Creative Coding & Arts Led Exploration
Play Code Share

What & Why

Play Code Share is a project which brings together Computer Science and the Arts in an exciting way. The students are given the opportunity and taught the skills that are required of them in the Curriculum but in a creative and playful way which empowers them to continue their learning outside of school. We are delighted at the impact it’s having on Teaching and Learning in the schools we are working in and look forward to even more ambitious exploration in the future.

Kate Sayer
Head of Creative Learning – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK

Project Partners

PlayCodeShare is developed and delivered by Digital Artist Ashley James Brown who has over 8 years experience working with technology enabled artworks and interactive experiences. PlayCodeShare is currently in its third year of deployment in schools.

Today there are so many tools available for young people to express themselves creatively with technology. Almost anyone can make something ‘artistic’ using software, code and electronics yet it requires careful nurture and inspiration to ensure quality output that inspires beyond the learning environment.

I fiercely champion the playful exploratory creative nature within my students and aim to inspire all to be more than just consumers when it comes to tech.

Ashley James Brown
Freelance Digital Artist and Developer

The project is supported by Dr Claire Rocks from the University of Warwick and led in schools currently by Mandeep Matharu and Sheryl Lawlor.

Having the opportunity to be part of the Play Code Share project has been inspiring. Creativity teamed with strong elements of computer programming in teaching have highly engaged students and enabled them to make exceptional progress.  This project has been very successful with developing in depth understanding and a combination of key skills within programming, motivating students to be creative with their concepts.

Mandeep Matharu
Head of Department for ICT – President Kennedy School, Coventry, UK


The project is currently funded and managed by the Education Team at Warwick Arts Centre and Warwick University.


Project Scope

We want to give young people the chance to bring their creative minds and an artistic sensibility to computer coding. We will focus on pupils in Year 7 – throwing down to them an ambitious and demanding challenge – take the lead in creating and presenting a new, live, interactive, kinetic arts event to delight and engage peers, friends and families while, at the same time, actively share learning and achievements with a wide range of other people including artists and teachers. They will work closely and regularly with a digital artist and computer scientists to learn a new programming language which they will apply in the creation of their new work of art.


Everyone loves to play, not just children. Having the freedom to explore, create, play, fail and learn is incredibly important in terms of hands on learning and enjoyment.


Learning to code is just part of understanding to learn computer programming. We are using the creative coding language #processing and will learn syntax, structure, instructional and logical thinking and the fundamentals of computer programming and designing and creating our own software.


Sharing knowledge is the best means to spread the good word about programming and how it can be used within the arts and creative industries. Sharing learning is central to all Warwick Arts Centre Arts Education projects. While still continuing with live CPD activities, we have found that sharing process and outcomes on line allows us to reach potentially a very wide audience without compromising on understanding or involvement.

Creative Thinking

Inspiring through expert and professional practice the project is led and delivered by internationally respected creative coder and interaction designer, Ashley James Brown, inspiring students to work creatively and aspirationally. We aim to have created a model of effective, high quality practice bringing together high level learning and skill development in both the arts and computer programming.


Getting hands on with hardware and rapid prototyping electronics platform #Arduino, the students will bring their creations into the physical world for a more emotive and shared experience.


The project is a research led investigation into whether creativity and arts led practice can encourage young people to take up computer programming. The project partners wish to capitalise on the current curriculum development to widen schools’ visions and ambitions for what children can achieve by including the Arts in Computer Science. We aim to open the eyes of children, teachers and artists to the potential of creative coding by developing both the computing skills and artistic sensibilities of young people, giving teachers a fresh look at ways of engaging computing students through the arts and inspiring digital artists to engage actively with schools.

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