Writing the code for a stronger Portsmouth
Portsmouth Together is helping give more children the opportunity to learn to code in Portsmouth and the South East.
Over the last year Portsmouth Together, the social action network in Portsmouth, has provided assistance to help set up volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11 in the South East. The aim is to offer more children opportunities to learn coding in a fun and collaborative environment.
Code Club is a not-for-profit which believes that every child should have the opportunity to learn to code. It helps to facilitate volunteers - including teachers, parents, and those with experience working in technology – to start clubs in their local area. Using Code Club’s specially designed projects, volunteers can teach children to create games, animations and websites for an hour a week.
Dan Powell, Code Club’s Regional Coordinator for the South East, detailed how Portsmouth Together has helped spread the word and recruit more volunteers for Code Club: "The enthusiastic approach taken by Portsmouth Together and Chief Service officer, Brian Bracher, has been invaluable in getting clubs started in the city and helping local children learn digital making skills."
In the past, Code Clubs were predominantly hosted by schools, however Code Club’s flexible framework means that it has been possible for Portsmouth Together to establish links with new community venues. This includes establishing a relationship with Portsmouth Libraries, which has led to the creation of a new Code Club. It is hoped this will lead to Code Clubs being set up in other libraries across the city to give children in Portsmouth a huge boost in their computer skills.
Portsmouth Together has also helped connect Code Club with Purple Door, the careers and volunteering service at Portsmouth University. Together the organisations are working to develop a pilot project in Portsmouth, which will see a group of ten student volunteers going into five local schools this year to set up and run Code Clubs. This is an exciting opportunity which will not only build the children’s digital literacy skills, but also will enhance the skillsets of the students and increase their employability and lifelong learning. It is hoped that once the pilot project has been completed it can be rolled out across the city and grow the numbers of schools and university students taking part.
Dan Powell said: “By the end of the year there will be at least ten Code Clubs set up thanks to this collaboration with Portsmouth Together. This means that at least 200 local children will be taught a comprehensive set of digital making skills, with more to come in the long term.”
Code Club is always looking for more volunteers to help inspire the next generation, to find out more visit www.codeclub.org.uk.