Code Club at Hawick Library

Want to learn a new skill in the New Year and wow your friends with your expert coding knowledge? Look no further! Our librarian, Ryan, shares his experiences of starting Hawick Library’s first coding club…

How did you start code club?

When I was first approached a couple of years ago and asked about learning and eventually running my own Code Club, I was very apprehensive and wary – to be honest I hadn’t a clue about coding or what to expect!

However, after attending a fantastic training day at Galashiels Library, the penny dropped and I understood what coding was and (more importantly) what was expected of me as a tutor to keen 8-12 year olds…! Having registered as a tutor at Hawick Library on the Code Club website, I was good to go and ran my first class in September 2017.

How many people are in a class?

In my first session there were nine kids which was very challenging! My line manager needed to help run the session and we found that this was far too many kids to keep interested and focused on only four computers in the junior library. This was all a great learning curve though so after having five kids in my next club, we decided to cap the attendees at four kids per club so they could each have their own PC to work on. This was a great help and made such a difference, with many more benefits to me and the children!

What can I do at code club?

My Coding Club schedule since the beginning has been to work our way through the first 12 scratch activities,  one per week, and this has worked very well, with each activity getting progressively harder as the weeks go by.

As a wee incentive and to keep the kids motivated, at the half-way stage after class 6, a certificate is awarded to reflect their completion of the first scratch module! Each child works away at their own pace,  which is perfect as we have an hour to complete each task on their own computer and all their work is saved on the Scratch website.

How can I keep track of my progress?

I have all the usernames and passwords, so the parents can access the site at any point and see all their child’s work. At the end of the 12 week course another certificate is presented and a group photo taken. This time it’s for being a ‘Code Club Superstar’ and is a reward for completing the 12-week course. At the end of January 2019, I am starting my 7th and 8th Coding Clubs so I am well experienced now.

I’m possibly even ready for the next stage of coding – to go beyond scratch!


Code club takes place every Tuesday and Wednesday in January from 15:45 – 16:45 in Hawick Library. Click here for all the info.

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