The importance of equity in Code Clubs

The theme for this year’s International Women’s day is equity and how, when we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and inclusion.

Equity is important in Code Club, as it ensures that all children, regardless of their background, have equal access to opportunities and resources they need to learn and succeed in coding.

We’ve spoken to women who are involved in Code Clubs across the globe, to learn more about how they are working towards more equitable access to Code Clubs in their communities

Four girls huddled around two computers facing a wall. The girls are working on a Scratch project.
Club members in India, exploring Scratch

Creating an inclusive learning environment

Having equity in Code Club fosters a more inclusive learning environment, where all children feel valued and supported, leading to increased engagement and motivation to learn, as well as a sense of community and belonging.

In our 2022 annual survey, we learned that the proportion of the total number of young people who attend Code Clubs who are girls is 41.2%. We have work to do, but as a community we are actively looking to increase this.

In India, educator Madhusmita from Handidhua High School in Talcher understands the importance of encouraging girls to attend a Code Club and the positive impact it can have on their future.

Educator, Madusmita International Women's Day quote.“ The girls continuously blow me away, there’s no limit to what they can achieve. These girls will change their future and their entire household's future if they continue to do what they’re doing right now.”

Across the world, Code Clubs are free to access. Each week, when a young coder attends, they have access to our free 3…2…1…Make! path that gives them agency to develop their coding skills and create projects that matter to them. In turn, they will develop important coding skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These are skills that they will use throughout their life. 

The importance of real role models

Positive role models, like Code Club educators, can help breakdown stereotypes and biases that could hold young coders back.

Role models from diverse backgrounds inspire young coders to pursue their passions and develop their skills. When a young person sees a role model who looks like them, it helps them feel seen, heard, and valued. It also gives them a real sense of belonging.

Kaye, from Code Club Australia, shares her thoughts on the importance of a role model and the learning a young person can gain.

Providing access to coding opportunities

We understand that there is still a digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who don’t. Breaking down this divide is a key mission at Code Club. We know that for young people to succeed in the digital age, we need to provide them with access to the right opportunities.

We’re working on doing this by creating a learning environment where coders can explore computing and are able to build skills, increase their digital literacy, embrace creativity, and spend time with real role models.

Code Club educator Fiona Lindsay has great aspirations for the young girls who attend her club in Scotland:

“My hopes are that girls will pursue their dreams and use coding as a tool for creation and innovation — not just be users of tech.

For girls to be more confident and feel empowered to be the leaders in the field of coding and have much more representation. For girls to be the drivers and instigators for new ideas and developments in code and to have the opportunities to lead the way for the future.”

A young girl sharing her laptop screen towards the camera. The screen shows a Scratch project.
Young coder, Joanne from Hillside Code Club, Scotland.

There is still lots of work to be done to make computing an equitable space. The research team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been exploring how we can encourage more girls to engage with computing through the Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC) programme.

This research will help us to support Code Clubs to give opportunities for everyone to come together and code.

On International Women’s Day, use the hashtag #MyCodeClub and share how you’re working towards making your club an equitable space for all.

Why is it important to cheer on learners’ coding achievements? We’ll tell you!

An important part of Code Club is celebrating learners’ victories — both big and small. 

By recognising the importance of achievements and what they mean to the young person, you can encourage them to further develop life skills such as resilience, independence, self-esteem, respect, and compassion. 

Why is it important?

Acknowledging success and hard work is a vital part of creating a safe learning environment. It creates a positive and supportive atmosphere where young coders can feel confident in their abilities and comfortable making mistakes that they can learn from.

Celebrating the achievements of young coders encourages and motivates them to continue developing their skills and explore other coding interests. It provides recognition for hard work and dedication, and can also be a source of pride that young people can share with their families. 

By highlighting the efforts of your club members, you not only raise the visibility of your Code Club, but you may inspire more young people to join or seek out other coding opportunities in your local area. Celebrating success can also drive your club members to advance their skills further, be confident to learn from others, and help build a community of peers who collaborate and share ideas. 

Where you can acknowledge effort in your club 

Within a Code Club setting there are many different ways that you can recognise the efforts made by young people. These can be big or small, so don’t wait for a huge milestone to be completed. The small successes are just as important too! 

You could positively reinforce activities in your club setting when a young person: 

  • Accomplishes something alone
  • Develops their coding skills 
  • Perseveres when tackling a challenge
  • Completes a task, project, or coding path
  • Shows creativity in their coding
  • Supports a peer to solve a problem
  • Leads by example, e.g. helps you set up and tidy away your club 

There are lots of ways you can then celebrate these efforts or achievements, for example:

  1. Print one of the many cool certificates on your club dashboard and present them in your club or in an achievement assembly 
  1. Run an end-of-term showcase, where learners can show their coding achievements to parents and carers
  1. Write an article for a school newsletter or link into a wider school recognition scheme, like ‘star of the week!’  

Never forget the importance of recognition, what it means to a child and the impact it can have on their development. Share how you mark the milestones in your Code Club by using the hashtag #MyCodeClub on Twitter and Facebook

Best of 2022!

As we close the door on 2022, we have the perfect opportunity to pause, reflect, and appreciate the year gone by. How would you describe your Code Club’s year? Maybe it felt fun, inspiring, or even like a roller coaster?

Why not share your accomplishments from 2022 with us on social media using the hashtag #MyCodeClub? We’d love to celebrate your stories with you and the world.

Some of the Code Club team!

One of the best moments of 2022 was celebrating our 10th birthday and all your support from the past decade. This was a huge highlight for everyone. We loved seeing your parties, cakes, and special edition swag to celebrate the occasion — we’re still not over the Code Club-branded tie!

Head of Code Club, Tamasin said:

“I loved hearing stories from clubs that have been running for many years and the young people who have so many lovely memories of their time at Code Club. It was wonderful to hear how an extracurricular club has given them so much confidence and ideas.”

2022 memorable moments

To celebrate another marvellous year, we spoke to the Code Club team to find out why this year was special for them.

“We hosted our first meetup for the community in Wales in November this year. It was the first event of its kind for all of us, and I was so inspired to see how passionate our community is about Code Club!” 

Sarah, Community Coordinator, Wales

Sarah is ready to welcome the community!

“My year was made by the enthusiasm that club members showed to our World Hello Day activity. I spent a good month laughing, smiling and admiring their creative entries! Thank you for bringing joy into my role at Code Club.”

Zoe, Programme Coordinator, UK 

A World Hello Day entry from Scotland

“I’ve loved seeing the wonderful work our Code Club partner organisations are doing, helping to get even more young people coding around the world. And it was great to meet Nadia, our lead volunteer for Code Club/CoderDojo Iraq!”

Izzy, Programme Coordinator, UK 

Code Club and CoderDojo with Nadia

“We ran our first in-person sessions with over 400 teachers from all over government schools in Odisha, India. For me, this was my highlight — our community! It was a big reassurance and reminder for me about our purpose, our mission and why we do what we do!”

Vasu, National Community Manager, India 

Vasu with educators in Odisha

“For the first time I got to host a codealong for our US community to close our two-week long celebration of Code Club’s 10th birthday and it was so much fun.”

Kevin, Program Coordinator, USA

Kevin leading a codealong

“I have loved seeing, first hand, how satisfying it is for beginner coders to remix a project and make it their own. It’s not all about a totally new idea. One of my favourite projects from my club was this remix of a fidget toy where the club member has added their love of the sea.”

Tamasin, Head of Code Club

Tamasin’s favourite project!

What made 2022 stand out for you? 

Zoe asked for your memorable moments on social media and this is what you shared: 

This Code Club enjoyed taking part in our World Hello day activity!

Ali from Iraq had this to say about 2022:

“It was amazing year I spent it with MyCodeClub members when we learning coding using the 3,2,1…Make! pathways (Scratch , Python, HTML)”

This year, Darren from England saw how Code Club can be a great opportunity for learners to support each other: 

Code Club educator in Wales, Paul had to think on his feet during a Code Club session, which had a brilliant outcome! 

“One of our learners got very excited by HTML tags. An impromptu lesson when Wi-Fi failed. thanks to @garethgwyther was quite surprised by the learners enthusiasm!”

The next 12 months brings lots of excitement for Code Club. So, 2023 is the year of… well, let’s wait and see!