Using HTML and CSS to boost self-expression in your Code Club

Empowering young people to see themselves as digital makers and not just consumers is a key ingredient of Code Club. Our brand-new ‘Introduction to web development: HTML, CSS and animation’ path provides the ideal foundation to support and encourage this exploration using webpages.

Two young coders and an adult looking at a screen of a laptop.

But why learn about HTML and CSS in your Code Club?

Creating webpages and websites enables young people to develop their own personal expression and creativity. It can empower them to connect with the world around them and share their voice on matters that are meaningful to them.

By learning about Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), young people develop skills to make their websites look and function in any way they want, untied to formats provided by website building companies.

These skills give learners the agency to design websites about topics and issues that matter to them, in a style that appeals to them and their friends. If they have a passion for reading, they could build a website sharing their book reviews, thoughts, and comments. They might design a website promoting a fundraiser or supporting a cause that is significant to them or impacts the community where they live.

Learning about these programming languages can give them an insight into different career paths. As well as experiencing life as a web designer or a front-end developer, they will also develop an understanding of the role that websites play in promoting a business or furthering a community campaign.

Introduction to our NEW web development path 

During the new ‘Introduction to Web development: HTML, CSS and animation’, young coders will learn how to structure and style webpages with images, lists, fonts, quotes, links, and animation, and then use these skills to give life to their own ideas.

In the first project, ‘Anime expressions’, they will create and style a webpage for an anime drawing tutorial. They will use HTML tags to structure a webpage, and CSS styles to apply layout, colour palettes, and fonts, along with adding images and text. It’s a simple and satisfying start to their web design journey!

A GIF of a scrolling webpage showing the Anime expression project.
Anime expressions

In the subsequent projects they will build their skills to code emoji lists, flip cards, mood boards, and lastly to create their very own webpage!

As with all of our ‘3…2…1…Make!’ paths, learners work through six projects where they develop skills, knowledge, and increased independence.

The first three ‘Explore’ projects introduce new skills. Then two ‘Design’ projects invite them to practise their new skills and bring in their own interests, followed by one ‘Invent’ project where they get to bring their new knowledge together to meet a project brief.

Learn more about the ‘3…2…1…Make!’ paths and how they support young people to become independent tech creators.

Support available

To help you feel confident in delivering the path within your Code Club and talking about HTML and CSS, check out our comprehensive ‘Getting started with web development: HTML and CSS’ guide detailing all the skills that your young coders will encounter.

A GIF scrolling through the pages of the ‘Getting started with web development: HTML and CSS’ guide.
Getting started with web development: HTML and CSS’ guide

To learn more about the pedagogy behind the ‘3…2…1…Make!’ paths and how to use them in your Code Club, explore the all-new Mentor guide. It’s packed full of amazing tips and ideas to support you.

“Since the launch of the new paths, we have received questions from Code Club leaders about the thought process behind the paths, tips for helping creators design projects that matter to their coders, and methods to encourage independence at any age.

This guide seeks to answer all of these things, and can be read then revisited at any time — though my preference is definitely to read it with a cup of tea and a large piece of cake!”

Liz Smart, Learning Manager

The Code Club team is also working on a crib sheet to give you an overview of the path and an at-a-glance look at each project, as well as tips and guidance to help build your confidence. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of this resource! 

Share your Code Club’s creations in our ‘Web development community galleries’ and help inspire others. To link a project, simply complete this form, selecting the ‘Introduction to web’ path. 

Five out-of-this-world Code Club activities for World Space Week!

World Space Week (3–10 October) is the largest annual space event celebrating science and technology. The UN declared it an annual celebration in 1999 and it provides the perfect opportunity for young Code Club members to have some space-worthy fun whilst developing their coding skills. 

You don’t need to go into orbit to take part in World Space Week, we’ve put together five activities that you can use in your Code Club and beyond.

Four children gathered around a table looking at a laptop.

Moonhack is set for lift off

Moonhack is run by the amazing team at Code Club Australia. This yearly online coding challenge brings children aged 8–15 from around the world, together for a fun week of coding. 

This year, six brand-new projects have been created, providing coders with the opportunity to learn about how satellites, both natural and man-made, are used to help us live more sustainably. Clubs also have the opportunity to learn more about an indigenous Australian community, the Torres Strait Islanders, and how they use the Tagai constellation for navigation. 

Taking part is a fun way to learn coding skills, and participants don’t need any coding experience to get involved, as step-by-step project instructions are provided. 

Projects are also translated into many different languages, thanks to the help of amazing translators from around the world.

Moonhack Oct 10-23 2022.

Join our space-themed codealong 

If you’re looking for a stellar experience for your Code Club this World Space Week, join Code Club and CoderDojo on Thursday 6 October for our online global codealong.  

For your club to participate, all you need is access to laptops or tablets and an internet connection. Together, we will code a Scratch Weightlessness space game.  No Scratch experience is required, as our expert facilitators, Nuala and Sarah, will guide coders through each step.

This codealong will provide a brilliant opportunity to learn about the block-based programming language, Scratch, and create a game to simulate the effects of weightlessness in space. 

Join our World Space Week codealong. 13:30 BST, Thursday 6 October.

Get ready to send your code to space with Astro Pi Mission Zero

From Thursday 22 September your Code Club can blast their code into space with Astro Pi Mission Zero. This activity offers young people aged 19 and under from an ESA member state, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, or Malta, the chance to have their Python computer program run onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

You can complete Mission Zero in around an hour without any prior programming knowledge, so the project is perfect for first-time Python coders.

Keep an eye on the Astro Pi website on Thursday 22 September to see the exciting changes to this year’s Mission Zero challenge!

Astro Pi.

Confidence-boosting session pack with stellar resources 

Our first session pack is themed around the Introduction to Scratch project Space talk. If you’re new to Code Club or are restarting your club after a break, this is our go-to resource to help you feel confident. 

Along with a session plan with simple and practical advice, we have also provided three new space-themed unplugged activities to ‘crater’ for your every space whim: Create and colour, I spy, and Memory game. 

For a bit of extraterrestrial activity, why not hand these out towards the end of your Code Club session for World Space Week?

Download this resource from your club’s dashboard.

Front pages from the first session pack; running your first Code Club session, Create and colour, I spy and Space memory game.

Gravitate towards our space-themed project collection 

This collection is bound to spark the imagination of coders! Featuring eight space-themed projects that are suitable for both beginners and more advanced coders, learners will have the opportunity to explore weightlessness in space, astronaut reaction times, and use a web service to find the location of the International Space Station. 

Head to your club’s resource page to download our Code Club space project collection and launch your coders’ skills to a whole new level. 

Whatever you get up to this World Space Week, make sure you share with us on social media using the hashtag #MyCodeClub and if you’re lucky, we might send you a Code Club sticker sheet!

Top three resources for running a vibrant Code Club 

Launching your new Code Club or resuming a club that has been paused for an extended time might make you feel a little apprehensive. That’s OK! Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club, shares three resources that will help you run your Code Club with confidence.

A child and adult looking at a laptop screen.

Picking my top three resources is quite a challenge as we have so many to choose from! There is something to meet your every need. Please check them out on our resource page — it’s full of helpful materials like crib sheets to guide you through our projects, certificates, sample letters, and so much more.

Log in to your account, head to your dashboard, and scroll down to the resources section. 

Resource one: Club organisers’ guide

If you’re new to Code Club or are starting back after a break, the go-to document is our club organisers’ guide

This guide walks you through the important first steps you’ll need to plan and set up your Code Club with ease. It also acts as a brilliant refresher if you’re starting your Code Club after a break. 

Pages from the club organiser pack.

Resource two: First session guide

From your feedback, we understand that running your first session can sometimes feel a bit daunting, as well as being an extra task at the beginning of a busy term! To help with this, we’ve created a new step-by-step first session guide to give you everything you need in one place.

Based on the beginners ‘Space talk‘ Scratch project, you’ll find in the guide:

  • A session plan
  • Simple and practical advice to help your prepare for the session
  • All your preparation for the session has been broken down into small chunks
  • New activities to support your coders’ learning 

The NEW unplugged activities link to ‘Space talk’ and are great to hand out to coders who finish the project towards the end of a session, or as activities to try at home.

This guide makes the first session so easy to run. I know I will be using it to give me confidence that my first Code Club session back will be fun and have a positive impact on the learners. 

Front pages from the first session pack; running your first Code Club session, Create and colour, I spy and Space memory game.

Resource three: 250+ coding projects

Where to start? Well, that is easy, I promise! Our ‘3, 2, 1, Make!’ project paths are carefully designed so that as young people progress, they develop their coding skills as well as their independence to create projects that matter to them.

We have paths about Scratch, Python, Unity, physical computing, and how to get started with a Raspberry Pi Pico. Each path contains six projects that are guaranteed by our young testers to be great fun!

You can learn more about ‘3,2,1, Make!’ and the pedagogy behind these projects in this blog.

Bonus resource: Certificates!

I know this is my top three, but I couldn’t write this blog post without mentioning our certificates! 

Recognising success and achievements, however big or small, is such a vital part of Code Club. We’ve got a huge selection of certificates to celebrate everything from superstar coders to completing a whole project path. 

A selection of Code Club certificates.

We can’t wait to get back to Code Club and see all the creative projects from your Code Club members. Share how you’re getting on using the hashtag #MyCodeClub or by tagging us on Facebook or Twitter. If we see your posts, we might even send you some stickers!

Let’s get coding! 

If there is a resource that you’d like to see in our library, share it with the team and write to us at support@codeclub.org