Code Club, teaching kids programming

As a young child more than likely you would have found me reading Spectrum User and typing away code into my spectrum.

So when I first heard about Code Club it sounded brilliant, and something that I wanted to get involved with. So I visited their site to see if any school nearby was interested, and I found one right on my commute through a north Oxfordshire village, perfect.

I emailed the school, they put me in touch with a parent who is also interested and we got the ball rolling. After a distraction or two, I completed my training and got my CRB check and I was good to go.

This afternoon was my first class, I had 11 kids attend (7 Boys and 4 Girls), ranging from Year 4 to Year 6 in age. The goal for today was to make Felix the cat catch Herbert the mouse.

I was a bit worried about what to expect, would they be interested? Would I be able to explain myself clearly enough? In the end they all seemed to love it, some completed the game very quickly, others took pictures of themselves set them as the background and yelled “Felix has gone into my mouth”. All great fun!

What they didn’t realised that they had just learned all about decision logic, loops, variables and even events and listeners. Brilliant!

At the end of the day pretty much everyone of them wanted to take their worksheet home and asked how to install Scratch on their computers at home. Some decided they didn’t want to take stuff home, until they discovered next week if they are finished project one they get to whack witches…!

Roll on next week, watch out witches!

One Comment

  1. Alison
    Posted 22 June 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for blogging about your Code club. I have been running one in my lunch hour (I am the ICT subject leader at a Berkshire Primary school). One thing it would be great to get your opinion about as a professional coder, is do you think that the children had learnt about ‘decision logic, loops, variables and even events and listeners’ explicitly? Or had they followed instructions on how to make the Felix & Herbert game? Would it matter, in your opinion, if they didn’t understand those terms, but could still make things happen on the screen?
    Thanks again – and happy coding.

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