryn Loftus, Director of the Education Alliance for Life Chances, shared the value of Code Club to young people in Bradford:
“Code Clubs are a fantastic extracurricular opportunity for Bradford pupils, particularly because they encourage digital literacy skills from an early age and support our district’s ambition to develop computer science skills. Code Clubs also offer pupils a safe space to enjoy and learn a new skill outside of the school day.”
Next we look forward to co-hosting an online workshop for Lincolnshire schools on 29 June 2023, together with STEM Ambassadors East Midlands.
Session planning tips from Hartlepool Code Club
Our quest to grow and know Code Clubs in these areas led us to the doorstep of Fablab Code Club in Hartlepool, County Durham. Michael Storey and Kayleigh Anderson have been running a Code Club at the Fablab Library since early 2021. Reflecting upon their earlier days of running the club, Michael shared:
“…the biggest hurdle we had while we were starting out was planning and getting a structure put in place for how the flow for a lesson would go. Once we got that sorted it took a week for the kids to get used to it and then it worked like clockwork.”
The improvements to their session planning and structuring included:
Starting with a free time period where club members can complete prior week’s projects or try to make their own projects
Adding a show-and-tell time at the end to give learners time to express themselves
Michael further elaborated on the value of show-and-tell:
“…it boosts the young person’s confidence, giving them the opportunity to show their parents and ourselves what they have learnt and also inspire other young people…”
Building skills at Great Bridge Primary Code Club
Meeting with young coders was a highlight of visiting clubs, including learners at Great Bridge Primary Code Club, in Tipton, West Midlands, led by club leader Judith Bedford. Since her first club session in 2021, Judith’s club has grown to include a high number of girls who are enthusiastic about coding. The children have developed a range of important skills, from learning to work between tabs of different browser windows, to finding the independence to continue working on their projects at home.
Judith’s own confidence has grown since she began the club, allowing her to feel empowered to let young coders choose their own projects to work on, and enabling her to support them with debugging whenever they “hit a snag”. For Judith, resources such as our certificates, name badges, and door signs have been useful and helped to make her club fun and exciting.
Showcasing new Code Clubs: Worth Valley and Joseph Turner
It has been a real joy to watch the journey of our new clubs in these areas. Worth Valley Primary School, one of the five new Code Clubs in Bradford, are currently working through Scratch. Club leader, Julie Batey, has enjoyed getting “stuck in to the club” as a new coder:
“I am a novice at computing, and I’ve really enjoyed learning how to use Scratch alongside the children. We work through the projects together and I go back to reread how to do things when we get stuck. It is a great little club, and all the children help each other and enjoy coming along every Tuesday.”
Joseph Turner Primary in Sandwell, West Midlands had only been running for seven weeks when we visited. The club leader, Scott Sefton, had a lovely way of guiding his learners through a project while accommodating the joyful expression of their individuality and creativity. There was lots of laughing and “tinkering” with variables as his learners followed along, helping each other whenever anyone got stuck.
Celebrating progress: Join our Code Club summer codealong!
To celebrate the 57 new Code Clubs who have started in our areas of interest, we’re hosting a summer codealong on Tuesday 23 May 2023 at 10:00am BST, and you’re invited too!
Using the block-based language Scratch, children will code a summer garden animation, learning about variables and how to use forever loops within their code.
No experience with Scratch is required as the Code Club team will guide you, step-by-step.
Take a look at our website and see how your school can get involved with Code Club or if your school is based in England, contact Kat and Rujeko at firstname.lastname@example.org!
TagusValley, a science and technology park in Portugal, partners with Code Club to give local young people the opportunity to express themselves through digital making.
Ellie, Code Club Global Partnerships Manager, chatted to Homero Cardoso, Project Manager at TagusValley and one of the co-founders of its Code Club network to find out more.
How it started
In the heart of Portugal lies a small municipality called Abrantes. With a sparse population, and not much in the way of a technology industry, many of the young people here think you need to go somewhere bigger for new opportunities — that is until TagusValley brought Code Clubs into local schools.
Homero saw the potential in using Code Clubs to show young people how fun technology can be and how it can open up endless possibilities. He trialled Code Clubs in ten classrooms for a few months, working with teachers to deliver the sessions. It was a big hit.
‘‘The kids loved it, the teachers loved it, the municipality loved it.’’
The local municipality loved it so much they wanted to fund the programme to continue. So Homero gathered a small team to go out to local schools and continue to support teachers in running clubs. They now visit 30 classrooms a week.
“For us it’s a process of discovery — themselves (the students), their capacity, their ability to create something, their discovery of their surroundings.’’
The oldest olive tree in Portugal
Abrantes is home to a 3,350-year-old olive tree. Locals will tell you it’s the oldest in the world, but others may disagree! Children in Code Clubs were tasked with featuring the olive tree in a project. They created a game in which a character is trying to pick the olives from the tree, whilst avoiding a bird that is trying to poop on them! As you can imagine, the coders had a lot of fun creating the characters’ reactions when the bird achieves its mission.
By using culturally relevant storytelling and taking a ‘no limits’ approach, Homero says the children’s imaginations grow and grow.
‘’When they start to have crazy ideas, instead of telling them ‘that’s crazy’, we say ‘that’s really cool!’ Have you thought about something even more crazy! We can create anything!’’
This approach has had a very positive impact. Some children have developed an enthusiasm for coding outside of their regular Code Club. One boy was on holiday when he saw a book on Scratch that he insisted his parents buy him. When he came back to school, it was the one souvenir from his holiday he was most excited to bring back to Code Club and show his friends.
Coding as a universal language
Abrantes is home to a multicultural population. When two Urdu-speaking girls joined a Portuguese-speaking Code Club, coding helped everyone to communicate across the language differences. After a quick bit of online translation to find the Urdu version of Scratch, the girls quickly figured out how to create what they wanted, and were able to share their creations along with their classmates.
You can see which Code Club projects have been translated into different languages by clicking on the top right-hand box on the Code Club Project site.
Homero is keen to get his students involved in next year’s Astro Pi Mission Zero. He is also working on a programme to encourage mature students from local universities to volunteer at Code Clubs.
He would like to help more teachers feel confident about teaching coding. Homero sees the training and support as key to fostering the abilities and confidence of the teachers in school, so they can continue running clubs themselves, and to ensure the long-term success of the programme.
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