Coding in Scratch

Scratch, the block programming language, continues to inspire children to learn to code. Last term we had plenty of projects where the children learned to draw, make games and created stories for their characters using code.

At the end of every term, the children get to create anything they want using concepts they have learned over the term. The variety of projects is always great.

Learn to code at libraries

Over the first six months of this year we partnered with North Somerset Libraries to deliver a series of ‘in person’ coding clubs and workshops for young people. The programme was over-subscribed, attracting many children from different parts of the district. This was heartening given the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Attendance didn’t drop off through the course programme so I need to give a big thank you to all the parents and carers who ferried their children to the library venues – and the young people themselves, for their enthusiasm and commitment.

Thank you to those who have shared their feedback so far.

Here’s a quick visual summary of the programme!

Make a Chatbot in Python (Feb 2022 )

Children coding a chatbot in Python

A 3-hour workshop where the students created their first chatbot in Python. This workshop took place at Yatton library.

Introduction to Wearable Technology (Feb 2022)

Children learning basics of electronics

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt the principles of Wearable Technology and made a badge that lit up. This workshop took place in the library at The Campus in Worle.

Web Design (March 2022)

Children building a website.

The children learnt to code in HTML and CSS and made a website about an imaginary pet. This coding club was delivered over 6 weeks at the Healthy Living Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Create fun Apps with JavaScript (March 2022)

Children coding Apps in JavaScript.

A 6-week coding club on how to make interactive Apps. This course took place at Nailsea Library on Saturday mornings.

Physical computing with the micro:bit (March 2022)

Children coding with the micro:bit

Coding with the micro:bit was a coding club delivered on Saturday mornings at Yatton library – again, over 6 weeks. The pedometer was a real hit!

Make a Minecraft game in Scratch (April 2022)

Children coding a Minecraft game in Scratch.

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt how to make a Minecraft game in Scratch. This workshop took place at Weston library.

Paper circuits (April 2022)

Children building a paper circuit.

A 3-hour workshop where the children learnt basic electronics concepts and made an electronic circuit for a greeting card. This workshop took place at the Healthy Living Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Learn to code in Scratch (May 2022)

Children coding in Scratch.

An introduction to the Scratch programming language. This course took place over 6 weeks and by the end of the course the children had created a game which they could interact with. The course took place at The Campus in Worle.

Learn to code in Python (May 2022)

Students learning to code in Python

Learn to code in Python was another 6 week course for late primary and secondary school students. This course was delivered at Weston library. A big clap to those teens who got up early on those Saturday mornings… and remained wide awake during the lessons ūüôā

Introduction to the RaspberryPi Pico (June 2022)

Making a traffic light system with the RaspberryPi Pico.

Physical computing with the RaspberryPi Pico. This was a 3-hour workshop where the children learnt to code a traffic light system. This workshop was delivered at Nailsea Library.

What parent’s said about our courses:

He loved it. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It’s definitely sparked a passion.

He absolutely loved it. He created a blushing cactus. He was really proud of what he created. Thank you so much.

She really liked it and enjoyed attending the course very much. She has been using the things she has learned at home.

My son really enjoyed coding club, and learnt a lot from it. He continued to practice what he had learnt at home. Now his younger brother is keen to learn!

He really enjoyed the sessions and was keen to show us the apps he’d created. He had previously only done a little coding in Scratch so learnt a lot. He liked being creative with coding, making apps that reflected his interests and sense of humour. Thank you for these sessions.

She was keen to go each week, a sure sign of the fact she was engaged! She has an interest in coding from doing Scratch at school and was pleased to show us what she had learned.

Both of my girls really enjoyed themselves. They were proud to show me what they had made when they got home and both said they would love to do another workshop one day. Thank you!

He is happy with it. He is into coding and Phyton is one of the hard things to learn. He learned so much from these lessons.

Coding at Portishead library

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to run two coding workshops for primary school children at Portishead library at the start of the Easter break.

I planned the workshops – ‘Make a Minecraft Game’ and ‘Make a Pok√©mon game’ in Scratch – to challenge the children. I created two levels of difficulty, which meant the more advanced coders were able to create a scrollable platform game.

I only wished we had had a bit more time to go through some more coding challenges.

Thank you to all the staff at Portishead library staff for their support. We will be back soon.

If you would like a workshop at your school in Portishead – please do get in touch.

Pac-man continues to entertain

Pac-man, the arcade game created in the 80’s was our chosen project for term 6. The children created their own versions of the game by drawing their own images. It was one of the longest projects we have ever done at coding club and to my surprise, the children never showed any signs of boredom with the game. Every week, they came to coding club looking forward to add to their projects.

The Pac-man game gave the children the opportunity to practice everything they had learned throughout the year by adding more layers of complexity to the game. Some of the children chose to create their sprites in Pixil art, a program that they learned how to use at coding club.

It gave me great pleasure to see the results and I know for sure the children thoroughly enjoyed it too. Here is a small selection of the projects created.

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Why I love Scratch

I have been teaching Scratch to primary school children for two years now.

Scratch was developed by MIT to enable children to create their own stories and games while learning to code. There is a terrific community¬†of ‘scratchers’ where projects are¬†shared and remixed.¬†Thousands of projects have been made – from very simple animations to complex programs. Continue reading “Why I love Scratch”

Making games with Scratch

Coding with ScratchBefore the Easter break, I taught Scratch to twelve enthusiastic children at my local primary school. This time, I was pleased to have two girls in the group. As the children had enjoyed making games, I decided to introduce new programming concepts while building more games and stories. Half of children were new to Scratch, which meant I had to have teaching material for two levels. As soon as the children got into the swing of things, they had the confidence to help each other, which was good to see. Continue reading “Making games with Scratch”