What is Scratch?
Scratch is a free-to-use programming language tool that allows students to learn how to code in a visually engaging way. It is a great way for children to gain a solid and basic understanding of coding and programming, as it's a fun-focused programming tool aimed at primary aged children. Through the use of block-based coding, students are able to create animations and images that can then be shared once a project is complete. This makes it ideal for teaching, especially through uploading to SeeSaw, where teachers can set tasks for students to complete and share during their computing lessons in school.
How does Scratch work?
At Cupernham Junior School, we use Scratch 3.0, which features three sections: a stage area, a block palette, and a coding area. The stage area shows the results, such as an animated video, the block palette is where all the commands can be found to drag and drop into the project through the coding area. A sprite character can be selected, and commands can be dragged from the block palette area into the coding area that allows the actions to be carried out by the sprite. So, a cat cartoon could be made to walk forward 10 steps, for example. It's a very basic version of coding, which teaches students more the process of action event-based coding rather than the deep language itself, but provides them with the foundation to build their knowledge and have a deeper understanding before starting secondary school.