Join us as we dive into an inspiring journey! This summer, Sarah, our Community Coordinator for Wales, launched a Code Club in South Wales at LIwynypia Primary School. Discover what Sarah learned during this coding adventure. Over to you, Sarah!
Helo, I’m Sarah, Community Coordinator for Wales. In this role, I am here to support you, our community, and help you run your Code Club with ease, confidence, and as little preparation time as possible, so you can concentrate on providing an environment that is fun, relaxed, and nurturing.
The support we provide is guided by community feedback — comments, requests, and suggestions from educators and young coders. But it’s important that we have on-the-ground experience to fully understand the challenges, and joys, of running a Code Club. This is one of the reasons I decided to start a Code Club this summer.
What I discovered while running my first Code Club
These are the eight things that I learned by running a Code Club.
1. Do the projects you find fun! Code Club is not about ticking boxes or monitoring progression, it’s about fun and creativity. There’s no correct project to start with, so just choose a project you’re comfortable with, and that you think will get the children excited.
2.Set the scene. I started each session with a fun, 5-minute activity to get the children laughing and demonstrate that this isn’t a formal class. I can’t recommend this enough!
3.Don’t worry about finishing the projects — there’s always next week! Some of the projects took much longer than anticipated; Paint box, I’m looking at you! We would have happily continued that project for three sessions if we had more time.
4.There are many different ways to run a club. We ran the club as a codealong for the first three sessions, before moving on to independent working. I sat at the front of the class demonstrating each step using a projector, and the children followed along. Run the club however it works for you and your coders.
5.Be flexible. Disrupted travel kept me away from the school for two sessions. Instead of cancelling, we moved the club sessions online those weeks. Although it was much easier to facilitate the club in person, we changed the format to suit us and ran the sessions as a codealong. The children still had fun, and we didn’t have to cancel.
6. Offer choices. Letting the young coders lead the session can be scary, but by offering choices, we can share ownership of the club with the children without giving up all control. Here are some things you could try:
Ask what type of project they want to create: a chatbot, an animation, a game, or a storybook.
If they enjoyed an activity, bring it back the following weeks. We did a KAHOOT! quiz at the start of every session — there is a huge number of pre-made quizzes to choose from.
Let them work with a friend. Collaboration is an important part of coding.
7. Use a Scratch Teacher Account. It makes hosting a show-and-tell much easier if you can access the club members’ work through the linked Teacher Account — and boy, do the children enjoy sharing their work! I recommend selecting a maximum of two projects to showcase each week, or turning the final session into a showcase that parents and guardians can attend.
8. Certificates make a great reward. Rewards are a great way to motivate, engage, recognise achievement, and build confidence in your coders. Check out the huge selection of certificates on your dashboard, including our four new skills-based certificates!
Explore the support available
To help you get Code Club–ready, I’d encourage you to download our Club Organiser Pack. The club organisers’ guide is full of tips to help you feel confident running your club sessions. Have fun with the Code Club bingo card, and celebrate your #MyCodeClub success stories with our educator social cards and GIFs. You can find the pack on your dashboard under ‘Resources’.
If you have any tips that could benefit the rest of the community, I’d love to hear them. Get in touch at email@example.com.
Mae Clwb Codio yn golygu llawer mwy na dim ond dysgu sut i raglennu. Mae ein clybiau’n cynnig sgiliau gwerthfawr i godwyr ifanc, gan gynnwys sut i ddatrys problemau, cyfathrebu a meithrin gwydnwch personol a fydd yn fuddiol iddyn nhw drwy gydol eu bywydau.
Gwelsom yr ysbrydoliaeth y gall y profiadau hyn gynnig pan aeth 21 o blant brwdfrydig o Glwb Codio Treganna, Caerdydd ar daith i Ganolfan Dechnoleg Sony UK ym Mhencoed!
Canolfan Dechnoleg Sony UK (TEC), tua 20 munud y tu allan i Gaerdydd, yw lle mae cyfrifiaduron Raspberry Pi yn cael eu cynhyrchu. Dechreuodd Sony First gynhyrchu cyfrifiaduron Raspberry Pi yn ôl yn 2012, gan greu tua 10,000 o unedau’r flwyddyn. Maen nhw nawr yn cynhyrchu un Raspberry Pi bob 3.1 eiliad!
Yn ogystal â chreu’r caledwedd, mae Sony UK TEC hefyd yn cynnal ymweliadau addysgol ar gyfer ysgolion cynradd i ysbrydoli eu dysgwyr i godio. Nod y teithiau a’r gweithdai yw ennyn diddordeb mewn technoleg a gweithgynhyrchu, a helpu i ddatblygu dealltwriaeth dechnolegol arloeswyr y dyfodol.
Mynychodd Clwb Codio Treganna y rhaglen ‘Learn 2 Code’, a oedd yn para diwrnod llawn ac yn cynnwys taith o gwmpas llawr y ffatri waith, a gweithdy codio yn seiliedig ar brosiectau’r Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Trefnwyd yr ymweliad gan yr arweinydd clybiau profiadol, Marcus Davage, sydd wedi bod yn rhedeg Clwb Codio yn Ysgol Gymraeg Treganna ers dwy flynedd, ac yn Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd rhwng 2016 a 2019. Pan nad yw’n datblygu meddalwedd ar gyfer prif gyfrifiaduron IBM, mae’n tincran â chyfrifiaduron Raspberry Pi.
“Mae ymweliadau fel hyn mor bwysig i blant. Maen nhw’n dod â thechnoleg yn fyw, gan ddangos i blant sut mae pethau’n edrych y tu allan i’r ystafell ddosbarth. Mae’n rhoi rhagflas o’r cyfleoedd fydd ar gael yn eu gyrfaoedd yn y dyfodol.”
Arweiniwyd y gweithdy gan Steven Lewis, cyn arweinydd y Clwb Codio sydd yn Addysgwr Ardystiedig Raspberry Pi. Tywysodd Steve y grŵp drwy’r prosiect Physical computing with Raspberry Pi, gan herio’r plant i greu system o oleuadau traffig drwy ddefnyddio Raspberry Pi a LEDs.
Dangosodd Steve i’r plant sut i raglennu’r caledwedd gan ddefnyddio Scratch a Python, cyn iddyn nhw gael yr opsiwn i gwblhau’r prosiect yn yr iaith rhaglennu o’u dewis. Penderfynodd tua 50% o’r grŵp barhau i raglennu yn Python – roedd hi’n galonogol gweld y bobl ifanc yn rhoi cynnig ar iaith rhaglennu seiliedig ar destun.
Rhannodd Steve ei feddyliau:
“Roedd y daith yn gyfle pwysig i’r Clwb Codio [weld] arloesedd digidol yn y byd go iawn yn ogystal ag enghreifftiau o rai o’r swyddi lleol sydd ar gael yn y diwydiant technoleg. Rydyn ni’n argymell y dylai pob Clwb Codio drefnu ymweliad!”
Beth oedd barn y plant am y profiad?
Fe siaradon ni â dau o’r plant, Bella (10) a Mica (10), am eu profiadau gyda’r Clwb Codio a’r daith i Sony UK TEC.
Beth ydych chi’n ei hoffi am godio?
Bella: Dw i’n meddwl ei fod yn ffordd dda o ddysgu pethau newydd ac o gael cyfleoedd amrywiol i wneud pethau!
Mica: Dw i’n hoffi’r ffaith bod modd gwneud lot o bethau gwahanol, ac mae’n brofiad da o ran defnyddio technoleg.
Beth wnaethoch chi ei fwynhau fwyaf am yr ymweliad â Chanolfan Dechnoleg Sony UK?
Bella: Fe wnes i fwynhau’r ffordd y gwnaethon nhw ddangos gwahanol rannau’r ffatri i ni a sut roedd y darnau’n cael eu rhoi at ei gilydd. Cawson ni gyfle i godio goleuadau traffig hefyd, oedd yn anodd!
Mica:Wnes i fwynhau eu bod nhw’n dangos sut yn union roedd creu’r Raspberry Pi yn y ffatri.
Pa ffaith (neu ffeithiau) cŵl wnaethoch chi eu dysgu yn ystod eich taith?
Bella: Roedd Sony yn gwneud llawer o bethau eraill hefyd yn ogystal â’r Raspberry Pi, er enghraifft camerâu.
Beth ydych chi’n bwriadu codio yn y dyfodol?
Bella: Dw i am fwrw ymlaen i godio yn yr ysgol uwchradd! Gobeithio bod clwb ar gael.
Mica: Byddwn i’n hoffi rhaglennu gêm, gêm ddylunio efallai lle rwyt ti’n gallu creu dy gymeriadau dy hun.
Os ydych chi wedi cael eich ysbrydoli i sefydlu Clwb Codio yng Nghymru ac i roi’r cyfle i bobl ifanc ddysgu sgiliau gwerthfawr gydol oes, cysylltwch â Sarah Eve Roberts yn firstname.lastname@example.org
Clwb Codio Treganna visits the Sony UK Technology Centre
Code Club is about much more than teaching programming. Our clubs provide young coders with valuable skills in problem-solving, communication, and resilience that benefit them throughout their lives.
We saw how inspiring these experiences can be when 21 excited children from Clwb Codio Treganna, Cardiff went on a trip to the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed!
The Sony UK Technology Centre (TEC), located 20 minutes outside of Cardiff, is where Raspberry Pi computers are manufactured. Sony first began manufacturing Raspberry Pi computers back in 2012, at around 10,000 units per year. They now output one Raspberry Pi every 3.1 seconds!
In addition to creating the hardware, Sony UK TEC also runs educational visits for primary schools to inspire their learners about coding. The tours and workshops aim to spark an interest in technology and manufacturing, and to help to develop the technological understanding of the innovators of the future.
Clwb Codio Treganna attended the ‘Learn 2 Code’ programme, which lasted a full day and included a tour of the working factory floor and a coding workshop based on Raspberry Pi Foundation projects.
The visit was organised by experienced club leader, Marcus Davage, who has been running a Code Club at Ysgol Gymraeg Treganna for two years, and at Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd from 2016 to 2019. When not developing software for the IBM mainframe, he tinkers about with Raspberry Pi computers himself.
“Visits like this are so important to children. They bring to life what tech is all about, showing children the bigger picture outside the classroom. It’s a taster of the opportunities available for their future careers.”
The workshop was led by Steven Lewis, a past Code Club club leader and a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. Steve led the group through the Physical computing with Raspberry Pi project, challenging the children to create a traffic light system using a Raspberry Pi and LEDs.
Steve showed the children how to programme the hardware using both Scratch and Python before they were given the option to complete the project in their chosen programming language. Around 50% of the group decided to continue programming in Python — it was encouraging to see the young people try out a text-based programming language.
Steve shared his thoughts:
“Children love physical computing, it provides a way they can interact with the real world through their code. The workshops also give children the opportunity to explore and tinker with Scratch and Python in a different environment.”
Marcus told us:
“The trip was an important opportunity for the Code Club to [see] digital innovation in the real world as well as examples of some of the local jobs available in the tech industry. We recommend all Code Clubs book a visit!”
What did the children think of the experience?
We spoke to two of the children, Bella (10) and Mica (10), about their experiences with Code Club and the trip to Sony UK TEC.
What do you like about coding?
Bella: I think it’s a good way to learn new things and have different opportunities to do things!
Mica: I like how you can do different things with it and it’s a good experience with technology.
What did you enjoy most about the visit to the Sony UK Technology Centre?
Bella: I enjoyed how they showed us around the different parts of the factory and how the pieces are put together. We also had a chance to code traffic lights which was difficult!
Mica:I enjoyed that they showed us exactly how the Raspberry Pi was created in the factory.
What cool fact(s) did you learn during your trip?
Bella: Sony also made lots of other things, not just Raspberry Pi, for example cameras.
What are you planning on coding in the future?
Bella: I want to carry on with coding in high school! I hope there is a club.
Mica: I would like to program a game, maybe a designing game where you can create your own characters.
If you’re inspired to set up a Code Club in Wales and give young people the opportunity to learn valuable life-long skills, contact Sarah Eve Roberts at email@example.com
We hear from Code Club’s Craig Thomas on how the hub launch will help children in Wales…
Last Thursday, the Code Club team joined with our partners at Samsung to officially open Cardiff’s Code Club Samsung regional hub with the help of some incredibly enthusiastic children from two local primary schools. The event took place at the hub’s headquarters at the City of Cardiff Council Digital Showcase and was the fourth in a series of recent launches in London, Manchester and Newcastle.
What is a hub?
For those who don’t know, a hub is an accessible public place equipped with Samsung laptops which Code Clubs can come and use in weekly sessions. The hub also hosts training sessions throughout the year to train Code Club volunteers so that they can then run new Code Clubs for more children in Wales.
As the National coordinator for Wales, I found the launch on Thursday incredible – it was fantastic to see the corporate, education and public sector worlds come together for the greater good of Welsh children. I originally got involved for this exact reason. I truly believe we can do great things, but we need all the moving pieces to be in unison. Thursday was a great example of that for me.
We heard from students from Y Bont Faen Primary school (one of our Star Clubs – pictured) on the projects they’d worked on since their Code Club began and thirty students from Tredegarville primary school also took part in a live session whilst guests arrived.
These regional hubs allow Code Club to help kick-start a digitally literate generation in all areas of the UK. It’s great to be able to hear from enthusiastic Code Clubbers and know that that the creation of our regional hub in Cardiff will mean that more children than ever get a chance to experience coding for themselves.
To find out more about the Cardiff hub and Code Club in Wales, say hello on Twitter @tinybigideas