Yesterday around twenty or so Year 5 and Year 6 children stayed behind for the first Code Club of the year. Some had been wanting to call it ICT club, but I was very clear this was code club and the rules were different. No hours lost on Flash games or mindless surfing Youtube here thank you. Our Code club is based on the materials and format put together by Code Club.Org. Ideally the clubs should be hosted by volunteer local programmers or IT professionals with the school hosting and co delivery the sessions. Having looked at the materials for my self and feeling like I knew at least something mildly code like post 2Simple, I thought I’d give it a go myself.
I am glad I did. The materials from Code Club are very high quality and they really do tax and stretch the children to work systemically and methodically through programming assignments, which are currently in Scratch. By the end of yesterday’s session most children had built the mouse chasing game outlined in week 1, and if they had not quite got there then they took their pack of notes home to work on it there.
At then end of the club I felt like this had been just like a really good ICT lesson and how ICT should be. The pitch, expectation and high quality resources drove me in such a way that I set a series of high quality and demanding tasks for the group. It was also competitive as everyone wanted to create a game like the one I had pre made for them Even though some of them had used Scratch before, none of them had done this much and in such a short space of time. If you follow the materials to the letter, then I’d say the pace of the learning is quick and demanding, it is also beginning to foster debugging and error trapping and even some collaborative problem solving.
Thank you Code Club for giving me what I need to run a high quality club and for giving my children a positive first experience of working like a coder.
- Code Club Is Programming Tuition For Primary Schools (rockpapershotgun.com)
- Give me Something to Code (restreaming.wordpress.com)
- After-school code clubs (bbc.co.uk)
- Code Club brings programming to the classroom (develop-online.net)