Top tips to get you ‘Back to Dojo’!

September is a time when a lot of Dojos resume their events after a well-deserved break.  We’re here to support you as you get #BackToDojo this term, with a selection of useful tips and resources.

Plan your sessions

Before your Ninjas return, take the opportunity to talk to your volunteers and plan out the schedule of events for the coming months. For example, are there any new topics or hardware you want to introduce in your sessions this year? Is there a seasonal event that will provide inspiration? Seasonal Dojo sessions are a great way to keep young people engaged throughout the year, by making their projects relevant to now. For example, you could encourage your group to make a spooky project during a Halloween-themed event.

Finally, find out what fun initiatives are on and when, and make a note of those that might inspire your Ninjas. For example, the Astro Pi challenges are great activities that introduce young people to Python and the Mission Zero challenge fits perfectly into an hour-long Dojo session. Another out of this world activity is Moonhack, which encourages young coders to create a space-themed project. This global hackathon runs from 10–26 October, so make a note in your diary!  

Mentor refresh

For new volunteers or those returning after a break, it can be helpful to refresh their training. Our free online module is focused on advising Mentors who provide guidance or technical support to young learners. It also highlights other resources available to support mentors.

Break the ice

Welcome and encourage interaction among Ninjas at the start of a session with some fun ice-breaker activities. These short games are fantastic ways to help new and returning Ninjas feel relaxed. 

Beginners luck

At the start of the term, it’s useful to have project resources that are accessible to beginners and first-time Ninjas ready to go. These printable two-sided A4 content cards are designed to help those new to a Dojo; they give young people a simple task to complete.

Word searches are a fun way to help young people learn and recognise new coding terminology. Check out our CoderDojo word searches available for Scratch and Python!

Something new for more experienced Ninjas

Want to introduce a new coding language in your Dojo? Our project paths will introduce Ninjas to HTML, Python, physical computing, and Unity. We also have “More Python” and “More Unity” paths where more experienced Ninjas can further develop their skills, creativity, and independence with code!

Reward and celebrate

While it can be easy to forget, recognising and celebrating all those who participate in your Dojo is important. Whether it’s celebrating Ninjas developing their coding skills, thanking volunteers for giving their time, or showing gratitude to those who give the space to host Dojo sessions, we have certificates to suit the situation.

Share about your first event back and the activities you’re doing on social media using #BackToDojo.

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