Andrew Maddison


Code Club

I’ve volunteered to help a local primary school which is running a Code Club after school thing. It was our fourth week on Tuesday, and it’s been a lot of fun. Big thanks to ThoughtWorks for letting me shuffle my hours about so I get away really early one day a week.

Code club provide really awesome prepared lesson plans that we print out for each of the kids that use Scratch. It’s a super low barrier to entry; visual programming language with drag and drop coloured blocks in place of keywords. It also comes with loads of resources like artwork and sounds to get you started.

A challenge we’ve had is that the plans are written for Scratch 1.4, but the ICT computers at school have the older 1.1, so sometimes the instructions don’t match the application. Last week we tried to use the latest, online only 2.0 version, but this added complications (every child needs a login) and a slightly different set of mismatches with the instructions.

For next week, we’ll probably stick with the online version, but I’m going to run through the lesson plan ahead of time and either try to modify the instructions, or just prepare the kids for a few changes at the beginning of the club.