Starting an after-school Code Club

We’re taking the first tentative steps towards setting up an after-school coding club at our local primary school.  I’m inspired by Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Sandvik who are working extremely hard to set up Code Club – a nationwide network of after-school coding clubs for 10-11 yr olds.  They’ve been devising a 12-week curriculum using Scratch, a fantastic children’s programming language.  They’ve just started piloting the workshops in schools in London.

I started off by using our PTA Facebook group to see if anyone else shared my interest in getting this set up.  I got a really good response!  It seems there are loads of parents out there who are worried about ICT teaching in schools and the lack of coding skills being taught.  Then we just chatted to parents in the playground and a few more people expressed an interest.  Most of us are enthusiasts like me rather than actual bona fide programmers but enthusiasm is a really important component in any project like this!

We obviously need support from the school itself so I emailed the head teacher and he was very happy for us to go ahead (so long as it didn’t really involve him having to do anything – which is fair enough).

So the next step is to get us all together to see what kind of skills (and time) we’re able to contribute to the project.  I’ve sent out a Doodle scheduler to make it easy to find a mutually convenient time so we’ll see how quickly it comes together.

I’m really looking forward to meeting like-minded and people thrashing some ideas out!

Meanwhile, my own coding has slipped by the wayside due to sudden unexpected work commitments (some of it actually PAID!!).  Maybe I’ll squeeze in half an hour of Codecademy today although it’ll take me hours just to relearn what I’ve forgotten.

And Iv’e ordered my Raspberry Pi!  It should be here in the next 2 weeks.  I was thinking of live blogging my first couple of hours with it to see how intuitive it is to get it up and running!

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