Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? Check out the answers in our FAQs.

General

What is Code Club?

At Code Club, we think all children should have the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who they are or where they come from.
To do this, we support a nationwide network of volunteers and educators who run free coding clubs for children aged 9-11 to build and share their ideas, learning along the way.

Code Club was founded in 2012, and in 2015 joined forces with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a registered UK charity. Code Club is a key educational programme for the Foundation, working to help many more young people learn how to build their ideas with code.

How does it work?

Code Club’s model is very flexible, and can be adapted to suit you and the children in the club:

  • If you're a school and you want to find a volunteer to come in and run Code Club, you can register on our site as a club host and search for a volunteer in your area.
  • If you're a school and you have a teacher in the school who is ready to run a club, that's easy - you just need to register as a host and tick the box to let us know a teacher at the school will be running the club.
  • If you’re a community venue like a library or youth centre and you want to find a volunteer to come in and run Code Club, you can register on our site as a club host and search for a volunteer in your area.
  • If you're keen to volunteer at a venue, register on our site and you'll be able to search for schools in your area who need your help as part of the registration process.

Once your club is up and running, you’ll have access to our projects to help the children in your club create games, animations and websites.

How do I know how to run a Code Club?

We provide training for our volunteers which covers all you need to know, including the practicalities of running a club, programming concepts and safeguarding the children you work with.

You can complete the training online as part of the registration process, or if you prefer, you can attend one of our face to face training sessions.

In the Code Club sessions themselves, we recommend that you work through our projects with the children. The projects are a step by step guide that the children can follow to create something awesome. Each project should take the children about an hour to complete - the length of a Code Club session!

How long does it take to run a Code Club?

Code Clubs are usually an hour long and happen each week during school term time - but this is flexible!

Can I see the materials you teach?

You’ll need to be registered as running or hosting a Code Club to login and access the full range of Code Club’s projects. However, if you’re not running a club and want to see our projects, there are two sample projects for each coding language available online for anyone to view.

Each project teaches a different programming concept and builds on the skills learned in previous projects.

What equipment do I need to run a Code Club?

Most clubs start off with Scratch, which can be accessed via a web browser, so all you would need for your club is access to PCs or laptops. You can find out more about the system requirements for Scratch on their website, where you can also download an offline version. For our Python and HTML and CSS projects, we recommend using Trinket to write the code, which can be used in a web browser. Both Scratch and Trinket are free to access.

Can I visit a club before I start?

Yes, our network of Star Clubs are committed to being the best they clubs they can be, and that includes welcoming visitors. Visiting a Star Club is a great way to see what a Code Club in action is like, but if there isn’t one near you, you can also chat to other volunteers in our Google groups or check out our video of a Code Club session!

How much does Code Club cost?

All of our materials and resources available for free and our volunteers give their time for free too. Hooray!

For this reason, we ask that children are not charged to attend Code Clubs. This is part of our commitment to offer all children the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Where can I get support?

You can get in touch with us at hello@codeclub.org.uk - we love to chat!

Can I donate to Code Club?

Yes! We rely heavily on donations to continue growing and being able to teach as many children to code. You can donate to us online here

Are you a charity?

Code Club is a key educational programme for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which is a Registered Charity.

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For Volunteers

Full information for volunteers can be found here

What’s the time commitment involved in running a Code Club?

To be a volunteer you will need to have time to go to the venue each week for the club session (which usually lasts one hour) and to make sure things are prepared beforehand.

We think a sensible minimum commitment would be to run a club for 12 weeks, to give the children a chance to really get stuck in with coding, but we hope that you will love Code Club and run your club for ages and ages :)

What do I need to know to be able to run a Code Club?

The main thing a good Code Club volunteer should have is enthusiasm. We don't ask for any formal qualification or evidence of your coding ability.

You'll need to complete some training before you start your club on the practicalities of running a club and keeping children safe. You can do this online, or if you prefer you can come to a training session and meet the team in person.

Most of our clubs start off using Scratch, which is a drag and drop coding language which was developed with children in mind, by the brilliant people at MIT.

In your club, the children will work through our projects, which are step by step guides with instructions and screenshots, developed for 9-11 year olds. You don’t have to plan content for your sessions, but we recommend that you work through the projects yourself so you can stay one step ahead of the children in your club.

We also have projects for HTML/CSS and Python.

You also do not need any experience of teaching. You’ll be working alongside a club host from the venue (a teacher, teaching assistant, librarian or youth worker); they are there to support you and are required to be present at the sessions to help you.

How do I volunteer?

  • Register as a volunteer on our site.
  • Arrange a DBS check.
  • Complete the Code Club training, online or face to face.
  • Use our postcode search, find venues near you who are looking for someone to run a club in your area and then send them an email letting them know you’re keen. Once you’ve heard back from a club host and you agree that you will volunteer with them you need to meet the club host to plan the club and show them your DBS.
  • Once your club is active, you will be able to access your club ID and PIN to access the full range of the projects for the children to use in the club.
  • Enjoy running your Code Club and remember if you need any help you can contact Code Club at hello@codeclub.org.uk, chat to other volunteers in our forums and head along to our meet ups to meet other volunteers.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

You need to be 16 years old or over to volunteer with Code Club.

Why isn’t my club activated?

A Code Club becomes active once the profile of the venue representative and the volunteer have been paired together on our system. To activate a club, the following steps must be completed:

  • The venue representative (host) and volunteer have created profiles on our site
  • The volunteer has met the host, had their DBS checked and agreed on a suitable day/time for the club to run
  • The host has identified the volunteer on our site and selected ‘add to club’

What is a Club ID and PIN?

Each Code Club has its own unique Club ID and PIN. This is to be used by the volunteer, club host and the children in the club to access the projects site.

Where is my Club ID and PIN?

The Club ID & PIN are found on a club’s profile page. To access the page, please click ‘View Club’ beside the name of the club on your ‘Club Hub’ page.

Why do I need a Club ID and PIN when I am already signed up on your site?

The Club ID and PIN allows us to get a better sense of how clubs use our projects and which ones are most popular. It will help us to identify where we can make even more improvements to the projects in the future.

It will also enable us to measure our impact as an organisation, which is key for securing funding to continue our work, provide our resources and support volunteers in the UK and around the world. Want to know more? Read our blog.

Can I see the materials before signing up?

You’ll need to have a fully active Code Club to login and access the full range of Code Club’s projects. However, there are two sample projects for each coding language available online for anyone to view. Read more about our projects here.

Can you put me in touch with a club venue?

Club venues who are interested in hosting a Code Club and need a volunteer will register on the Code Club website; as part of the process of you signing up as a volunteer you will be able to see any venues that have signed up in your area. We give you an email template to send through to them, so the process is very easy.

I can’t find a club venue that needs a volunteer nearby. What should I do?

It could be that venues near you haven’t heard about Code Club yet. Email us and we will put you in touch with your local Regional Coordinator. They will be able to help you to approach a venue in your area to tell them about Code Club.

Why doesn’t the Code Club that I would like to volunteer at appear in the search results?

Club hosts have the ability to hide their club from our search results when the club has started and they are no longer looking for a volunteer.

Do I need a DBS statement?

Yes. When setting up a club you must show your DBS certificate to the club host at your venue. Find more information about DBS checks here. If you already have a DBS certificate, please check with the club host whether they are happy to go ahead with your existing certificate.

Do I need insurance?

As a volunteer, you will be covered by the venue’s Public Liability Insurance. The club venue will be asked to confirm this when they register on our site, so you don’t need to worry.

How long are sessions?

Code Club sessions are intended to last about an hour and happen once a week. Clubs can start at any point during the year. Each club works at its own speed, depending on the children’s progress. If you’d rather run a club for half an hour at lunchtime, then go for it! If you’re running a Code Club in a library or community centre, you can also run your club during school holidays and at weekends.

Can I volunteer at more than one school/venue?

Absolutely! To ensure club hosts can contact you through the site, please check that you have "Are you looking for a club to volunteer for?" enabled on your profile page.

What do I do if my club is no longer running?

If your club is no longer running at the venue (excluding breaks for school holidays) please drop us a line at hello@codeclub.org.uk to have the club profile removed from our database.

I no longer wish to volunteer at Code Club - how do I remove my profile?

To have your profile removed from our site, please send us an email at hello@codeclub.org.uk

Can I adapt or alter the Code Club logo for my club?

We sometimes get requests from volunteers who would like to adapt the Code Club logo to make it specific to their Code Club.

Code Club has now grown larger and there are clubs in countries and cities all over the world, so we have had to make some choices about how to manage the use of the Code Club logo. We therefore kindly request that our volunteers do not adapt or alter the Code Club logo by adding background images or text or anything else to customise it.

If you have any questions about using the Code Club logo, please do get in touch

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Background Checks

Why do I need a background check?

As part of our commitment to keeping children in our clubs safe, Code Club request that all our volunteers obtain a background check.

What sort of check do I need?

If you are planning to volunteer in England or Wales, you will need an Enhanced DBS check (used to be called a CRB check). For volunteering in Scotland, you will need to apply for the PVG scheme and in Northern Ireland you will need an Access NI check.

How do I get a background check?

Information on all the options can be found on the Working Safely With Children page of our site.

I already have a DBS statement - do I need to apply for a new one?

If you already have a DBS statement, that's great. Please make sure that you let the club host know and take along a copy when you meet them for the first time to plan the club.

What insurance cover do I need?

If you are a venue wishing to host a club, you will need to check that your Public Liability Insurance covers the volunteer visiting your venue. This is part of the T&Cs you agree to when you sign up to be a club host.

As a volunteer, you will be covered by the venue’s Public Liability Insurance. The venue will be asked to confirm this when they register on our site, so you don’t need to worry.

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For Venues

Full information for venues can be found here

How do I get Code Club in my school, library or community venue?

First of all, register yourself as a club host here, so you can appear on our searches as a venue looking for a volunteer.

Volunteers in your area will be able to find you on our website and hopefully get in contact with you too.

As a club host, you will need to make sure that you:

  • have Public Liability Insurance in place that covers a volunteer
  • ensure that the volunteer shows you their DBS check
  • collaborate with the volunteer to make sure equipment and resources are organised for the club each week
  • organise children to attend the club and make sure they have parental permission

It is important that there is always a member of staff present at every club. Our volunteers should never be left alone with the children - most volunteers are not qualified teachers so they need your support to run the club.

Do you screen volunteers?

When registering a club, we ask that all volunteers obtain a DBS check. However, we don’t interview or screen volunteers ourselves. It’s your responsibility to arrange a meeting with a volunteer to plan and check their DBS certificate and to decide whether you are happy to work with this person, and if not then you will be able to decline their offer to volunteer via your Club Hub page. Meeting face to face also provides an opportunity for the volunteer to see whether they are comfortable at your venue too!

Can you put me in touch with a volunteer?

We’ve built a volunteer finder into our website. When you sign up on our site as a club host, you will be shown a list of registered volunteers in your area so you can get in touch with them.

I’ve already got a volunteer, do they need to register on your site?

If you’ve already found a volunteer for your club, that’s great! Please ask them to register on our site and add them to your club from the ‘Manage Volunteers’ page of your club profile. Registering also means they can get access to our projects and other cool stuff, so it’s good all round :)

How do I add a second volunteer to our club?

Log in and head to your Club Hub and you will be able to add a second volunteer. If you need some extra help, you can drop us an email.

My volunteer is leaving. What shall I do?

First of all, head to your Club Hub and update your club settings to indicate you are looking for a volunteer so people in your area can get in touch. You could also post a message in our Google Groups to see if someone in your local area is free to help.
If you need extra help, drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk and we can link you up with your local Regional Coordinator who will also be able to help.

Registering a venue other than a school

If you want to set up a Code Club in a venue that is not a school such as a library or a youth centre, then simply select the most relevant option in the drop-down menu when you register.

Registering as a venue other than a school will automatically list your club as ‘public’, which means that your club will appear when people search for clubs open to the public and can email you to ask if their children can attend. If you would prefer your club to be private, you can change the settings of your club by visiting your Club Hub page.

Finding a volunteer and setting up the club works in exactly the same way. You’ll need to make sure that you get permission from parents/guardians of the children attending the club.

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Libraries

I want to set up a club in a library, do you have any resources I can use?

Yes, we do! Check out our library set up guide and we also have a posters that you can put up to advertise that the club is starting or to attract volunteers.
Once your club is active, you will be able to access more useful resources such as certificates via your Club Hub.

I work in a library, can I run a club myself, without a volunteer?

Sure! Drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk and we'll get you set up. We'll just need to see proof that you are an employee at the library.

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For Teachers

I’m a teacher. I want to run a club at my school and I don’t need a volunteer. What do I do?

Begin the registration process as a club host and there will be an option for you to select to let us know that you are a teacher at the school and running the club yourself. For safeguarding reasons, we’ll do a quick check on this, so please do sign up using your school email address if you can.

If you don’t see that option when you sign up, just drop us a line at hello@codeclub.org.uk ideally from your school email address and we can activate the club for you.

How can I find a volunteer?

If you would like to find a volunteer to help you run your Code Club, you must first register yourself as a club host here, so you can appear on our searches as a venue looking for a volunteer. Volunteers in your area will be able to find you on our website and hopefully get in contact with you too.

As a club host, you will need to make sure that you:

  • have Public Liability Insurance in place that covers a volunteer
  • ensure that the volunteer shows you their DBS check
  • collaborate with the volunteer to make sure equipment and resources are organised for the club each week
  • organise children to attend the club and make sure they have parental permission

It is important that there is always a member of staff present at every club. Our volunteers should never be left alone with the children - most volunteers are not qualified teachers so they need your support to run the club.

What is Code Club Teacher Training?

We offer training for primary teachers delivered by volunteer computer science experts. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit our Teacher Training website.

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For Parents

Full information for parents can be found here.

Is there a Club near me?

There's a map where you can see all Code Clubs that are currently running. Most school clubs only accept their own students, but there might be a public club running nearby that anyone can join. We have growing numbers of clubs being held in local community venues and libraries, which are open to all children.

How can I persuade my child’s school to start a Code Club?

Why not have a chat to the headteacher and see if they are keen to set up a Code Club in your school? We’ve made a handy letter that you can give to the school. Many schools also find volunteers amongst the parent community so we’ve written a letter to help with that too.

Is Code Club safe?

All Code Club volunteers are required to have a DBS statement, which club hosts are responsible for checking. As part of their training with Code Club, all volunteers complete a section on safeguarding.
You can also take a look at our Child Protection Policy.

Can I use Code Club’s materials with my children at home?

You’ll need to be registered as running or hosting a Code Club to login and access the full range of Code Club’s projects. However, if you’re not running a club and want to see our projects, there are two sample projects for each coding language available online for anyone to view.

I’m a home educator. Can I use your materials?

If you are a home educator, there are several ways you could get involved with Code Club. If you would like your children to attend a Code Club, you could search on our site for a public club that has some spaces for children to join. Many Code Clubs are run in schools, but increasingly they are being set up in libraries and other community spaces and are open for children to join.
You could even set up a public club yourself in a local venue for the children you teach and others to come along.
If you would prefer to start a 'teacher-led' club in your home school environment, drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk and we can set this up for you.

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About our Projects

Who can use the Code Club projects?

Our projects are available to all registered Code Clubs in the UK. There are 2 sample projects in each language that we teach (Scratch, HTML/CSS, Python) which anyone can view or download so you can see what our projects are about.
If you would like to use our materials outside the UK then head over to Code Club World.

A word on the age group for our projects...

Code Club’s materials were designed for children aged 9-11, based on average literacy levels in the UK for these age groups. However, younger and older children have successfully taken part in Code Clubs, so treat this age limit as a guideline only. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you decide to teach younger children they may need extra assistance in reading and working through the projects. You might also find our materials are suitable for older children, especially if they have no previous experience of programming.

Where can I access Code Club’s projects?

You’ll need to be registered as running or hosting a Code Club to login and access the full range of Code Club’s projects. However, if you’re not running a club and want to see our projects, there are two sample projects for each coding language available online for anyone to view.

What do you teach?

We currently have projects for Scratch, Python, HTML & CSS and micro:bits.

Scratch 1... or Scratch 2?

All of our projects are now updated for Scratch 2 and these are available via our projects page.

If you're still using Scratch 1.4, don't worry, the first 6 of our Scratch projects are compatible, although the names of the blocks are sometimes a little different.

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Useful links

If your Code Club has stopped running, or you no longer wish to volunteer and would like to have your details removed from our database, please enter your details at http://jumpto.cc/update or by emailing hello@codeclub.org.uk with the name of the club.

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micro:bits

When can I get micro:bits?

Eligible clubs can apply for micro:bits from 12pm on Wednesday 11 January 2017. Applications close at midday on Wednesday 1 February 2017.

How do I know if my club qualifies to apply?

Your club must be in the UK, registered, currently active on our site and have been active and registered on Wednesday 14 December 2016. Sorry, if you applied for micro:bits over the summer, unfortunately you won’t be able to apply again.

How can I tell if my club is active?

Head over to codeclub.org.uk and log in. Click on your Club Hub. You’ll see all your clubs listed there and they will be labelled ‘active’ or ‘pending’ depending on their status.

I applied last time, can I get more micro:bits?

Sorry, if you applied for micro:bits in summer 2016, unfortunately you won’t be able to apply again.

Why do we have to apply? Does that mean I might not get micro:bits?

Don’t worry, even though we are asking you to apply, we have enough to go round! Each active UK club (and remember your club had to be active on Wednesday 14 December 2016 to qualify) that applies is guaranteed to receive a minimum of four micro:bits.

How can I get in touch to ask more questions?

Drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk and we will be very glad to help.

How do I apply?

From Wednesday 11th January when you log on to our website, you will find a micro:bit voucher code on the same page as your Club ID and PIN. Click the ‘apply for micro:bits’ button and you will be re-directed to the Pimoroni website. All you need to do when you get there, is enter your voucher code and pay the £5 postage via PayPal.

How do I find my voucher code?

If your club is eligible, you’ll find your voucher code on the same page as your Club ID & PIN. So, log in to the Code Club website, click on the ‘View Club’ button by your active club and...voilà!

I don’t have a voucher code, but I’m pretty sure my club is eligible. What should I do?

Just drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk with the details of your club and we’ll look into it for you. It would really help if you give us as much detail as you can in the email: your Club ID, the name of your venue, etc.

I run three Code Clubs. Does that mean I can only apply once?

Each qualifying club has been allocated a voucher code and a batch of micro:bits, so if you run three clubs, well first of all thanks, that’s amazing. Secondly, you can apply for a set of micro:bits for each qualifying club.

Why do I have to pay postage?

Unfortunately we do not have funding available to cover the cost of UK postage to send the micro:bits to our clubs. However, we have worked with our friends at Pimoroni to distribute them and keep the cost as low as possible.

I run three clubs, do I have to pay three sets of postage?

Yes, you will need to make three separate orders on the Pimoroni website, using the voucher code you have been given for each separate club.

Can you send me an invoice for the postage?

Sorry, payment for the postage and packing is via PayPal only.

The club at my venue is being run by three volunteers. Who should be requesting the microbits?

It doesn’t matter who requests the micro:bits, chat between you and agree what’s best. Just remember that each club can only request one set of micro:bits, so your voucher code will only work once on the Pimoroni site.

I am a volunteer at a venue, will I have to pay for the postage?

Chat to the venue and other volunteers and make a decision on the best way to pay for the postage.

How do I pay for the postage?

Our friends at Pimoroni are processing the orders for us, so you will pay for the postage via on their site, when you make the application. They accept all major credit and debit cards (with the exception of US dollar Amex), PayPal, and Bitcoin.

When I entered the voucher code it said it had already been used. What’s going on?

Each club can only apply once, so your voucher code can only be used once on the Pimoroni website. If you are a club with several volunteers, do check whether one of your fellow volunteers has used your code and that is not the case, drop us a line at support@codeclub.org.uk and we can help to sort out the problem.

How do I know if my application has been processed?

If you’re voucher code has been used successfully and you’ve paid the £5 postage, you should see a blue completion screen on the Pimoroni website. You’ll also receive an email receipt via PayPal.

If I move onto another venue to run another club, can I take the micro:bits with me?

The micro:bits belong to the club that requested them, so we would expect them to stay with that original club.

My club was being set up when you announced the micro:bit giveaway, but it didn’t become active until after the 14 December deadline. Does that mean I can’t apply for micro:bits?

We are really sorry, but that does mean you cannot apply. We had to put a cut off date in place so we could distribute the micro:bits to our clubs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Why are we only getting a minimum of four micro:bits?

Code Club have a set allocation micro:bits to share out across all our clubs. To be as fair as possible we are giving every active club the chance to get the same number of micro:bits, rather than operating a first come, first served system.
This does mean that, depending on demand, we may have some more micro:bits to go around. All clubs will receive the same number of devices, with four guaranteed.
If we can offer you more, we’ll let you know when the application window closes.

Can I get more micro:bits?

We’ve divided up the Code Club allocation as fairly as possible - equally across the number of active clubs. If you would like more micro:bits, they are also available for sale.

Can I apply for micro:bits for my Code Club and use them for something else?

The micro:bits have been made available for free by the BBC for use in Code Clubs. Them's the rules :)

I’ve applied. When will I get my micro:bits?

We will send all of the micro:bits once the application process has finished. If you’ve applied, we’ll send you an email after the deadline to confirm the delivery date.

What should I do with the micro:bits when I get them?

If you’d like some help getting started, there is lots of information on the micro:bit website. Plus, check out the Code Club micro:bit projects for step-by-step guides to create awesome things!

My micro:bits were damaged when they arrived. What do I do?

We’re sorry to hear that. Please contact us at support@codeclub.org.uk and we will be very glad to help.

I don’t have a Code Club, but I really want micro:bits. Can you help me?

The micro:bits are now available for sale online.