Code Playground Live!

10th September 2019

It was last year, during National Coding Week, that we held our first ever Code Playground Live session. We broadcast a coding session, via our YouTube channel, into schools and homes across the country. A new chapter in our history was marked – exciting times. 

I’ve been involved in Code Playground since its launch in 2015, when a group of us were huddled into a training room on a wet and miserable afternoon in Manchester. Thankfully, the atmosphere inside the room was much cheerier – we were learning how to make the shark eat the fish. I remember feeling that the ease with which you could get started with coding was mind-blowing. Not only was this one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in work, but it also made me start my very own Code Playground – a monthly coding club I help run in Liverpool.

One of my favourite things about the monthly coding club is the family feel, children need to bring a parent/guardian and a laptop to the session and this means that the parents get to learn with their children. Last month, one parent told me that learning together had been great, as it’s meant she can understand and help more with homework and even though her daughter surpassed her level of knowledge, having a basic understanding makes all the difference.

As well as monthly clubs, we – the rest of the Digital Eagles and I – also go into primary schools around the country to host coding sessions and help schools with their computing curriculum. Through these sessions, we’ve seen that we need to do more to support the educator, as well as continuing to support the children. Quality resources, development and even ideas for lessons can be difficult to access at times. We believe that all teachers should have free and easy access to all of these. Code Playground Live is one of the ways we’re supporting teachers with coding education. 

Following on from the huge success of the first Code Playground Live we’ve hosted another two events this year. One focussing on the new version Scratch and some of the great new tools that are available (Scratch 3.0 was released in January 2019). And the most recent session, which showed how coding can be used across the curriculum as a tool for creativity – just like a pen or a paintbrush, it helps you to show your ideas. All three of the previous live lessons are available on a special Code Playground playlist on Barclays UK YouTube channel for anyone to use again and again. 

Code Playground Live 18th September 10am

Exactly 1 year after the first ever Code Playground Live, at 10am on Wednesday, 18 September, we’ll be back with our latest coding lesson. It’s free and open for everyone to join and will be the next step in the coding journey. The lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 ability and we encourage anyone with a thirst for learning to join in. Register your involvement now to join in with our largest coding sessions and learn coding for yourself, whether it’s for work, to help your children or just to broaden your own skill set.

If you are learning to code, here’s some top tips to help get you started – or to keep you going if you’re flagging!

  1. Practice, practice, practice – one of the keys to coding at any level is to do it, get it wrong and then figure out how to fix it! Use online resources and support to help you get it right.
  2. You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of friendly and helpful coders that want to help people like you. There’s loads of great forums and social media groups where you can find the kind of help you need.
  3. Pay it forward – be one of those helpful folks, happy to help others with their coding problems. Hosting a coding club or hackathon can help to embed the learning you’ve achieved.
  4. Have fun! – learn using projects and subjects you find fun as this will make it easier to stick at it if you’re struggling. Making it fun is a great way to learn.

Keep your eyes peeled during National Coding Week, starting 16 September 2019, for Code Playground Live. I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy coding!

Blog by: Kevin Garner  |  Head of Code Playground