Code Club - Term 1 - week 1

Drupal Developer, Drupal Evangelist, Co-operative Champion

Last Thursday, Aaron and I started a new code club at my daughter’s primary school in Oxford, with Agile Collective generously sponsoring our time and resources to do this.

Having run the first two terms last year at another school, I was somewhat better prepared this time and had all the materials and badges ready to go on day 1. We were expecting 15 children, so you can imagine our surprise when we were told that 18 children were about to join us as we only had 15 computers with Scratch installed (we are using Scratch 1.4 and the old materials). Luckily two children were willing to share a computer, and we had two laptops with us, so everyone was catered for. It was also lucky that two teachers joined us to observe the session, which proved invaluable when the questions started rolling in turning the ‘observers’ more into ‘facilitators’.

Overall the session went really well. We had a good range of abilities, from those who had never used scratch , to those that had created their own animations, to my daughter who had completed the first two terms last year. On this occasion I didn’t have the more recent resources for term 3 to offer my daughter, which was perhaps just as well as she rose to the task of helping others with the first ‘Felix and Herbert’ session.

I think about 80% of the group completed the first session, with 2 or 3 moving on to the ‘Fireworks’ session. I can see that the group’s ability is quite diverse which may result in different children working on different projects. Hopefully that doesn’t create additional overhead in the weeks to come.

The teachers who joined us were delighted with the session. They also agreed to come along next time to help facilitate, which is a huge relief as I know how much time pressure is on teachers are these days and I'm not sure we can manage without them.

The main point is that all the children seemed to really enjoy themselves. I think the fact that we had a slightly older group this year (mostly year 5 and 6)  than last year (mostly year 4) created a calmer atmosphere where everyone could crack on without being so easily distracted.

So, happy children, happy teachers, happy Code Club!