Free global online coding club for kids

Redgate Software set up a global online coding club for kids at the start of lockdown

In April, soon after lockdown, British software vendor Redgate Software started its first weekly, free online Coding Club for Kids.

The Redgate Coding Club for Kids is aimed at children aged 6 to 14, with free online workshops every Friday teaching the basics of computing, delivered by the software engineers at Redgate. To-date, over 2,000 children have signed up for the Friday classes.

The resources for the workshops have been provided by Code Club, part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Lucia Manzitti, Head of Code Club at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, comments: “Our mission is to engage millions of people around the world in coding. We already have thousands of coding clubs in schools and communities globally, and we’re helping them to find innovative ways of running their clubs online.

“It’s great to see Redgate’s initiative is taking this to scale online with a new audience. We’re delighted to be involved. These are different times for everyone right now and partnering with Redgate is another way we are helping parents continue to educate their children, wherever they are.”

The workshops are run using Scratch, a free block-based programming language developed to make learning coding fun and interactive. Children and their parents join the workshops using Zoom.

The classes are designed to make coding as interesting and fun as possible. A great example is the Rock Band project, which teaches children how to code their own musical instrument.

Our mission is to engage millions of people around the world in coding – Lucia Manzitti, Raspberry Pi Foundation

In the sessions, the classes work through the modules of the projects as a group. If they get stuck, they can raise their hand (virtually, using the Zoom tool) to ask one of the Redgate presenters a question, who are happy to respond and help. To safeguard children, webcams and chat with other attendees are disabled.

Ben Mancini, Development Lead at Redgate, commented: “We hugely value the work of all of the teachers, lecturers and classroom assistants across the world, and we’re not going to pretend for a minute we can do a better job than these heroes. But we were determined to lend a hand if we could.”

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