Tag Archives: programming

Lightbot with class 4L

4L have been applying their programming and problem solving skills which they developed during their Scratch projects. Problem solving is a fantastic skill, not only for computing, but across the whole curriculum and is a great way to encourage higher order thinking in children.

We used the brilliant Lightbot Hour of Code app to practice simple instructions, repeats and loops. The app is free and is available to download from the App Store for IOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.

Please support your child’s learning by using these apps with them, you will be amazed how skilled they are!

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Can you fix this project?

Having designed and tested their own maze games, 4L will now look at another version of the Maze game, but with a twist. This is a remix of a working version, but I have removed or changed some of the blocks so it no longer works. Their task will be to fix it!

Here is the remixed version:

And here is a link to the remix project:


Year 4 and 5 Scratch projects

Year 4 have been developing their own games in Scratch games, based on a Maze game. The children have designed their own levels, programmed the movement of sprites, introduced levels and devised their own scoring system. In doing this they have used a wide variety of programming blocks, including movement, repeats, variables and if/then statements.

Here are some examples of their projects:

Kaitlin and Jamal from 5L:

Drew and Arsalan from 5H:

Ahad and Zara from 4O:

Inayah and Anthony from 4L:

Scratch Jr Projects

I have now completed 3 lessons of Scratch Jr activities with year 1. It’s great to see that a number of children have already downloaded Scratch Jr onto their devices at home. If you haven’t yet you can download it free from the App Store, or Google Play.

If you would like to have a go at some projects over half term, please click on the link below to access some activities on the Scratch Jr website. They are ordered from easiest to hardest, so it’s best to work through them in order.

If you try any of these, please leave me a comment to tell me how you got on.

Scratch Jr activities

Scratch Jr

KS1 are using Scratch Jr to develop their programming skills.

What is ScratchJr?

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves — then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.

ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, they redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.

ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app or Android app. You can download it from the App Store, or Google Play.

ScratchJr Website Video from Mitchel Resnick on Vimeo.

Introduction to Scratch

Last week, 3C and 3P had their first experience of programming using Scratch. Following the previous week’s session where they learned how to log, navigate to Scratch and change sprites and backgrounds, we moved on to placing blocks and making things happen on screen. We used the Scratch tutorial as a guide. In doing so, they used the following blocks:

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These were then combined…


Can you tell what these blocks will do?

Scratch for Year 3!

This afternoon, year 3 will be using Scratch for the first time.

You are all familiar with Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr is a block based programming interface which gives you the opportunity to create characters and backgrounds and get them to move and interact with each other.

This year we will move on to the full version of Scratch.

In today’s lesson we will learn how to get on to Scratch, using tabs in a browser and how to create a character or sprite and a background.

You can access Scratch by clicking on the links in this post or the permanent link on the right hand side of this blog.

Python – week 2

If you need help getting on to Python, go back to this post from last week.

Last week, year 5 programmed their first lines of code in Python. This week, we will learn how we can use repeat commands to make patterns.

Have a look at Step 4 of your handout – ASCII patterns, see if you can create your own pattern in Python. Please do not use a repeat number higher than 50 – last week this was causing Python to crash on some computers.

Extension – can you run a program which will calculate your age in the year 2025?

Scratch with years 3 and 4

Years 3 and 4 have been learning to program a computer using Scratch software which they can access online http://scratch.mit.edu. Programming has become an important part of learning about technology to meet expectations in the new curriculum. It develops children’s thinking and problem solving skills, builds resilience and is great fun too! Using Scratch is a great way to add to the experience of learning to program and also to learn about e-Safety.

Your child can use Scratch without registering with the site. However, to enable your child to be able share the programs and games they create they will need to register with the Scratch community. This allows them, their friends and their family to see what they make at school and at home. They can also view programs created by other people to see how they have been made and can make changes to adapt it to create a similar game of their own.

The site lets anyone in the world see what you have created. Anyone can leave comments about your work. This is fantastic way for children to get feedback and can be very encouraging. They may get suggestions of ways in which they could improve their game. There are many benefits but also the risk that someone might leave a comment you don’t like. The Scratch Team includes a group of moderators who work each day to manage activity on the site and respond to any reports of misuse. When logged in, your child can delete any comments they do not like and can report anyone who is not following the community guidelines. It is extremely rare to see an inappropriate comment but we feel we should let you know that this could occur.

Scratch has guidelines for use which you agree to when you sign up:

* Be respectful. When sharing projects or posting comments, remember that people of many different ages and backgrounds will see what you’ve shared.
* Be constructive. When commenting on other’s projects, say something you like about it and offer suggestions.
* Share. You are free to remix projects, ideas, images, or anything else you find on Scratch and anyone can use anything that you share. Be sure to give credit when you remix.
* Keep personal info private. For safety reasons, don’t use real names or post contact info like phone numbers or addresses.
* Help keep the site friendly. If you think a project or comment is mean, insulting, too violent, or otherwise inappropriate, click ‘Report’ to let us know about it

The e-Safety aspects of being part of the Scratch Community will be explained to your child. We are writing to suggest that your child signs up with the Scratch Community so they can further their computing learning at home, and share the great work they are doing.

Here are some useful e-Safety messages for children using Scratch (and other websites):

* Use a safe alias
* Keep password and personal information private
* Give positive feedback to others
* Recognise copyright in terms of acknowledging other people’s ideas
* Recognise inappropriate content – consider whether others would find a project or comment mean, insulting, too violent, or otherwise inappropriate
* Know how and when to report inappropriate content and when deleting a comment is the sensible action
* Consider appropriate length of time to spend online creating and playing games

We would suggest you have a look at the website http://scratch.mit.edu to make sure you are aware of how it is used and that you are happy for your child to be part of the Scratch community. They have a page for parents which may answer any questions you have http://scratch.mit.edu/parents/, or you are welcome to arrange a time to come into school to discuss this with us.