What to do if your club or event group can’t meet in person

In this time of uncertainty around coronavirus, you should follow the local public health advice in your country or region and take decisions on whether to cancel your club or event in consultation with the venue that hosts it.

If your club or event group can no longer meet in person, there are still lots of ways in which you can support young people to continue learning. Here are three great options:

1. Encourage self-directed home learning

Encourage young people to learn things they’re interested in at home. All of the Code Club and CoderDojo projects are available for free, in multiple languages, on our projects platform. Our Scratch, HTML/CSS, and Python projects can be completed online, without the need to install any new software.

There’s also lots more for learners on the platform, including some fantastic ideas of what to build with a Raspberry Pi computer. We’ll also be posting project ideas and challenges on our blog and social media channels.

2. Run a virtual club

This is a great approach for you if you can’t make use of video conferencing tools and you want to keep young people engaged until you can meet in person again.

To run a virtual club, you need to set projects and challenges for the young people who would normally attend your club or event. You can do this regularly, for example once a week or month, depending on how often you want to run the virtual club. Then the young people complete the project or challenge you’ve set in their own time, at any point before you set them the next one.

Share the link or a PDF of the set projects with parents by email. Make sure to include a range of projects for learners with different levels of experience and different interests. It’s a great idea to ask the young people to share links to their completed projects with you, for example links to their Scratch projects, websites, photos or videos. You can then collate these into a virtual show-and-tell that you share with the group when you set the next projects and challenges. You can also use Scratch teacher accounts for this.

3. Host online club sessions

You can host online sessions with your club members using online video conferencing tools. This approach requires a bit more work, but it’s a great way to keep your club members learning together until you can next meet in person. We’ve created a detailed guide for hosting online club sessions for you.

There are lots of video conferencing tools to choose from, so we’ve set out some of the best options in the more detailed guide. It’s really important that you think carefully about the safeguarding implications of using online tools to interact with young people, and you need to make sure that you involve parents or guardians at every stage. The guide we’ve created also includes safeguarding information.

Share what’s working for you

All of these ideas have been inspired by amazing club organisers, volunteers, and educators who’ve tested different approaches to supporting young people to learn when their clubs can’t meet in person. We want to continue learning from you and sharing best practices with the whole community. Here are some ways in which you can tell us what’s working for you and your club or event:

Project ideas

We’ll be regularly sharing activities you can use to engage your learners. Here are some to get you started: