If you start in London and walk 6,073 miles east, where does it take you? The answer, Delhi!

In January, members from the Code Club UK and Ireland team set themselves the challenge to walk the distance from London to Delhi to virtually meet Code Club India colleagues, Vasu and Divya. 

We have reached the halfway point, and it’s time to celebrate the amazing clubs we’ve caught up with along the way! 

The team on their walks
The virtual walking route!

First stop, London: Over half of the London Underground runs above ground 

Olivia is a Code Club leader at Peckham Library, and we asked her to share a highlight from the past year: 

“This term, we have started to experiment with allowing some of the students to teach a session. It has been incredible to see the students, who are only 10 to 12 years old, take on ownership of the class, lead the session, and take questions from their peers.”

Theo, a member from the club also registered his project Bookwriggle, a book recommendation website, in this year’s Coolest Projects showcase, and it was selected as a judge’s favourite! Go, Theo! 

Bookwiggle website designed by Theo

Second stop, Graz: The Austrian national flag is one of the oldest in the world

Whilst virtually walking through Graz, in Austria, we caught up with Günter Nimmerfall, who runs a Code Club at MS Schulzentrum Hall. 

Gunter shares why Code Club suits his school: 

“We are a secondary school with two focuses: languages (Italian) and STEM education. Code Club is perfect; it gives learners the chance to experience coding and creating (3D printing, 3D modelling).We love to show our learners how to code games.

It’s very nice to code some retro games like Flappy bird or racing games like the Boat race, which can be done at the learner’s pace.”

Third stop, Tuzla: The heart-shaped land of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Two boys, both named Haris, attend Code Clubs in the city of Tuzla, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the country is nicknamed the ‘Heart-Shaped Land’, we asked them to share why they love Code Club! 

“I love Code Club because we all have the superpower to create and shape the present, and change the future. In our Code Club, not only do we learn how to code, but we also learn to think and cooperate with our fellow students.

Each one of us has certain talents and knowledge that we can use, and together as a team we reach solutions.”

Haris, from Mejdan school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“I love Code Club because I love to code and I love challenges, and each new project is a challenge for me. I love to work on projects since then my creativity, maths, and IT skills develop.

Coding gives me opportunities to make life easier through technology for every person.”

Haris, from OŠ “Kreka” school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fourth stop, Bulgaria: One of the oldest European countries, established in 681 AD

Alexander, Anton, and Victor are seventh graders who attend Code Club Bulgaria; they entered this year’s Coolest Projects showcase with their creation ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

They were inspired by the arcade game Asteroids, which they said was “one of the most amazing video games in the early history of video games”. They created their remake in Scratch with a new design and functions — in their game, you can gain extra firepower by achieving different targets! 

ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

Josh Hellier, Global Community Coordinator, had a go at the game:

It was so much fun. They’ve done an amazing job of recreating this classic 1979 game! It’s clear they worked brilliantly as a team and supported each other in learning new skills to realise their vision. Well done! 

Celebrate your achievements with the Code Club team by sharing them on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World using the hashtag #MyCodeClub! 

Make Code Club part of your summer school plans! 

Code Club provides the ideal in-person enrichment activity for a summer school, providing fun projects to build skills and confidence around coding concepts, along with important well-being needs. It’s also a great way to form friendships and feel part of the school community.

We share three key essentials, plus a NEW Summer of Sport activity to make sure that your summer school Code Club is a success! 

Make it fun!

Code Club is a fun, informal learning space, where young learners have the opportunity to explore and get creative together with code! Learn what topics and programming languages your coders are interested in, then take a look at our free step-by-step projects where coders are introduced to key coding concepts. 

North Ayrshire Council run Code Club summer schools, this is what they had to say: 

Just go for it. It’s going to be super fun. I mean, who doesn’t love Scratch? Don’t make it formal, it’s not school, it will be loud and a lot of wondering about with the kids seeing what each other is getting up to. And you don’t have to be a coding expert, Code Club has loads of excellent resources. 

Looking for that first fun project to work on at your summer school? Then why not create some noise in Scratch with ‘Rock band’! Learners will explore how to use code to change a sprite’s costume, make a sprite react to an input, and add sounds! 

Head outside

We know that being active helps us to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Take your Code Club offline, head outside, and try these Raspberry Pi projects to explore coding concepts and computers! 

Computers in the real world: go for a walk and notice how technology interacts with everyday life. 

Pixel art unplugged project: club members learn how computers create and store images and how to use (x,y) coordinates. 

Compass coding: follow codes and compass directions to get back to camp!

Celebrate achievements 

Make time within each session for a show-and-tell, giving learners the opportunity to celebrate their projects and share their new skills together.

Celebrate everyone’s successes and download a Code Club certificate from your club’s dashboard. Think about sharing your achievements with the school community through a newsletter — young coders could even help write this! 

Could you use this great idea from North Ayrshire Council?

At the end of each day we encourage members to put a post on the wall about what they learned that day or what they most enjoyed.

On your marks, get set, go! 

To help you off the starting blocks for your summer school coding activities, dig out your tracksuits and participate in our Summer of Sport activity! We have handpicked six Scratch sport-themed projects, including a favourite ‘Beat the goalie’ to help you get started! Find out how your club can get involved.

Get in touch and let us know how you plan to use Code Club as part of your summer school activities. Remember to share your achievements with us on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World using the hashtag #MyCodeClub! 

Learn online with Code Club and CoderDojo!

Over the past nine months, Code Club and CoderDojo have teamed up to run a series of community calls. In this blog Kat shares some of her favourite sessions, and gives a sneak peak of our new series of online workshops.

In March 2020, we took to the internet in search of a way to support coding clubs who wanted to continue running. Our solution was a series of community calls to share tips and ideas, offer practical examples, and give you the opportunity to ask your questions! 

Twenty one calls, 720 attendees, and lots of fruitful discussions later, here are some of the sessions we loved the most.

Taking your first steps 

In the ‘Ways to restart your Code Club’ session we covered the online, remote, and in-person options for your club, to help you decide which might be the best fit for you.

Rohima shared her perspective as a club volunteer, and talked through how she prepared to run both in-person and online sessions. 

Running online

As Code Clubs around the world went online, we delved into the challenges and also unexpected benefits of running online sessions. 

Our ‘Tools and software for running an online club’ is a great watch for anyone who is starting to plan online sessions. Check it out to discover the pros and cons of some popular video conferencing and live streaming tools. 

A gif showing Kat and Nuala next to a powerpoint slide

In the ‘Best practice for online sessions’ call you can find important safeguarding information, ideas on how to prepare for your session, and useful tips from a club leader. 

A screen grab with Kat, Christina, and Nuala next to a slide sharing online safety and safeguarding

Build your skills 

Over the summer we ran three training sessions on Scratch, HTML, and Python. I particularly loved the Scratch session, which had lots of tips to help you take your Scratch learning further in your club. 

You can find all the recordings of our previous calls on our GoToStage channel.

Join our NEW 2021 series of online workshops

There are three upcoming online workshops, so make sure to register if you’d like to join us. We’ll be discussing: 

Can’t make those times? Don’t worry! Everyone who registers will be sent a recording, so you can always catch up later. 

Got an idea for a future online workshop that you’d like to see? Let us know on support@codeclub.org. You can sign up for all our upcoming online sessions and events over on the Code Club website