Code Week Poland: The teacher who make children love coding

Publication date: November 22, 2016

Writing lesson subjects in a special code, encrypting messages sent between pupils or creating a map with commands leading to a mysterious creature named… ‘Zymałek’. With her creativity, openness to the ideas of her pupils and out-of-the-box thinking, Wioletta Szwebs – a teacher at Primary School No 81 in Lodz – made her pupils love coding during the Polish Code Week!

It is Monday, 17 October, the first school day of the European Code Week. Primary School No 81 in Lodz, where Wioletta Szwebs teaches programming on a daily basis under the Code Masters programme, experiences a power outage…

Anyone thinking that the Code Week is up in the air now would be very wrong. To Wioletta Szwebs, something that some people would see as an obstacle is only a challenge.

The maths teacher decided to do something special for her pupils, based on offline coding. To this end, she brought the mysterious Zymałek to her school. This cute hand-made toy was the highlight of the Code Week this year. The pupils, working with a mentor, prepared an encoded map leading them to find Zymałek. Once all commands were executed, there was a reward. Together with the cute toy, the kids found delicious treats. Pupils loved the toy so much that they decided to portray him in Scratch.



A coding frenzy spread across the school. Kids prepared special code tables in classrooms which were used to write lesson subjects during the Code Week. For the time of the European initiative, they were also exceptionally allowed to write notes to their classmates, provided that the message was properly coded.

Everyone was into coding – from 4th, 5th and 6th grade seniors to 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade juniors. As many as nine teachers were involved in the campaign, and the coding class attracted almost 300 pupils. Accounts of the fun programming experience were posted on an ongoing basis on the school website and Facebook, so that parents could track their children’s progress, too.

The pupils and teachers from Primary School No 81 in Lodz are looking forward to Code Week Europe 2017.