Hosting a Code Club at your venue
Hosting a Code Club at your venue
Code Club is a fun, volunteer-led after school activity that will teach children how to make video games, websites and other exciting things! Our projects have been written for children who are 9-11 years old based on average literacy and numeracy levels for this age group.
To start a Code Club in your school, library or community venue, you will need the following:
- a club space which is safe and suitable for children
- computers: one for each child is best, but programming in pairs can work well too
- software: most clubs start with Scratch, which is free to download or can be used online. There are set up guides on our projects site.
- projects: most clubs prefer to print these, or the children can follow them on screen.
Your Role as a Club Host
As a club host, you will be working with a volunteer to get your club up and running in your venue. Clubs are most successful when club hosts and volunteers work together.
As a club host, we ask you to:
Make sure a member of staff is available to help run the Code Club, your volunteer shouldn’t be left in loco parentis. This member of staff does not need to know anything about coding but it's a great chance for them to learn.
Make sure you have a DBS statement and check that your volunteer has one too.
Make sure all the children who come to the club have appropriate permission from a parent/guardian to attend.
Check that your venue has appropriate insurance to cover the volunteer and a club taking place.
Work together with the volunteer to organise resources and make sure the computers are set up.
Please note: Code Club does not interview volunteers - it is your job as a club host to find out more about the volunteer and check you are happy for them to run a club at your venue.
What does a Code Club look like?
Code Club is a group of 10-15 children learning to program using the Code Club projects with the help of a volunteer.
Our projects are fun, creative and will help your children understand how to solve problems by breaking them down into smaller problems.
Our first set of projects uses Scratch which is software you download from the internet. We encourage children to carry on with their projects at home if they have enjoyed them.
How to Register With Us?
You will need to register as a club host on our website.
Then you can search for a volunteer that has signed up through our website, and is keen to help. You can search by postcode and contact the volunteer through our site.
Meet the club volunteer: you’ll need to agree what time and day to run the club. Most clubs run weekly and happen after school or at lunchtime, but there are also Saturday and evening clubs. Clubs normally have 10 - 15 children, but that is flexible too.
Check the volunteer’s DBS.
Once you have found a volunteer and agreed that they will be running the club with you, you both need to confirm this on our website and you’re off!
You will then have access to your Club ID and PIN, so you can access all our resources.
Now you need to get the kids interested! If you are running Code Club in a school, it would be great if you can invite your volunteer to do an assembly about Code Club so they can tell the kids what they’ll be doing and what it will be like. Or if you are a public venue then put up posters to publicise it.
Make sure you get parental permission for the children to attend the club.
What to expect
Many club hosts find a volunteer through our site, but there are other ways to find an awesome person to help you run your Code Club.
If you are looking to start a Code Club in your school, you could try sending a letter to the parent body asking for help as, chances are, a member of your community has a talent for programming!
Lots of teachers run clubs themselves without a volunteer - take a look at our club materials and see if you think this is something you could do too.
We have created online training for our volunteers and we run 'real life' training sessions too. If you're thinking of running a club yourself, the training could be just the thing to get you started.
DBS checks for your volunteer
Once you have a volunteer there are some things you need to do to get your club formally set up.
When you meet the volunteer, you should ask them if they have a DBS statement and have a look at it. There is a some advice on the Disclosure and Barring Service website, so you know what you are looking for when you look at the statement.
They can find out how to get one through STEM Ambassadors Programme.
Got more questions?
You can bet we've answered them before.
Search for a volunteer
Volunteers can now register as looking for a venue. Search for your nearest volunteers and contact them.
Write to the parent body
Write to the parents asking if they are a programmer and would they like to volunteer. Here's a template letter.
Put up a poster requesting a volunteer
Put up this poster on notice boards in your local area asking for a volunteer to step forward.