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The best scratch schemes of work for teaching primary computing

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Our computing scheme of work page lists a range of whole-school schemes that encompass all of the objectives that make up the new primary computing curriculum - from word processing to programming the RaspberryPi tools. Yet I always return to one element of computing in my own teaching; and thats the free and online Scratch programming language created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scratch is included as a module in itself in almost all of the schemes we list. However, I’ve often supplemented these schemes with a couple of brilliant free resources from other websites, and with the help of a couple of books I carry with me. The resources below are perfect for coding clubs in or after school too!

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My first recommendation is Phil Bagge’s Code-It website. Here there are many fantastic Scratch games to construct and pick apart. Code-it has free, well laid-out .pdf print-outs to guide children through parts of programming that some teachers may feel a little out of depth with. There are also challenge cards for greater depth children.

When I’ve been working as a supply teacher, and no computing lesson was planned, code-it was also my first stop for one-off lessons. Favourites which always went down well with classes (when you’re unsure of the ability level of the students) were the Crab Maze and the Scratch Conversation. The latter works very well if you link the learning to two characters or people the class are studying in other subjects. For examples, a last minute lesson building a conversation between Henry VIII and his wives has gone down very well in the past!

Second are the Scratch resources from the Code Club platform, which are free and require no login to download (again, perfect also for last minute lessons). The steps to construct each project are clearly listed, and are great for teachers who may not be familiar with using Scratch.

There are also several great books available with Scratch programming walk-throughs. These are particularly helpful for photocopying or putting on a visualiser in the IT room. Aimed at a KS2 age group, Scratch Programming for Beginners is really popular, as is MIT's own The Official Scratch Coding Cards. One more to check out would be Al Swiegart's Scratch Programming Playground.

I hope that these suggestions inspire your use of Scratch in the classroom, and don’t forgot to check out the whole school computing schemes we have listed on Scheme Support; many of which come with Scratch coding modules.

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