Sophie, encouraging learning through play

Sophie Hudson: I’d heard about Code Club. I will be totally honest: at first, I thought it was a bit much for me. We’re a small school, there’s only five teachers, so we have to be really careful with our time. But actually once I did have a look at it, it really wasn’t as scary as I thought.

(to learners) “Sit down. Come and take a seat, everybody.

Coders, you need to get yourselves onto a computer or an iPad.”

I started off small. I only had a few children to start off with, and now we have— about half of our key stage 2 children have attended Code Club, and it’s had a really positive influence on our school.

(to learners) “Oh wow, look, you’re designing what it’s going to look like actually on the computer! That’s awesome.”

I like the idea that the children can be imaginative. It’s play, but it’s learning at the same time; they might not even realise it, to be honest. They love the fact that they go home and play video games, and then when they’re here, they’re learning about how they’re put together.

George: I like it how you can create stuff with your own imagination, do whatever you want really.

Archie: I really enjoy making animations and working with other people and seeing what their ideas are.

Sophie Hudson (to learners): “So you’ve debugged your code and now you’ve made it work even better. That’s really good.”

Erin: It’s fun to, like, mess around with the things that you’re using and, like, have a little fun with it.

Maisie: It also makes you, like, worry less about getting stuff wrong.

Millie: Because you always know there’s a backup plan.

It’s amazing. Anything is possible.

Sophie Hudson: Sometimes I just step back and I watch them all helping each other and working together. They’re learning how to be a team, and some really key skills like resilience, perseverance, making mistakes, communication.

Davinia Pearson (head teacher): If this is what we can give the children so that they’ve got those tools now to go into their teens and their future careers, why would we not? And this is such a tool to being able to unlock that confidence.

Archie: I would never ever even think of doing things that I do now in Code Club. I’ve got much more confident. You can do anything that you really set your mind to.

Jenni (Archie’s mum): Archie was really struggling at school before he joined Code Club. He did one and he loved it, and he came out of school and he was so happy. He ran over to me and he was like, “Mum, guess what I’ve done today! I’m the youngest coder at school!” It made such a difference to him, massively.

Sophie Hudson (to learners): “It looks like this to start with, and then, I can use the sliders to change what happens.”

Davinia Pearson: Her creativity and excitement, her joy for these programmes, she’s just the ambassador of it. How could you not be influenced by someone who’s just out there looking for the best for their class, for the children, and making a difference?

We’re a small, rural primary school in the heart of North Yorkshire, so if we can do it, anyone can do it.