Code Club is flexible and can be adapted to suit the needs of every club, club leader, and group of young coders. There are lots of ways to run your sessions and certain approaches will work best for different clubs at different times! Here are three ways you could run your Code Club.
- Work through projects together as a group
- Complete Code Club project paths in order, to build skills consecutively
- Pick 2 or 3 projects per session, or decide on an overall theme each week
- Create space for young people to try projects based on their interests
Whole-group sessions are educator-led, with a structured approach to working through the projects. This may work best for you if you’re just starting out on your coding journey, or if your club members have similar levels of coding ability and you want to learn together.
- Use the Code Club project paths and work through the projects in the “3…2…1…Make!” curriculum in order. If your Code Club group has never coded before, our Intro to Scratch path is probably the best place to start.
- Start your sessions with a demonstration of what you will be making, and finish with a short recap, discussing what went well and what was more challenging.
- You can ask learners to work through the project instructions independently, or code through the steps together as a group. Coding together can help build confidence quickly for you and your learners, particularly when your club is new.
- Offline or unplugged activities, such as those created by Barefoot computing , can help your learners explore coding concepts in more detail.
If you’d like to give a bit more freedom to the young people in your club, or introduce the wider context of coding and technology, then you might want to try this approach in your sessions. This will require a bit more preparation and understanding of the projects that are available for your club, but we have lots of suggestions!
- Choose a small selection of projects for club members to pick from each week.
- You may want to choose your projects based on a wider theme, or something that learners are already working on as part of the curriculum. The themed project collections on your club dashboard are a good starting point and cover topics such as space, the environment, and Black history.
- Allow time for your Code Club members to voluntarily showcase what they’ve worked on. Encourage learners to demonstrate their code, discuss the creative choices they made, and explain how they overcame any challenges.
- The European Space Agency Astro Pi Challenge allows young people to write code that runs in space on board the International Space Station. This can be a great opportunity to start exploring Python coding and real-life applications of programming.
Empowering your young coders to take on more responsibility at Code Club is a great way to foster independence and leadership in your club. Learner-led sessions are a great option for established Code Clubs, particularly if your learners are looking for a new challenge.
- Allow young people to pick the projects they work on, or the themes that interest them. You might want to experiment with creating your own projects, or look at wider projects available on the Raspberry Pi projects site.
- Encourage pair programming, where learners work in groups of two to plan, write, and debug their code. This supports mixing within your club and allows young people to learn more independently, whilst still having the support of their peers.
- You may decide to elect a small group of digital leaders to help you to run your sessions. These young people will usually have attended Code Club for a while and can support you with choosing projects, answering questions, and setting up equipment.
- Get involved with Coolest Projects: the world’s largest digital showcase for young people. Projects can be entered into a wide range of categories, including Scratch, games, and hardware. Coolest Projects allows young people to make things that matter to them, and everyone — from total beginners to advanced coders — can participate.
We recommend running Code Club sessions in person wherever possible, but there may be situations where taking your club online, either temporarily or permanently, is necessary.
If you do need to run an online session, make sure to consider the online safety of your learners, the tools you will use to run your session, and how you will communicate with parents.
You can use the following guides and resources to make sure your online session runs smoothly and safely: