01 8331554          info@greenlanes.ie


Dear Parents,

This is to update you with news about CoderDojo at Greenlanes.

Following a great last year, CoderDojo at Greenlanes will be taking place again at the school this term (Sep-Christmas) and next term (January-Easter).

What Is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. More Information about CoderDojo can be found here: https://coderdojo.com/  We believe running a CoderDojo in Greenlanes has benefits beyond being a fun activity for the children, including:

  • Exposing children to programming earlier, helping them become technology creators not simply consumers
  • Locating a local CoderDojo in the school pushes the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Greenlanes’ focus on numeracy
  • Encouraging both girls and boys in the STEM subjects from an early age
  • Young people who attend sessions (Dojos) also learn complementary skills of logical thinking, problem-solving, presentation and communication skills. Children are encouraged to present their work at the end of a session, or as frequently as they wish. This has been really popular with the children at Greenlanes CoderDojo.
  • Within the CoderDojo Movement, there is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning.  The mentors are there to nudge the coders along, not formally teach them.

How Does CoderDojo work at Greenlanes?

  • CoderDojo at Greenlanes is run by parents. We have two leaders (Richard Watson and John Forrest) and other parent mentors.
  • We'll run Coderdojo on Thursday afternoon each week. This will be 5-6pm. We used to run the session 5.30-6.30pm but found that by 5.30 (and certainly by 6.30 a lot of the kids are very tired and hungry).  We acknowledge this makes it harder for parents getting back from work, so next term we’ll go back to the later time.
  • We run CoderDojo in the school atrium, so we can fit about 15 coders (and their parents) in there.
  • There is no cost to participate and there never will be.
  • Children need to bring their own laptops, we will not be using the school computers. This also means children can continue their projects at home on the same computers. Any operational laptop should work fine. Please do not go and buy anything new for CoderDojo.
  • In CoderDojo, parents stay with their children. The CoderDojo in Greenlanes is not intended to be a period of after-school childcare. We recognise that this presents issues for families in which parents are working or looking after other children. We suggest that, by prior arrangement with mentors, parents can ‘double up’ on the children they are staying with. But the parent:children ratio must be 2:1 (including other non-participating younger children). This enables the volunteer mentors to concentrate on assisting the coders with their programming, while parents ensure their children are not disrupting the others, or help out with the running of the Dojo. Many parents will also learn about coding themselves so that they can help their children with their coding projects at home and the parent gets to share the journey that their children are on.
  • The organisers and mentors will communicate everything to parents, using email, not to children directly.

What Coding Are We Doing?

Because we have coders at different levels, at CoderDojo in Greenlanes this term we are running 3 separate activities in parallel:

  1. Beginners will be coding in the Scratch programming environment. More information on Scratch can be found here:https://scratch.mit.edu/  Beginners will work through 9 great projects introducing different areas of Scratch, something different each week. One week you will be drawing rainbow coloured snowflakes, another week you’ll be coding a space game with a ship avoiding asteroids.
  2. Improvers will do more advanced Scratch projects (*NEW for this year*) that might take 2-3 weeks to complete.
  3. Experienced Ninjas that have already done advanced Scratch projects (you know who you are) will be learning a new programming language called Python. Python is a general purpose programming language that coders can start learning now and keep going with until they are professional programmers! It's not a toy, Python is used to build sites like YouTube and Instagram.

Depending on the numbers interested, we aim to have about 4-6 coders in each activity.

What to do Now?

If you are interested in CoderDojo for your child, please get in touch by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Not to the school directly, please). Let us know if you are interested for this term (and you can make Thursdays 5-6pm), or for a future term and we will add your child’s name to the ‘interested’ list. For now, all our coders are 7 and over (1st class and up). Even if you have previously contacted us, or your child has already done CoderDojo, please send an update, saying whether you are interested in this term or next.

Note: Due to the very high level of interest generated last year, we expect to be over-subscribed. (We’ve already had 100 children interested). We want to apologize in advance to you and your children if you wish to participate, but there isn't a space for you this term. We'll allocate the places we have in each group for this term and next term as fairly as we can.

We always need more parent mentors. These are typically parents whose children are in CoderDojo and can work independently so that their parent can help other children as well. The number of parent volunteer mentors we have had has limited how much progress we can make. No formal programming experience is necessary, but you need to be interested in learning. Our hope is that more parent mentors come forward then we can find ways to have more children participate at the same time.  If we have enough interest from parent volunteers, we will run training for parents.

Many Thanks

We are most grateful to the school for their continued support. The support of the school Board of Management, the Principal and the Parents Association is critical for us to run CoderDojo. Thanks also to the parents of all the previous coders who have come to CoderDojo and got involved.Please get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or comments.

Yours in coding,

Richard Watson

John Forrest


Greenlanes PA  -  Parent Talk  - Dr. John Sharry - Wednesday 13th September 2017

"Bringing Up Happy, Confident Children: A practical guide to nurturing resilience, self-esteem and emotional well-being"

 The Parish Centre, Church of St John the Baptist, Seafield Road West.

 7.30pm for tea/coffee, talk begins 8pm sharp (8pm - 9.15pm).

Tickets must be booked in advance on the school website.

Please advise if you cannot attend so that someone else can avail of the opportunity.


Greenlanes National School Parents’ Association


Annual General Meeting


Wednesday 20th September 2017 in the School at 8.00 p.m.

All parents as members are invited to the AGM of the Association. The meeting affords an opportunity to hear about the work of the Association and to participate in the discussion as to its ongoing activities and future direction.  



Overview of the Association.

Review of the 2016/17 year.

Finance Report.

How Parents can get involved.

Formation of Committee for 2017/18.


This is your Association. Please contribute to its development.

All those present will be entered in a draw for a €50 voucher as a token of appreciation for supporting the meeting.


Ronan White


Greenlanes PA is delighted to announce that Dr. John Sharry will give our first Parent Talk for the 2017/18 school year on Wednesday 13 September 2017.

Bringing Up Happy, Confident Children: A practical guide to nurturing resilience, self-esteem and emotional well-being.

Location: The Parish Centre, Church of St John the Baptist, Seafield Road.

Time: 7.30pm for tea/coffee, talk begins 8pm sharp (8pm - 9.15pm).

Dr John Sharry is a social worker and family psychotherapist  with over 27 years experience as a child  and adolescent mental health professional. He is co-developer of the award winning Parents Plus Programmes, and the best selling author of fourteen  positive psychology and self-help book for families including Positive Parenting, and Counselling Children Adolescents and Families. His books have been translated into nine languages including, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese. John is the weekly parenting columnist for The Irish Times and a regular contributor to the national media. John is well known for his engaging, inspirational yet informative and practical presentation style. His practice website is  www.solutiontalk.ie 


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