What is Code Club Teacher Training?
Code Club Teacher Training is part of Code Club UK, a not-for-profit organisation. We offer training and resources to primary school teachers.
What does Code Club Teacher Training do?
We help to prepare primary school teachers to prepare them for the new computing curriculum. We explain the core computing concepts covered in the curriculum, so that teachers can do what they do best - which is teach.
What are your goals?
We want as many teachers as possible to feel confident, excited and prepared for the new curriculum. It’s quite a big task – there are approximately 200,000 teachers in the UK and we want to help as many as we can. With great supporters behind us, we know we can achieve many things.
Why you do it?
The new computing curriculum came into effect in September 2014 and for the first time primary school teachers will be expected to teach computing to children from 5yrs+. In our experience, many teachers feel they have not had sufficient programming experience or training. The language is totally new and frankly, can be quite off-putting. And that’s on top of changes to the rest of the curriculum. A huge task, by any measure – thank goodness our teachers are up to the challenge!
We’ve recognised the need for widespread training and we want to harness our expertise and network to help by giving teachers the skills and support they need to feel confident about delivering the new computing curriculum. It is key that the front-line implementers of the new curriculum and policy – the teachers - should be given the skills and support they need.
We’d like our teachers to feel confident and excited about the new computing curriculum and computing in general. Our sessions aim to demystify the new curriculum, explain key language and concepts and provide useful materials to use in and out of the classroom. They aren’t boring either. Just like our Code Clubs, we learn through doing and having fun.
How was Code Club Teacher Training born?
Code Club Teacher Training is the child of Code Club, who run after-school volunteer led coding clubs in primary school. We have over 2,500 clubs, and have given over 50,000 children the chance to learn to code.
Code Club UK, Code Club Teacher Training and Code Club World are all part of the same family and operate through Code Club World Limited (Company Number: 08140247). We have the umbrella aim of giving all children the opportunity to learn to code.
Why this is important
What changes have been made to the curriculum?
England is one of the first countries in the world to make computing compulsory at primary level. There is a lot more programming in the new curriculum and teachers will be expected to teach it to children from aged 5.
A lot of content from the old ICT curriculum is still covered, such as digital literacy and information technology. The new curriculum still includes many of the same IT learning objectives (such as use software to create media, search on the internet, presenting data and using databases). The main difference is the teaching of computer science, which is the area Code Club Teacher Training focuses on.
Why is it important for children to be taught computing?
We want to empower our next generation to be creators, not just passive consumers of technology. We live in an increasingly digital world, and it’s important children have an understanding of how it all works and are prepared for the future.
It’s also important for our economy. Three quarters of a million digitally skilled workers are needed to fuel the UK's economic growth. it is predicted that we will have a deficit of 200,000 engineers by 2015. Our economy needs more computer scientists!
However, learning to code doesn’t mean you should become a programmer. Digital skills are increasingly useful in all sorts of jobs, for example animation, architecture, music and the arts.
Pupils who learn computational thinking skills are better able to problem solve, work collaboratively and conceptualise and understand and use computer-based technology. The are better prepared for today’s world and the future.
What do we think about the computing curriculum?
We are excited about the change. It’s a great move toward children thinking like engineers: solving problems, using logic, analysing processes and creating rather than just consuming technology. These skills can be used to enrich other subjects too, like Maths, Science and English. See tef’s blog post here.
A lot of teachers haven’t had any experience programming, nor have they been taught computer science themselves. It’s a brand new curriculum and some of the technical language can be daunting.
We have found that once teachers understand the technical language and the core concepts, they are really excited about it. They can immediately see how computing can help with other subjects too, like literacy, maths, and art.
Is it possible to teach an algorithm to a 5 year old?
It’s not as difficult as it sounds! An algorithm is a set of instructions to solve a problem or achieve an outcome. Computers are essentially dumb, so they need be given very specific instructions. There’s a teacher called Philip Bagge explains this with the Jam sandwich algorithm - there’s a great YouTube video of it here.
Questions about our training
I’m a primary school teacher. Which modules should I take?
We offer four different modules that cater for different Key Stages. You can simply take sessions related to the Key Stage that you teach, or complete the whole programme.
How does it work?
Schools or teachers let us know what training they want here (including when and where). Sessions are free for teachers at the point of access. The process is as follows.
1. Code Club will secure sponsorship for sessions in schools.
2. We will invite schools to complete a booking request form to let us know they are interested.
3. We will email proposed training dates to volunteers asking for availability to deliver a session. We will create a session on Eventbrite for confirmed bookings and email school and trainer.
Code Club Teacher Training also produce supporting resources for teachers to use.
What will I get from your training?
You will understand the language, concepts and objectives of the new computing curriculum. You will learn about programming and leave with activities, ideas and resources to help in the classroom. The sessions are designed to increase your confidence, and we'll show you activities that can be used to enrich other subjects like maths, science and English.
What is the training like?
Code Club Teacher Training sessions are designed to keep your attention, get you excited about teaching the Computing curriculum, and practising your new skills as soon as possible. We believe in learning through exploring - we won't show you a powerpoint presentation on circuits - instead everyone will be drawing the internet, creating interactive games in Scratch or building an HTML page.
We see this as a starting point. We won't be able to teach you everything you want to know in a few sessions, but we'll give you the confidence to start teaching computing to your classes, with a firm grounding of the subject.
How much do your sessions cost?
Our sessions are free at the point of access, that means teachers don’t pay anything for the sessions. However these sessions cost us, as an organisation, to run. Therefore before we run free sessions for teachers we need to secure funding to cover the costs.
We have a limited amount of free sessions. Simply complete the booking form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com and we can inform you of whether there is a free session available in your area. If you would like to pay for the sessions rather than wait for sponsored ones, please tell us so in the form and we will get back to you with more information.
Code Club Teacher Training’s organisational structure
What corporate governance do you have?
We are an independent body, a registered not-for-profit and a company limited by guarantee. This means we don’t earn profits for ourselves. Instead, all of the money earned by or donated to us is used in pursuing our objective: ‘to give every child in the UK the chance to learn to code.’
Our objectives are set out in our ‘Articles of Association’. These articles, to which all of our directors are bound, define how we run Code Club.
We are governed by our Board of Directors, who have been appointed to jointly govern the activities of Code Club. The Board is responsible for policy development, partnerships, for the conduct of our finances, and for monitoring our performance against agreed targets. We operate in a democratic way, and all of our ‘big’ decisions are made by board consensus. Our board meet monthly to discuss Code Club’s core activities, growth, partnerships and to make important decisions that require board approval. We have four directors:
- Chris Mairs, CBE – Chief Scientist at Metaswitch Networks and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (Chair and Director)
- Lance Howarth – CEO of Raspberry Pi Foundation (Director)
- Joe Scarboro - Co-Founder of 3Beards
- Clare Sutcliffe – CEO of Code Club World (Director)
Our directors have a duty to work towards our objectives and always act in the best interests of Code Club. More specifically, this means our directors must act within their powers, and have a duty to promote the success of Code Club, to exercise independent judgment, to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, to avoid conflicts of interest, not to accept benefits from third parties and to declare any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement. For a fuller explanation, please see the Companies Act here.
Our CEO, Clare Sutcliffe, is appointed by and is accountable to the Board. Her role is to provide day-to-day leadership of Code Club and its initiatives in line with the Board’s strategic direction.
What is your relationship with your funders?
Code Club receive funding from different organisations who support our core aims. However, we are an independent, non-political organisation. All of our views are our own and are neither directed nor constrained by our sponsors. Our sponsors do not influence how Code Club runs as an organisation and have no hand in its management.
We are funded through a number of channels, including:
- Grants from The Centre for Social Action and Innovation, Nominet Trust and Google Rise
- Corporate donations including from ARM, Canary Wharf Group, Google, Postcode Anywhere, Samsung and TalkTalk
- The Department for Education
We are not under any obligation to endorse any of the products or services of our corporate funders. Where we make recommendations, they are based on merit alone. To that end, Code Club produces unbranded, open-source materials in which children are never purposefully exposed to the names of any of our corporate partners.
Code Club continue to be grateful for the support we have been given from our partners and supporters – without them we couldn’t continue to offer free after school clubs, improve the quality of our materials or support our growing volunteer network.
How to get involved in Code Club Teacher Training
I want to support Code Club Teacher Training. What can I do?
Tell teachers & raise awareness - shout about us from the rooftops! The more people who hear about us the better. This means we can reach as many teachers and volunteers as possible. Talk, tweet, blog, chat to your friends, your colleagues, strangers. If it makes it easier, please get in touch and we can help write something for or with you. We need primary teachers and schools to register their interest on our website www.codeclubpro.org We can then figure out what sessions to deliver, and when.
If you or your staff have computing skills, you can volunteer with Code Club Pro to train the teachers. We provide professional training and full ongoing support, and only require an 8 hour yearly commitment.
Sponsor training in your local primary schools schools. If you want more information about how to sponsor schools and where your money will be going please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We run training all over the country and we’re always looking for new places to hold sessions to train our volunteers or to help teachers. Got some space you’re not using? We’d love to do something great with it.
Social media support
We want to reach as many teachers and volunteers as possible. Please tweet/ facebook/ blog/ write about us. Here are some templates, feel free to amend or abandon:
Happy to support @CodeClubPro: providing computing training & resources for primary school teachers across the UK - www.codeclub.org.uk
Happy to support @CodeClub: providing computing training & resources for primary school teachers across the UK - www.codeclub.org.uk
Devs & CS enthusiasts. Become @CodeClub trainer & share your skills w local primary school teachers: email email@example.com
We know that we’re not the first to teach computing. Know some good ways to do it? We’d love for you to share your knowledge!