Updating things

I admit it, I’ve been terrible at updating this site. I will get around to it soon.

I’m so lucky to have such wonderful people attend Coding Evenings in Twickenham and it’s easy to forget that other people are interested in spreading the good news about teaching computer science too.

For now, rest easy in the knowledge that there will be a Twickenham Coding Evening on March 28th 2019 at The Royal Oak (the usual venue, which changed hands a couple of years ago and so changed names too). We’re hoping to have a robotics drop in since it’s a few days before PiWars (which, if you haven’t heard of… why not!?) as well as a few microtalks from innovative educators. If you have something you want to share then please get in touch!



Richmond College Coder Dojo

Richmond Upon Thames College are hosting their second Coder Dojo in half term – Katy and Janna are amazing ladies who regularly attend Twickenham Coding Evening and will be inviting young folk who want to learn to code to attend their event on Thursday 16th February between 2-4pm. If you know some children who would love to attend, sign them up here.

They’re also looking for mentors if you think you can help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them by emailing richmondcollegedojo@rutc.ac.uk


Twickenham Coding Evening – March

February’s new format turned out to be an amazing success – demos by Nic, Richard, Marc and Stuart were well received, although teachers seems anxious to actually try things out themselves and preferred to watch someone else make the mistakes (cue me, Stuart and Tim making fools of ourselves learning about Micro:Bit, Scratch and soldering).

Feedback was that it was very enjoyable and attendees would like to see more next month. So, here’s the schedule from February, if you’d like to offer a 20 mini workshop or request something you’d like to learn about, feel free to get in touch!

March’s event will be Friday 24th March and you can sign up here to let me know you’re coming.

Here are the workshops we held in February, just to give you a feel about what we did:

7.00pm Micro:Bits with Nic Hughes

7.20pm Code Club & Makey Makey with Marc Grossman

7.40pm SenseHat with Richard Hayler

8.00pm Soldering with Stuart Ramdeen (£2 donation for solder-kit)


A Series of Extraordinary Events

It’s been a busy time for me as 2015 has drawn to a close and 2016 has begun.

So, the year kicks off properly with BETT, the annual exhibition of technology in education. Last year, the week of BETT, I hosted the first Coding Evening for teachers in the Stokes and Moncreiff in Twickenham and what a year it has been – Twickenham has hosted seven events, Peterborough has hosted two, Southend has hosted an event and we’ve held one event at Mozilla in central London to bring everyone together. Over that time we have brought together teachers, professionals, hobbyists and lots of other lovely people to help promote and develop the best way to teach coding to teachers. We’ve been able to offer free drinks and free gifts thanks to generous sponsorship from Pimoroni, 4tronix, Fuze and PiTop and we’ve had lots and lots of fun! Let’s hope we can continue supporting and sharing in 2016.

So, on Friday 22nd January, I’ll be at BETT where I will be doing a beginners’ work shop in the STEAM village at 11.30am for Raspberry Pi (sign up here) – I plan on giving a really basic introduction to using a Raspberry Pi with Scratch and a PiStop so if you think this might interest you then pop along. Next, I will be doing a talk for Exa Education to spread the word about Coding Evenings and talk about our successes so far so if you fancy coming along to hear that, I will be on the Exa stand from 12.30pm. Finally, if you’re a teacher at BETT, it is well worth signing up for the giant TeachMeet in the evening – once again, I’ve signed up for a two minute micro talk to that I can tell all of the assemblied teachers about Coding Evening, but the nature of the event means that I may not get a chance to speak (fingers crossed).

On Saturday 23rd January, I’ll be at BETT again, this time helping Ben Nuttall out with his special Raspberry Jam sharing the good news about using Raspberry Pi in schools. Come along if you can – there will also be a geek meet up after the event if you’re interested in joining us for pleasant conversation and nice food.

I’ll also be at Egham Jam tomorrow and the Cotswolds Jam at the end of the month so head over to either of these events if you want to say hi!

So, the next step in my plan for world domination will be to host workshops for parents to introduce ways to get their kids coding at home. For the parent workshops, I think I would need to charge to cover equipment costs, but I often get parents asking for advice to get started with coding and Pi so I think it would be a good opportunity to help and support a wider range of people with the basics of coding. Get in touch if you think Coding Evenings for Parents might be something you’d like to help or support, especially with buying equipment or helping to buy drinks for the Coding Evenings for Teachers as a motivation to get more tired and exhausted teachers to attend after a long day at school.

Hannah at Peterborough Coding Evening (who also helps run Peterborough Raspberry Jam), launched the Peterborough Coding Evening Facebook Page this week, which inspired me to create one for Twickenham too so sign up and like the pages to get regular updates of what happening!!

So, here are the details of all of the upcoming events:

Horsham Coding Evening organised by Hack Horsham – Wednesday 27th January

Twickenham Coding Evening first birthday (organised by me) – Thursday 28th January

Peterborough Coding Evening (organised by Hannah Mills) – no eventbrite yet, but on March 8th at The Brewery Tap pub in Peterborough

West Berks Coding Evening (organised by Stephen Manson – currently a paid for event, but he is hoping to get funding to refund ticket costs) – Wednesday 17th March

Southend Coding Evening – TBC, previous event was at the Temporary Art Project in Southend

Hopefully we’ll see you at one of these events soon.




The Rise of an Empire – West Berks Coding Evening

We are pleased to announce the launch of Coding Evening West Berkshire.

The lovely Stephen Manson is persuading his employers to sponsor this event. Even so he has been able to book the local cricket club to host his first coding evening on 17th March. We are very excited about out 5th location opening up and look forward to giving more and more of you the opportunity to try out coding ready for your classroom! Current price for tickets is £5 to cover the booking of the facilities.

Details of Stephen’s event can be found here:


And don’t forget we have both Twickenham and Horsham events coming up in January too!


Hack Horsham launch Coding Evening

The wonderful folks at HackHorsham are hosting Horsham’s first Coding Evening for Teachers. This is part of their plan to turn Horsham into a Digital Hub where they have thus far put on 30+ events for children and parents around the STEAM arena (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics).
Here is the email that Marcus sent around to local teachers – hopefully some of you guys can head over to help them out!
Coding Evenings are an opportunity for teachers, Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and Code Club/Coder Dojo volunteers to come together to discuss the new computing curriculum in an informal and friendly environment, the pub!
This first session, hopefully of many, will be held at the Anchor Hotel Pub in Horsham on January 27th between 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
Do I need to be there for the whole 3 hours?
No!  This is an informal event, turn up and leave whenever you want.
I need people to help out at my school’s CodeClub
Then come along, we’ll have local tech enthusiasts who may well be able to volunteer their time to help you.
Will there be demos?
Yes, we will have local tech people plus companies/organisations such as STEM Sussex and CodeClub that we plan to bring down to demo stuff that you could use in your school.
Can I try stuff out?
This will be a very hands on session for those that want to try stuff out.
Can I ask questions?
Of course!
Where can I find more information?
Cat Lamin started this off in Twickenham and is a teacher herself.  Coding Evenings for Teachers are beginning to expand out to SouthEnd and PeterBorough, so Horsham is very much at the forefront of this effort.
Is this for Primary School Teachers? Secondary School?
All teachers, right up to college level.

Many thanks!


A Plea For Help

As many of you already know, for the last nine months I’ve been organising Coding Evenings in Twickenham to help support teachers who are not confident with the new curriculum to become more comfortable teaching children how to code.

There are new Coding Evening events being organised in Peterborough, Horsham and Southend on Sea. All of these events have at least one teacher and one fabulous community member involved, but I’m keen to see more of you wonderful, kind and enthusiastic people get involved and support teachers with their learning. My events wouldn’t exist without the wonderful contributions of time and help from people like Richard Hayler, Marc Grossman and Nic Hughes, who willingly spend their evenings guiding and supporting teachers and offering advice and ideas in a friendly and helpful manner and I am so keen that the other groups develop as much of a community feel as our Twickenham events have gained, especially the new events in Horsham and Southend.

The idea behind Coding Evenings are that they are informal events held somewhere like a pub or coffee shop after school where teachers can drop in for advice or to have the opportunity to play with resources and the whole concept relies on enthusiastic people like you being available to offer that advice and support. Coding evenings just wouldn’t exist without people volunteering and helping out and it’s only one evening every few months so it’s not exactly time consuming!!

Anyway, I hope that you are willing to get involved and help support less confident teachers with this subject! So please, if you can, get involved with your nearest CodingEvening and help as much as you can.

Thank you,


Twickenham Feedback

Here is some lovely feedback from one of our coding novices, Simona Tudoran:

Since attending Cat’s Coding Evening at Twickenham I have been absolutely buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. I would like to take this opportunity and thank Cat so much for organising such an amazing event for people like me, new in the Computing teaching world(started this September…that kind of new). I have gained so much confidence that I have now organised a Code Week, complete with special guests, and I have to say Cat has been there offering support and giving me some wonderful tips and ideas along the way.

Thanks for letting me know how things are going and keep up the good work!