Learn to code at libraries

Over the first six months of this year we partnered with North Somerset Libraries to deliver a series of ‘in person’ coding clubs and workshops for young people. The programme was over-subscribed, attracting many children from different parts of the district. This was heartening given the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Attendance didn’t drop off through the course programme so I need to give a big thank you to all the parents and carers who ferried their children to the library venues – and the young people themselves, for their enthusiasm and commitment.

Thank you to those who have shared their feedback so far.

Here’s a quick visual summary of the programme!

Make a Chatbot in Python (Feb 2022 )

Children coding a chatbot in Python

A 3-hour workshop where the students created their first chatbot in Python. This workshop took place at Yatton library.

Introduction to Wearable Technology (Feb 2022)

Children learning basics of electronics

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt the principles of Wearable Technology and made a badge that lit up. This workshop took place in the library at The Campus in Worle.

Web Design (March 2022)

Children building a website.

The children learnt to code in HTML and CSS and made a website about an imaginary pet. This coding club was delivered over 6 weeks at the Healthy Living Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Create fun Apps with JavaScript (March 2022)

Children coding Apps in JavaScript.

A 6-week coding club on how to make interactive Apps. This course took place at Nailsea Library on Saturday mornings.

Physical computing with the micro:bit (March 2022)

Children coding with the micro:bit

Coding with the micro:bit was a coding club delivered on Saturday mornings at Yatton library – again, over 6 weeks. The pedometer was a real hit!

Make a Minecraft game in Scratch (April 2022)

Children coding a Minecraft game in Scratch.

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt how to make a Minecraft game in Scratch. This workshop took place at Weston library.

Paper circuits (April 2022)

Children building a paper circuit.

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt basic electronics concepts and made an electronic circuit for a greeting card. This workshop took place at the Healthy Living Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Learn to code in Scratch (May 2022)

Children coding in Scratch.

An introduction to the Scratch programming language. This course took place over 6 weeks and by the end of the course the children had created a game which they could interact with. The course took place at The Campus in Worle.

Learn to code in Python (May 2022)

Students learning to code in Python

Learn to code in Python was another 6 week course for late primary and secondary school students. This course was delivered at Weston library. A big clap to those teens who got up early on those Saturday mornings… and remained wide awake during the lessons ūüôā

Introduction to the RaspberryPi Pico (June 2022)

Making a traffic light system with the RaspberryPi Pico.

Physical computing with the RaspberryPi Pico. This was a 3-hour workshop where the children learnt to code a traffic light system. This workshop was delivered at Nailsea Library.

What parent’s said about our courses:

He loved it. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It’s definitely sparked a passion.

He absolutely loved it. He created a blushing cactus. He was really proud of what he created. Thank you so much.

She really liked it and enjoyed attending the course very much. She has been using the things she has learned at home.

My son really enjoyed coding club, and learnt a lot from it. He continued to practice what he had learnt at home. Now his younger brother is keen to learn!

He really enjoyed the sessions and was keen to show us the apps he’d created. He had previously only done a little coding in Scratch so learnt a lot. He liked being creative with coding, making apps that reflected his interests and sense of humour. Thank you for these sessions.

She was keen to go each week, a sure sign of the fact she was engaged! She has an interest in coding from doing Scratch at school and was pleased to show us what she had learned.

Both of my girls really enjoyed themselves. They were proud to show me what they had made when they got home and both said they would love to do another workshop one day. Thank you!

He is happy with it. He is into coding and Phyton is one of the hard things to learn. He learned so much from these lessons.

Web design for kids

During the last term of the academic year we offered the web design course for primary school children in KS2. Most of the children attending were in Year 5 & Year 6 and were already familiar with text based coding.

It was very challenging for the children to get started with HTML & CSS but once they understood the basic syntax, it was relatively easy for them to create their first web page. The theme of the course was to create a website about a pet or ‘virtual pet’. The course focused on teaching the children how to plan and prototype their website, then add the code to make it display on the browser and finally add the CSS to add the design elements.

We don’t use templates or existing code, so it was great to see a variety of websites that were built from scratch. They learned about image formats and file sizes, how to place the elements on a web page and create their own designs by adding CSS code.

A big well done to all the children that participated.

Here are some of the results:

  • Website created by a 9 year  old
  • Wed design for children
  • HTML page design for children
  • My virtual pet by a 10 year old
  • web design for primary school children
  • Wed page created by a 10 year old
  • Website created by a 10 year old
  • Website created by a 9 year old
  • Website created by a 9 year old
  • Website created by a 10 year old
  • Website created by a 10 year old

Check out our Autumn courses

Coding a website

This term the children are having a crack¬†at creating a website. They’re learning how a webpage is structured, what language is used to create a website and how to style their pages.

Learning HTML and CSS (the two essential markup languages used to create a website) at young age is challenging. But at coding club I make sure the children learn all the foundation skills they need in order to tackle these challenges.

Creating a website about Pichu

One of the first hurdles when programming young is that most children don’t know how to use the keyboard. Not only do they learn to use the keyboard and the¬†‘special characters’ needed when writing code, but they also learn how code is constructed and how important it is to type with accuracy. The children quickly appreciate¬†that any missing semi-colon or ‘curly’ bracket will mean their code simply will not run as expected.

Paying attention to detail, learning to be patient and staying calm when things go wrong are all critical skills that they acquire when coding. Everyone makes mistakes (and this is how we learn) but knowing how to spot the problem is crucial to a successful outcome.

Another important element of learning to make a website is understanding about images and their different formats. Sourcing images from the web; learning how to use them and manipulate them with code Рthese are skills that are essential to their understanding of how images work for the web.

I’m pleased to see that all the children that have been coding with me for some time are making some great mini-websites – often using their favourite characters! They feel confident enough to tackle the code and are beginning to show me they can¬†debug the code by themselves before calling for help.

 

 

HTML for kids

HTMLLast week I started a course on HTML for Year 5 and Year 6 school children.  The children were as enthusiastic as ever, so expectations were high. We had a tricky start learning about tags Рespecially remembering to close them! I used Mozilla Webmaker Tools for this, and although  I think it worked well, this week I shall be adding colour to the mix with some CSS to make it a bit more exciting.

Continue reading “HTML for kids”