A cross-curricular Scratch challenge

Not only is Scratch a brilliant tool for teaching the basics of programming, but it can also have great cross-curricular applications. Recently I worked with year 3 children to help them program their very own neolithic style cave paintings, writes Rowan Roberts.

Building on their year 2 work around compass directions, they started by predicting the outcome of this script:

Since the children hadn’t learnt about angles yet and were still new to Scratch I created the purple blocks to let them control the direction of the sprite in a way that I knew they could visualise. After discussions with their partners they were able to predict that the script would draw a square.

After that I showed them more complex examples, and asked them to match them to the patterns they would produce.

Once the children had made predictions and stated their reasons, they tested their theories by completing this Scratch project. They then designed and programmed their own cave paintings based on real life examples from around the world.
  • Enjoyed this challenge? Come to our Programming pedagogy with Scratch for KS2 teachers CPD session on Friday 2 November to learn more. This session will help you gain a more detailed understanding of Scratch, link these new skills to some of the big ideas in computing, and look at example classroom activities that exemplify these links. We will also explore some of the features of the most recent version of Scratch: Scratch 3. Find out and book your place.

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Upcoming CPD

Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning

Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning in the classroom, whether in school, remote or blended.

30/09/21,
16:00
- 17:00
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1

This programme is designed for primary teachers who have recently taken on responsibilities and leadership for technology and computing. It will cover curriculum planning, tools and resources, methods for supporting colleagues and progression and assessment. Colleagues will be expected to attend all three sessions. The third session will be held in a school and will include classroom visits.

Further details for sessions 2 and 3 to follow:

Session 2: 9.30-11.30am Thursday 27 January (virtual)

Session 3: TBC (in person)

12/10/21,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
25/11/21,
09:30
- 14:25
KS2

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

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