Introduction to Programming

Scratch is a programming environment especially developed by MIT so children can learn to code. Children as young as 7 or 8 years can learn to create their own scripts and make exciting and imaginative projects. The environment is such that as children develop their skills and knowledge it is possible for them to create increasingly complex programs that can take them through to Level 1 NCEA and beyond.

The following table represents a learning pathway using the Scratch programming environment. This approach has been tried and tested in the classroom for many years. Two lessons a week is recommended.

This approach is appropriate if you are seeking ways to introduce computational thinking and programming skills to your learners as you get to grips with the requirements of the new curriculum. The following strands from the new NZC Digital Technologies are covered:

  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • Digital Applications

Year 5-8

Student Exemplars

These activities afford a learner-centred approach and support learning as inquiry.  For more examples of classroom projects made with Scratch click on the links to visit the Scratch Galleries.

Year 6 Maze Game
Use the arrow keys to move. Don’t touch the edge!
Year 7 Science Fair Press the Green Flag and let it run Year 8 Game Design Follow the instructions as you go.

Year 9+

Older learners, or those with prior experience of Scratch may benefit from an approach that introduces the more advanced concepts of algorithms and programming as a lead in to NCEA Computer Science and Programming.

Teacher Story - Richard, Wairarapa College

The Unit 2 Algorithm had 8 pages and this worked well. Kids enjoyed this. I just did what was there and didn’t have to think. This is key when you have a busy schedule of year 9 to 13. I did develop this with flowcharts though – simple ones.

Bottom line is the kids know:

> What an algorithm is
> What a flowchart is
> How to draw a flowchart
> How to make a sequence, decision and loop in Scratch
> How to make a sequence and loop and nested loop in Python
> What a Variable is

All are having fun, are engaged and learning this stuff. Great for Yr 10 platform.  I have yr 9 kids programming in Python. Brilliant 🙂

Contact us today to discuss your school or CoL’s needs.