IAN LANG ELECTRONICS

Coding for Primary Schools

HM Government wants every child in England and Wales to be a multilingual physicist/chemist/biologist with a doctorate in mathematics and the writing talent of Dickens, Poe and Shakespeare combined by the age of ten years old, and now they've got to have some idea about coding too. BUT - HM Government are not going to spend any money teaching teachers to code. Oh no. No no no no no.

The chosen introduction to teaching the little dears to code is to be MIT's Scratch. Scratch does not work on typing in lots of lines of high-level assembly language, Scratch works on flowblocks. If you don't know what a flowblock is never fear, because here at Lang Towers we know all about flowblocks and so, dear reader, we shall impart that information to you in plain English. That's the idea behind this section of the website; we are well aware that somebody who did a degree in Eng Lit and then a PGCE may well have no idea about terms such as algorithm, RISC, if.....then or indeed Cartesian co-ordinates. So, ever eager to extend a helping hand here's a series of lessons to navigate your way through the choppy, shark-infested (well if not sharks there is a very annoying cat in it) waters that is Scratch. You can dip in anywhere you like but if you start with lesson 1 and go in order it creates a structured path.

Exciting, isn't it?

Scratch is also good for cross-disciplinary projects such as art or maths. To see our little play "Mangling Macbeth" click on the link
button below.

Some of the graphics in this are not too sharp, sorry about that, but the whole thing was made from start to finish (including making the sprites and backdrops) in about five hours so some corners were cut here.

Feel free to examine the code. Tips:

Each act has code that runs only when the appropriate background is selected.

Instead of broadcasting readiness, we used wait statements to make the characters interact. It made timing easier but leads to more involved coding.

You can download all the sprites and backgrounds and use them in your own projects.

Any questions, e-mail using the form on this page.