Tutor the NCSS Challenge

The NCSS Challenge is a 5-week coding competition for school students where they learn to code as they go along. The standout feature of this competition is our army of volunteer tutors who help the students learn and understand the content. We need enthusiastic student or industry professional volunteers to help the next generation of programmers. Applications for the next challenge will open in December.



To be a tutor you must be:

  • Confident in Python and/or Blockly programming
  • Be a university student or industry professional (or former industry professional)
  • Have an up to date Australian Working With Children Check


Why tutor?

By joining our tutor army you get to help train and mentor the next generation of coders: this is not only hugely rewarding in and of itself, it is a useful activity to add to your CV.

We also offer active tutors free NCSS t-shirts as thanks (the more messages you send the more t-shirts you receive).

Roles and Responsibilities

Supporting Students

Tutoring students in the NCSS Challenge involves answering queries on the messaging system, sending messages of encouragement to students who have tried a problem many times and are getting stuck, watching out for posts that we need to block, and helping test the questions before they're released the following week.

As a tutor, your job is not to give out the answers, it is to help the students get to the answers themselves. Using our Tutor Interface, you will be able to see a student's code as well as previous submission attempts so you can work out where they are struggling or what knowledge they are missing, then it is your job to help them fill the gaps. Instead of simply correcting their code, we expect you to help lead them to finding the problem. This can be done by asking them to explain their code to you, asking them to read a particular content slide and explain to you why it is relevant. If you get stuck, we have tutor chat channels where you can ask other tutors or staff for advice on helping students.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount. We make sure we thoroughly vet all our tutors and all are required to have Working With Children Checks. We have strict processes in place to deal with issues that arise around student safety and wellbeing. We do not expect the tutors to deal with these themselves, but it is you responsibility to report any such occurrences to designated staff immediately.


We run a training session for all tutors the week prior to a Challenge starting, we record the session for those that are unable to attend. We will also send out regular emails with advice and updates. We provide a tutor FAQ you can go to for answers to most common questions and problems you might encounter and there are always plenty of experienced tutors available to ask for advice.

Time Commitment

We have no minimum time commitment for our tutors. The amount of time you spend tutoring is up to you. You are welcome to do an hour here or there as you can, or you could do a regular larger chunk of time, whatever suits your schedule. Obviously the more hours you work, the more students you can help and the faster you will gain experience in this valuable role.


To apply to be a tutor for the next NCSS Challenge complete the Application Form.
Australian Computing Academy