Coding Evening – Code Week Special Event

We are pleased to be able to announce that we will be hosting a special Coding Evening in Mozilla HQ, London for Code Week EU on Thursday 15th October. This will be an excellent opportunity for existing members of both Coding Evening Twickenham Coding Evening Peterborough to come together & meet as well as for anyone interested in running their own Coding Evening to meet us and get a better idea of how a Coding Evening works.

Don’t forget we have both a Twickenham and Peterborough evening coming up in September too!

We’re really exciting to have this opportunity to meet somewhere as special as Mozilla and we really hope you can join us!




First Peterborough Coding Evening

July 7th 2015…. #CodingEvening

In the year since we graduated #Picademy my fellow graduate @CatLamin has been super busy. Amongst all the amazing stuff she does in our community Cat organises the Twickenham Coding Evening. Cat’s initiative was to set up a relaxed, informal environment in which educators and local community members interested in programming and the new Computing curriculum could come together for a pint and some food, support, networking and resource sharing. as you can imagine the evening was a huge hit. Cat has now organised four events since January 2015 and other members of the Coding and Education communities are starting to contact her about setting up their own (follow the link above if you’re interested) including me!

Peterborough’s first Coding Evening took place on July 7th 2015. I reserved out an area of a local pub and we turned it into Geekdom! Our gathering included local teachers, TA’s, potential school volunteers and members of the local community.

We were also extremely lucky to have the lovely @Geeky_Tim who is one of orgaisers of @CambridgeJam and also the wonderful @WhaleyGeek who co-authored Adventures in Minecraft and had spent all day with the BBC releasing the BBCMicrobit. We were also lucky enough that he brought along a flip the egg frying pan game that used the Microbit (except I kept calling it a MicroBOT because I’ve been studying Big Hero 6 with my English class).

Tim brought along Raspberry Pi’s and HDMI-Pi’s and we had people involved in Minecraft and trying to program RGB LED’s through Scratch. A couple of people went away with a lent out Pi kit on the proviso that they have to come back with it and show us something cool they have managed to do. Discussion was flowing around the new curriculum and what resources people are using and having started at 4.30 those of us that were still going strong at 8pm sat down to get some food. The evening was a great success and as a result I will be running one every two months which seemed to be a regularity that everyone agreed on. So if you’re in or around the Peterborough area please contact me @digitaldivageek (Twitter) or digitaldivageek@geektools.com and come along!

“Really well organised amnd resourced – I had wondered whether we might be sitting around in a circle saying “Errrr…”, but it wasfar too well planned for that to happen!….Re-inspired to play with the RPi!”

Join us for our second coding evening here.


Twickenham Coding Evening July AKA the furnaces of hell

The July Coding Evening was set for July 1st, which turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far and the hottest July day on record…good. The upshot of this was that a number of new & existing guests got stuck in heavy traffic or non moving trains, or else quite simply just went home to sit in front of a fan (which a huge part of me wished I could do too). Add to that that the leader of our planned soldering activity was called away for a family emergency and I was a little bit anxious before we started.

I needn’t of been – the evening was another huge success with the amazing Richard Hayler coming to the rescue and taking charge of soldering in spite of the heat (along with his first student, Nic Hughes, who was eager to share his new knowledge with his next victim…er, I mean student). Marc Grossman had his Makey Makey on hand and Jon Coop brought along a PiCamera set up that he was eager to demonstrate to everyone.

There was a good selection of new faces, mostly teachers, one of whom was desperate to get a volunteer to help out with her SEBD children at the local college and her luck was in when one of the volunteers mentioned his apprentice, also a student at the same college, who would love to help out! Success – one very happy teacher.

Overall, the evening was another fun one, albeit quieter than usual and, once again, everyone was eager to share and discuss what they were doing in schools. It was a great community atmostphere and I can’t wait until the new term starts to host another evening!

Our next Twickenham meetup will be on 24th September (after we’ve all been on an adventure to PyconUK in Coventry, which is fantastic CPD if you can get there). Sign up here.

Coding, Education, Raspberry Pi

Soldering at Twickenham Coding Evening

For the July meetup, I’m hoping to get Stuart to show us how to solder using the Learn to Solder Zoo Badge Kit from The PiHut. I’ve just written a post on my blog about how to use the kit, but it would be great to demonstrate how to use it in real life!

He’s also going to bring along a 3D printer so if you have any questions about how to use them he can at least attempt to answer.

Coming to the July meet up for the first time is Ben Dornan, a self confessed ‘Arduino Addict’ so I can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to show us all.

Don’t forget you can get your tickets here.

See you all soon,


Coding, Education

Review – To code or not to code…

My students knew more about coding than I did, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and get ahead of their game. Trying to even the playing field: one 33 year old versus the 7 year olds. I went to my first meet up feeling a bit weary, would it be a room full of people speaking a (computer) language I had no chance of understanding? I couldn’t have been more wrong, I felt welcome from the minute I walked through the door and dove right into looking at the different programmes and gadgets available. I had a go at several things and cursed myself for not having brought my Ipad so I could download the programmes straight away.

After such a great experience I was very excited to come to the next meeting armed with my iPad. I got one-to-one tutoring on Scratch Jr and the most impressive thing was that I was able to get help even though I’d downloaded the app in my mother tongue, Swedish. The volunteers are amazing and it’s a wonderful “hands on” experience. I was encouraged to code a whole sequence on the large screen myself and the atmosphere was just as inclusive as the first time. A mix of people from different backgrounds and levels of experience all coming together to share and explore.

I can’t wait to go again, so what are you waiting for? Come along and share the fun, programme a unicorn’s hat or play music using fruit. You will love it and I’m sure your students will too!

Linda Lindberg

Teacher at the Swedish school in London

Coding, Education, Raspberry Pi, Twickenham

Review – Twickenham Coding Evening June

I attended the Twickenham Coding Evening for the first time this month and was really glad I did – thank you Cat for organising such a useful and friendly event!

As a secondary trained ‘ICT’ teacher, I have slowly but surely been adapting my teaching to the new computing curriculum, incorporating a bit of Scratch here and a bit of Python there. I have also been taking a keen interest in practical computing projects that use ‘MaKey MaKeys’ and ‘Raspberry Pis’; however, having never seen these in action in real life, I have been reluctant to commit precious budget to purchasing either! The friendly faces, advice and fun practical activities and projects on display at the meeting have inspired me. I am now the proud owner of two ‘Makey Makeys’, a roll of tin foil and a tub of playdoh, and my Raspberry Pi is in the pipeline.

I am definitely the kind of person that needs to talk to real people as opposed to chat on message boards and this gave me an opportunity to do just that in a very welcoming and informal environment. Thanks again for the opportunity!

Amy Box

St Marks Catholic School, Hounslow

Coding, Education, Raspberry Pi

Coding Evenings

In January 2015, inspired to do something to help support teaching the new computing curriculum, I organised an event in a local pub and invited local schools, code clubs, coder dojos and anyone else I could find who was vaguely interested in coding and the new computing curriculum.

At the first event there were 12 of us in a local pub, which included 3 of my friends, and we chatted about strategy, Raspberry Pi and Code Club. The overwhelming response to the evening was that people wanted more of the same – an informal opportunity to chat about the curriculum with a pint or a glass of wine and the opportunity to have a play.

The Coding Evening was born…

Six months and four events later, and I’ve been asked by several people if they can host their own Coding Evenings in their local area so I’m hoping to give you information here about hosting your own evenings, about my evenings as they happen and about other evenings and where you can find an event in your local area. The goal is to encourage other communities to follow my model to give teachers the opportunity to discuss ideas and meet up in a relaxed environment – no lectures or workshops, just people bringing what they know and sharing with each other, but the whole thing relies on communities coming together to support each other.

So, if you’re interested in hosting your own events, get in touch – I’ll update this site as soon as I can with further information!