Get arty with Scratch scripts

Teachers often ask us how they can support their pupils’ progression and creativity in Scratch programming, writes London CLC computing education expert Rowan Roberts. One great way is to give children the opportunity to get artistic with their Scratch scripts. Check out these arty example projects. Each one shows off a different feature which your pupils can use to piece together their own Scratch masterpiece.
Scratch art project screen shot
1. Palm tree: This project showcases how, by using “more blocks” to define their own scripts, pupils can gradually build up greater levels of complexity in their programming. Naming procedures effectively also makes them much easier to debug whenever they go wrong!
2. Hypnotic pattern: This deceptively simple program makes use of Scratch’s “clone” function. As time goes on the sprite creates more and more copies of itself, each of which adds a random swirl to the colourful pattern.
3. Sound visualisers; waves and blobs: These two projects use the microphone input to affect the behaviour of a continuous line which a sprite draws across the screen. You can press the arrow keys to play sounds or speak into your microphone to make all sorts of colourful shapes appear.
4. Forest Hill: This final project, inspired by a part of South London, automatically generates a randomised forest on a hill. It brings together some of the more complex ideas from the projects above, along with some secondary maths skills. Like many Scratch projects, this one’s a work in progress… maybe your pupils can think of some ways to improve it.
To explore some more exciting approaches to using Scratch in school, why not book a spot on our Advanced Scratch CPD session onFriday 8th June. If you’re still getting to grips with Scratch and could use a step-by-step introduction, take a look at UCL’s ScratchMaths curriculum. Each module contains teacher guides,  presentations and example Scratch projects containing all you need to get started, plus the activities are designed to support the year 5 and 6 mathematics curriculum.

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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.

- 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)

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

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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