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Code Club: Liverpool Central Library

29 Jan, 2016

Tech North announced their National Partnership with Code Club during the new weekly after school session in the brilliant Liverpool Central Library. Run for school children between 9 – 11, their philosophy is to inspire children to become more involved with digital while sharing and learning. With 3,733 Code Clubs already in operation, volunteers and venues are becoming available for new groups in the North to meet the high demand.

 

Liverpool Central Library’s ‘Game Hub’ was the perfect setting for their third instalment of Scratch, a visual programming tool which allows the user to make games and animations via a drag and drop interface. With children of different ages and abilities, this was a typical project accessible to those wanting to learn about code.
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Code Club volunteers teach after school with projects usually focused on the creation of games, websites and animations. The group’s aim is to let participants learn at their own speed, progressing them through each term, working on projects that will encourage their imaginations, while allowing them to analyse problems with the help of others.
This was the final week on their Scratch projects and once underway an entire room of keen coders came to life with discussions around their ideas and the results that had been worked on over the last three weeks. With final adjustments made and new ideas for future projects in the pipeline there was a feeling of accomplishment with talk of Javascript and Python being options for the weeks ahead.
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Tech North/Code Club partnership

Tech North’s supporting partnership with Code Club is a good example of how other organisations like schools and local businesses can become involved by offering resources to run their own Code Clubs for children. From my conversations with parents and organisers it’s clearly apparent there is a growing demand which could be met by new groups in the North.
Recently Code Club became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Raspberry Pi Foundation giving them further reach into the education system. There are approximately 21,000 primary schools in the UK who can access their online training for volunteers which sets out everything they need to know about how to run their own clubs.
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With the recent changes in our school’s curriculum there has been a growing interest in teaching children how to code and program computers. Tech North recognises that Code Club effectively addresses the nationwide problem of generating the technical skills needed to drive the digital sector, an industry that is crucial to the long term health our economy.
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Advancing the skills of children beyond frontend user applications by teaching them how to actually code helps to them understand new ways of analysing problems. An Open University study on the first year of Code Club revealed the way this type of problem solving has enhanced the way children can learn through sharing their findings with others and by working collaboratively.
The Open University study summaries “There has been a marked difference in the way the Code Club members approach problem solving; they have learnt to test and work to solve problems and not to just accept that there is only one way to achieve something. Engagement has improved and it incited a new lease of creativity and optimism. They are much more willing now to help each other solve problems and try to find solutions before looking to the teacher for help.”
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As well as a growing demand for digital skills in the work place, there is an increasing number of children wanting to learn. Code Club offers free support with online training and a large network of volunteers, ideal for businesses and schools wanting to run their own Code Clubs.

Find out more:

To find out how to set up your own group visit their website at https://www.codeclub.org.uk/

Although Liverpool’s Code Club is fully booked this term you can still contact them for future dates at liverpoolcodeclub@gmail.com

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