What we offer
A friendly and free club that meets for 1 hour each week in a community venue, supported by volunteers from industry and your community.
We provide access to laptops, and loads of things to do on them. We’re not ‘teaching’ coding, so there’s no formal curriculum. You can read our Educational Framework here (145kb pdf).
We are developing problem solving skills and building resilience. These are far more important than a particular software language. Python is currently one of the most sought after coding languages, but only in the last ten years or so. When our young people (who might be only 8 years old) reach the workforce, there is no guarantee that Python will even be recognised.
If you have the skills to solve problems, and the resilience to keep working; you can teach yourself anything. Young people will learn coding structures and convention from Scratch (loops, variables, events, etc), and they will learn python on our more advanced projects, but we don’t teach syntax or specific logical models.
Our projects follow a general progression path from simple to more complex. High tech offers a huge range of career opportunities, and we try to cater to that with our projects. Some involve more graphical design and artistic creation, some a strong story-driven games, others involve maths and cryptography, still others involve the software engines that games depend upon. Not all young people will enjoy all elements of all projects, but we want them to experience everything so they can better understand what they are excited by and are good at.
While we don’t make young people sit exams, or give out certificates, we do recognise achievement. Our LINKS awards are provided for completing projects in each of our colour bands (White, Yellow, Blue). We also recognise original project work (Green, Orange). Finally for those that develop project guides that other young people can follow, we offer our highest awards (Red, Black).
We are also happy to sign off activities as part of Duke of Edinburgh schemes, or other extra-curricular awards.
We provide a lot of challenges and opportunities within our clubs. We also connect our young people into global challenges they might enjoy. We recently successfully had 7 teams submit their code to run on the International Space Station!
What we need from you
We do ask that young people attend regularly. We understand that last minute changes can make it difficult to bring your young person to the club, but please let us know so we know they are safe and ok, just not at the club.
We operate a 3-strikes and you’re out policy. If you don’t inform us that your young person can’t attend for 3 sessions, then they lose their place to the next on the waiting list.
Many of our projects will run over 2 or more sessions, so it’s really important to give young people the opportunity to work on these. We are committed to providing a stable environment in which young people can thrive. All our clubs run throughout the year; some clubs will take a couple weeks break during holidays, some don’t, it’s down to the local volunteers and parents.