Scratch Maths – Afeefa Case Study Draft

ScratchMaths

Research into how using a constructivist approach tocomputer programming in Scratch can improve maths performance at KS2 

What did we do?

We’re a partner with the Institute of Education’s Knowledge Lab at University College London on ScratchMaths, a two-year computing and mathematics-based curriculum for Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6). Its aim is to enable pupils to engage with and explore important mathematical ideas through learning to program. It uses the free online programming environment Scratch.

The ScratchMaths curriculum has been designed and trialled in conjunction with primary teachers and is currently being used in over 50 schools across England. 

We supported UCL by developing the activities in Scratch and we are the key official trainer for Scratch Maths. Professional development is a key component of the ScratchMaths curriculum as it encompasses not only the learning content but also a particular pedagogical approach: explore, explain, envisage, exchange, bridge (find out more about the approach here).

What difference is it making?

At London CLC we’ve been teaching with Scratch for many years and in that time have taken inspiration from a wide range of different lesson plans and teaching materials designed to help pupils learn about programming. But what makes ScratchMaths different is that instead of children following a prescribed series of steps to achieve a particular outcome it guides them to experiment with individual blocks, develop a deep understanding of what they do, and then use them to create something original.

Scratch is an incredibly powerful tool for helping children to visualise abstract mathematical concepts like angles and coordinates. As well as programming-based challenges, often using simple templates created by the ScratchMaths team, many of the challenges involve reading and interpreting or simplifying an existing piece of code – a great way to address the ‘predict’ and ‘debug’ requirements of the primary computing curriculum. The activities included in the curriculum also reinforce good practice in programming.

Find out more

UCL’s ScratchMaths project page

Evaluation by the Education Endowment Foundation (funder of the original trial)

Read a blog post about the latest resources

The CLC’s support has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of online safety as a whole and the importance it brings to the whole school alongside the discovery of a whole heap of relevant resources. Thank you.
Crown Lane Primary School

The CLC’s support has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of online safety as a whole and the importance it brings to the whole school alongside the discovery of a whole heap of relevant resources. Thank you.
Crown Lane Primary School

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