Another great week of Code Club, though we are actually quite behind due to Christmas disruptions, another amazing energising session. So, yesterday we were actually coding the Christmas Rudolf Present Catching game. We do Code Club every Friday after school when we can. At a time when many of us would rather be marking with a cup of coffee, or away home for the weekend. But for me, it is the most energising part of the week. You see most of the week my ICT work is around iPads and apps. The classes can do amazing things with these devices, they can easily create movies, music, documents, posters, improve their Maths, blog and research topics etc. But the flip side of this happens in Code Club.
For those of who do not know what Code Club is, then here is how they describe themselves:
Give every child in the UK the chance to learn to code. It is our aim to have Code Club in 25% of primary schools in the UK by the end of 2015.
How it works
Volunteers run Code Club after-school at their local primary school or community centre. Children attend Code Club once a week to learn the basics of coding. Find out more about how to get started.
As a Code Club facilitator, I get access to high quality coding lessons, based initially on Scratch. These are very thorough, but you do need to prepare well!!
Code Club is a challenge for my Year 5 and 6 pupils, it takes time for them to arrange the code blocks, test the application and then refine if necessary. I love the way the group collaborate and spur each other on, in order to achieve the objective of game building with Scratch. Prior to Code Club, my experience of working with Scratch had been quite simple, my colleague and I had written a scheme of work for Year 4 based around animation and game play. But the projects in Code Club are built to be taught by someone with at least a basic knowledge of programming. I have a bit of this from my days with 2Simple, but I would still class myself as a lucky novice.
So, before each session I make sure I have gone through the project notes myself and built the module from bottom up. When you do this you appreciate what the children will encounter and you can look at ways of extending or tweaking the project. This can take quite some time to get your head around all the intricacies of the commands and what is expected. I really think it is worth it though, as each week I am amazed that the group spend an hour of head down focussed time coding.
The club is mostly made up of girls who (sorry guys) finish first and I am hoping their love of coding and building games and apps continues past our club.
Below is an embedded game, which was yesterday’s project. One of my code club girls took just under 45 minutes to replicate this same game.
Note – unfortunately Scratch Files are not visible on iPad -grrr
And on that point here is the latest video from Code Club
And here is a great story via Mashable about a first grade girl who created an app.