Things to consider when adding a strand of Scratch into your planning

Things to consider
when adding a strand of Scratch into your planning

How I could help your school in person through Training days, Inset, Modelled lessons or Curriculum design
My best advice on adding programming into KS2 is in my book in the introduction.

Scratch is the place to begin for programming in KS2
There are other programming languages that you can use but no other system allows junior age pupils to create such a wide variety of projects or learn so independently. Through the use of the monitored Scratch online community pupils can publish their work, get feedback and learn from other programmers. To really be able to design, write and debug programs pupils need to experience one language in depth. We need to avoid the ICT mentality of a half term of everything. I teach a strand of Scratch throughout KS2 and dip into other languages and unplugged work where they support understanding.

All of this planning is contantly evolving. I started with a very fixed set of instructions and found that worked for some children but not for all, I still use these with some extension groups or clubs. I then added pupils reflection in the shape of feedback sheets to help me assess pupils attainment and understanding. You can see a samplehere. I then added extension andhelp cards to help pupil independance, debugging and help pupils catchup who came late to lessons due to booster sessions elsewhere. After the National Curriculum was finalised I started to add whichprograms of study modules linked to. I then felt that some modules were not challenging pupils to think for themselves enough and I have adapted lots of modules to reflect greaterchallenge and pupil creation. I then started to draw out the key computational thinking skills and extend the modules to coverabstraction, evaluation and generalisation where previosly I had only concentrated on algorithms and decomposition. I continue to teach and adapt these modules so this is not the end of the journey. I would encourage you to link to modules rather than downloading everything for teachers to get the full benefit of my continued journey. I hate the idea that teachers are stuck using my original planning when the new planning has moved on quite considerably. I also hope that schools adapt planning to suit their curriculums and I love hearing about adaptations and spin offs on twitter @baggiepr.

All the planning is written for Scratch 1.4 as I find this easier for younger pupils. However as I no longer use forever if blocks it is easily adapted for Scratch 2.0. I prefer to let pupils in Y5 and Y6 use Scratch 2.0 if they want to work between home and school. I often have classes where pupils are using both versions.

National Curriculum Computing Curriculum Coverage
Pupils should be taught to:
– design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
– use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
– use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
I have split the modules into Introductory, Gaming, Maths, Lego Wedo, General & Experimental. Each module will have a rough idea as to length of time to teach it and a suggested final place within a scheme of work. I would encourage all pupils to do some of the introductory modules so they have a firm base before progression into the Gaming, Maths or Experimental Strands. Skipping the basics is like trying to teach long multiplication to children without a number system.
Scratch Computational Skills Progression
For a more in depth list of Scratch computation skills progression, debugging skills progression and pupils progression see here.Scratch Plan