Using code to raise awareness of fire safety!

During National Fire Safety Week (4–11 October 2021) in Ireland, Dublin Fire Brigade, Code Club, and our sister network CoderDojo joined together to launch the #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge across the whole island of Ireland.

Young people were invited to take part to raise awareness of how we can protect ourselves and our homes from fire, by creating educational Scratch projects.

Headquarters of Dublin Fire Brigade

When Dublin Fire Brigade approached Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator for Code Club and CoderDojo Ireland, about running a #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge across the whole island to highlight the importance of fire safety with our network of clubs, we were excited to collaborate on this important issue!

“Young people never fail to impress us here at Dublin Fire Station with their enthusiasm and ingenuity with any task in front of them. Fire safety and firefighting is what we do here in the Fire Brigade. But fire safety begins at home, through education and prevention, and that’s why we asked young people to take part in this challenge and help us with our fight against fire.” 

– Dennis Keeley, Chief Fire Officer, Dublin Fire Brigade

Challenge launch 

The #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge was launched at the headquarters of Dublin Fire Brigade on 8 October and ran for six weeks. It was open to all Code Clubs and CoderDojos across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Young people were invited to create a Scratch project related to fire safety. We asked them to include themes such as smoke detectors, electronics safety (e.g. charger safety), candle safety, closing doors at night, having an escape plan, and the number to call in an emergency. Coders worked on their projects individually, and entries were judged in two age categories, ages 8–11 and 12–17.

“At a time when many of our clubs are still paused and teachers are under a great deal of pressure, this Scratch-based #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge was a great way for those who would normally attend clubs to still feel connected whilst expressing their amazing creativity through code.” 

– Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator, Code Club and CoderDojo Ireland

Amazing projects

We saw 51 project entries fly in from Code Clubs and CoderDojos across Ireland. 

“With the ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions in place across Ireland, causing many clubs to still be paused, I was delighted to see that this didn’t stop young people from accepting the challenge, getting creative with code to explore the important topic of fire safety.”

– Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club

Before we announce the winners of the #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge, here are two projects that the team enjoyed! 

Stop, drop and roll

This one made me smile. I love the idea of fire safety from the perspective of the fire!”

– Kat Leadbetter, Community Manager, Code Club
Fire safety – help keep Fearg the Fire away!

The voice-over in this Scratch project shares some excellent fire safety advice in a very clear way. Well done!”

– Zoe Davidson, Programme Coordinator, Code Club

The winners

With 51 fantastic project entries received, a panel of judges from Code Club, CoderDojo, and Dublin Fire Brigade had the tough task of choosing six winners!  

The winners all showed great coding skills and creativity around raising awareness and exploring the topic of fire safety.

Dublin Fire Brigade generously provided the amazing prizes of Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer Kits for the young people who had created the winning projects within each age category.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Age category: ages 12–17

1st: Maryem – Playing With Fire – CoderDojo Midlands 

2nd: Sean – Fire Duck – Coláiste Chiaráin 

3rd: Keisha – Fire Safety – Marymount National School, Ballsgrove

Age category: ages 8–11

1st: Andrei – ‘Fire’ – North Offaly CoderDojo

2nd: Oisin – Fire 6 – Rathineska NS

3rd: Matey – Fire Safety – CoderDojo Midlands

Take a look at all of the participants’ amazing Scratch projects in our ‘Fire Safety Week Coding Challenge’ Scratch studio. We’re already planning our coding challenge with Dublin Fire Brigade for 2023, so watch this space! 

Meet the young designers who won the first Code Club T-shirt competition!

This spring we asked young people at Code Clubs across the UK to grab their pens and pencils, put on their creative hats, and design the next Code Club T-shirt!

Children from Cheam Code Club wearing the winning T-shirt design.
Cheam High School Code Club and the winning T-shirt design.

A new challenge

Coding is about creativity and design as well as logical thinking. That’s why our latest competition for young people attending UK Code Clubs was the first-ever Code Club design competition.

The task? To create a design for the next Code Club T-shirt, inspired by what you love about coding or Code Club.

The prize? T-shirts with the design for all Code Club attendees and volunteers of the winning club, and the design on a shirt in our official Code Club online shop

The result? 104 children from 72 Code Clubs across the UK made amazingly creative, clever, and fun designs! 

Over 100 designs

More than 100 young people sent us their designs, and from robots and computers, to Scratch blocks and messages in binary, we were blown away by how amazing the designs looked.

We got together a team of judges from across Code Club and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who put together a longlist of our 18 top favourites. Head to the end of this blog to see our galley wall!

And the winners are… 

The final task of picking the winning design went to Philip Colligan , our CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It was a tricky decision for him, but he finally chose the design of Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam High School. 

Here’s Philip on why this became the winning design: 

I love this design, particularly the use of binary to say “hello world”. It’s a great way to start a conversation about how computers work, and a reminder that however complex the computing system, it all comes down to zeros and ones.

– Philip Colligan, CEO at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

The image on the left shows the worked up design from Cheam High School Code Club. 

What happened next?

Alex, one of our designers, worked up the design Sophie, Arani, and Emily had created to make it ready to be printed onto T-shirts. 

With the T-shirts hot off the printing machine, our Programme Coordinator Zoe headed to Cheam High School to personally deliver them and say a huge thank you to Sophie, Arani, and Emily and their whole Code Club for taking part.

Sophie, Arani, and Emily told Zoe what inspired their design: 

We wanted to show what we like about coding, and how fun it is. We used part of the original Code Club T-shirt design and used binary to say “hello world” to show how computers work.

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

The three designers said they felt happy and proud when they saw their design on the T-shirts for the first time! And for anyone entering a Code Club competition, this is their advice:

Go for it, you never know if you’re going to win or not. If you try hard enough, you might!

– Sophie, Arani, and Emily from Cheam Code Club 

Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club.
Sophie, Arani, and Emily with their teacher Ms Pizzorni and Zoe from Code Club

Get your own T-shirt

To get your own T-shirt with the winning design, head to our official online shop. You’ll also find lots of other fun Code Club swag there. All proceeds from the shop go to Code Club, allowing us to continue creating resources and supporting you to help young people learn to code!

The gallery wall

Take part in our exclusive competitions

This competition and others like it are only available to registered Code Clubs.

Looking to start a Code Club in the new academic year? Register on our website today to get exclusive access to unique competitions and more Code Club resources. 

Digital collage competition: and the winner is….

Last month we set a challenge for our active UK Code Clubs.

The task? Create a digital collage of your favourite things using Scratch or HTML. Those who chose Scratch used our Tech Toys project as a starting point, while those who chose HTML kicked off with Stickers.

The prize?  The two winners will be honoured with a set of unique Code Club stickers inspired by their entry! Plus, a box of goodies including lanyards and T-shirts.

The result? Over 150 clubs sent us creative collages that warmed our judges’ hearts and showcased the impressive abilities of young coders from across the UK.


The winners

After much deliberation our judges have chosen two winners — one for Scratch and one for HTML.

Haseeb, 8, Hounslow Library

For the HTML entry, our winner is Haseeb from Hounslow Library! The judges were very impressed with Haseeb’s technical skills, including this use of animated bubbles and an embedded YouTube video in his collage. Plus they loved the choice of colours, and they felt like we really got to know Haseeb’s favourite hobbies.


Sam, 9, Fellside Community Primary School

As for Scratch, the winner is Sam from Fellside Community Primary School in Newcastle! Sam’s project fit the brief perfectly, and the idea of a beach filled with his favourite things made the judges smile. Plus Sam recorded his own audio introduction — great stuff!

Highly commended

Of course it’s impossible to choose just one favourite, so we would like to give a special shout out to the following projects:

Wormit Primary

We loved the approach the children from Wormit Primary in Scotland took in their HTML project, showcasing their favourite things about being at their school.


Redbridge Central Library

The judges really enjoyed the interactive aspect of the HTML entry from Redbridge Central Library Code Club in London — being able to draw on your own sticker is a great touch. Well done Ashwin, Labdhi, Ibrahim, Krisha, Sshubhan, Vuyo and Deepika!


Martha, 11, Markland Hill Primary School

We loved this project form Martha from Markland Hill Primary School in Bolton. The collage simply looked fabulous. What a bright and energetic display of her favourite things!


Joel, Dexter, and Ryan; Meriden CE Primary School

Finally, we just had to give a special mention to this amazing Code Club theme tune from Joel, Dexter, and Ryan at Meriden CE Primary in Coventry. We’re so glad that Code Club is one of their favourite things!


A collection of Code Club swag including stickers, badges, and pens will soon be on it’s way to all the highly commended clubs.

Next time…

Plans for the next competition for active clubs are already brewing here at Code Club HQ! Make sure your club is activated so that you don’t miss out on any important emails.

And keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter — you may notice something very soon!