Twenty Two months ago I decided I’d like to do more at my childrens school and decided I’d try help getting children involved with coding. I’m a software developer in my day job and so I though I’d like to put my skills to good use.
I have four children, I’ve never once sat down with each of them and explained how to unlock an iPhone or how to open an app, how to navigate around an Android tablet or open Google chrome on my computer and yet all of my children who are aged between 4-7 years old can fairly easily do pretty much what they set out to do on their own. It’s like second nature to them and so with mostly everything going ‘Digital’ these days I thought I’d like to help show children how some things are made.
When I first enquired about ‘Coding at Schools’ I was introduced to Craig Thomas who was then the Wales national CodeClub co-oordinator. He explained to me all about CodeClub and with his help he quickly helped me register as a STEM ambassador, get a DBS check and get my childrens school to agree to let me run an after school club. The club runs once a week after school during term time and is aimed at children aged 9-11 years old.
After running the club for nearly two years I can honestly say It’s such a rewarding experience. I can’t recommend doing it enough. The children love it and the satisfaction you get from seeing the children explore, discuss and have fun is brilliant.
During this time I’ve also been lucky enough to be chosen as one of two people in Wales to join the Code Club champion pilot scheme which has been a lot of fun. Being a champion has meant I’ve spoken at events and promoted CodeClub to try and get more children and volunteers involved.
“The projects gradually introduce coding concepts to allow children to build their knowledge incrementally, meaning there’s also no need for the adult running the session to be a computing expert.” - Code Club
You really don’t have to be technical or know how to code to run a CodeClub session. The CodeClub website provides all the projects for the children to work through and it’s all colour coordinated and easy to follow. You as a volunteer simply attend and help explain and work through the booklet. If the children have any problems understanding anything or if they’ve skipped to far ahead you simple just go back over some previous steps from the booklet, you don’t need any extra technical knowledge. You’d be amazed how quickly the children pick things up, in just a few weeks they create animations, instruments, games and websites.
I hope reading the above has made you a little curious about CodeClub and wanting to find out more on how you can get involved.
If you would like to find out more about CodeClub visit their website where you can find lots of answers to common questions, example projects as well as contact details to speak to somebody to find out more!