Creative Coding & Arts Led Exploration
Play Code Share

What & Why

Project Scope

We want to give young people the chance to bring their creative minds and an artistic sensibility to computer coding. PlayCodeShare is about bringing an arts-based approach to teaching Computer Science; using the creative learning pedagogical approach to inspire and excite young people and teachers alike.

We currently delivering to pupils in Year 9 and 10 – throwing down to them an ambitious and demanding challenge – take the lead in creating and presenting a new, live, interactive, kinetic arts event (digiFest) 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.

During the project, students work closely and regularly with a digital artist, a computer scientist and a diverse range of traditional artists to learn computational thinking and a new programming language which they will apply in the creation of their works of combined art.

Historically, we have worked with year groups from 6 through to 10 and have engaged hundreds of students and teachers with this approach.

Play Code Share is a project which brings together Computer Science and the Arts in an exciting way. The students are given a new opportunity and taught the skills that are required of them in the GCSE 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

The project is managed and co designed by the Creative Learning Team at Warwick Arts Centre with support from Claire Rocks from the Computer Science Department at the University of Warwick.


PlayCodeShare is primarily delivered by Digital Artist Ashley James Brown who has over 10 years experience working with technology created artworks and outreach across a diverse age range. Ashley has been leading PlayCodeShare for the past 5 years.

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 a quality output that inspires beyond the focused learning environment.

I fiercely champion the playful exploratory creative nature within my own works and aim to inspire all students and teachers to be more than just consumers when it comes to digital arts and technology.

Ashley James Brown
Freelance Digital Artist and Developer

is also co-delivered by artists from other disciplines, bringing an exciting mix to the way in which the subject is taught. Using board game design, visual arts, dance, fabrication and non linear narrative writers brings a huge mix of art forms into the classroom from long standing professionals in their fields to offer a broader area of aspiration, and to link the skills beyond Computer Science.

Emma O’Brien
Visual Artist

Charlotte Hale
Dance Artist / Choreographer

FabLab Coventry

Nicky Cox
Stage Manager / Director

The project has worked in both Primary and Secondary settings over its duration and is currently in President Kennedy, Westwood Academy and Caludon Castle secondary schools.

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 generously funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Warwick Arts Centre and the University of Warwick Innovation Fund. Previously the project has received funding from Arts Connect and the University of Warwick Widening Participation Fund.