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Hello and welcome! Why have I started this site? I run a Code Club in a library in rural Norfolk in the UK which I thoroughly love. One of the biggest challenges I've found is in having suitable materials for the children to work through; particularly when delivering the sessions on library computers that are completeley locked down (and old). All of the lessons I deliver are done using tools that can be run in a browser on a relatively low specification computer. Also, the materials and tools I use are free to minimise costs.

Even though there are plenty of materials out there, they are often hard to find in the ocean of the world wide web. I have also found that some platforms are better supported than others and the quality of materials available varies a lot.

This site is a curated list of quality materials from other sources that I use in my sessions and some that I have produced myself to help you on your coding journey. The materials are presented in a structured pathway to help you develop your skills in a progressive way.

My recommended pathways are:

  • Beginning (Blocks)
  • Progressing (Python)
  • Advanced (CircuitPython)

Beginning (Blocks)

Start with Blocks based programming such as Scratch and MakeCode Arcade. This provides the easiest transition into coding as it is very visual and interactive allowing you to develop your skills.

As your skills develop, you can also explore the BBC micro:bit which offers blocks based programming and even MakeCode Mindstorms.

Progressing (Python)

As your programs become more advanced, blocks based programming can become more challenging to use. At this point you will want to transition from blocks to text based programming. The best language to use to make this transition is Python. Whilst Python is not supported on the Scratch platform, it is supported on the MakeCode Arcade, MakeCode Mindstorms and BBC micro:bit platforms as well as the replit IDE.

Advanced (CircuitPython)

Now is time to move onto the Raspberry Pi Pico with CircuitPython! This takes you on a journey of physical computing where you write Python code to control microprocessors. To give you a flavour of what can be done with CircuitPython (or its cousin MicroPython) take a look at this short YouTube video of the Halloween 2023 project my Daughter and I worked on. You can read more about that adventure and see some other projects that we've worked on at Coding Clubs by heading over to my GitHub project page pico-interactive.

Don't be scared by any complex looking electronics. Getting started with CircuitPython or MicroPython is super easy and there are plenty of guides available. For some great palces to start, take a look at the my CircuitPython links.