Scratch Logo, courtesy of MIT Media LabLiteracy from Scratch

Welcome to the “Literacy from Scratch” website

Update August 2022

This free web site has been designed to help primary school teachers to develop their use of Scratch computer coding. While it uses an early Scratch version, it is nonetheless still very much in line with current MIT pedagogical thinking regarding the combining of Computing skills, creativity, and cross-curricular teaching and learning.

Computational Thinking - Stories for Children

Computational ThinkingThe ideas behind Literacy from Scratch have given rise to some other developments including a delightful series of visual files exploring Computational Thinking in the Stories for Children section.

Literacy From Python

Literacy From Python

Following the early success of Literacy from Scratch, especially with teacher trainers, (see Book Review and Further Reading) we decided to develop a companion free web site (Literacy From Python) for secondary teachers faced with developing the use of Python in their schools.

These two web sites together with the Computational Thinking materials support primary and secondary school Computing needs in the UK, but may also be of wider value.

Scratch CatBackground

Literacy from Scratch began life in 2012, before the English National Curriculum in Computing was fully formulated. It started as a simple response to the UK government’s planned introduction of Computing, but has rapidly developed into a highly successful cross-curricular, creative, collaborative, and international project. It has now been presented, or accepted, at three world Computing conferences, in 2013 (Poland), in 2014 (Germany), and in 2015 (Lithuania). There is an accompanying Routledge text book for teachers.

How to use this site

Teaching materials on this site are now quite wide-ranging, and I think the best starting point is the outline PowerPoint presentation (6.8MB) (for KS1 pupils), which can be downloaded for use by teachers in the classroom. This gives the basic story-telling plan of the project, as well as exemplifying the introductory Computing skills needed. Once these have been mastered, you can then use the search engines to find further elements that you need, such as help sheets, lesson plans for different year groups and subjects, and schemes of work, as well as extensive examples of how Scratch can be creatively developed both by teachers, and by their pupils aged from 5 to 14.

Current developments

• In Prague, Miroslava Černochová (Charles University) is carrying out on-going classroom research in order to ascertain which computer science (or informatics) concepts are actually being learned through undertaking this project.

• Mark Dorling has developed Progression Pathways, and we are learning both how to match Computing skills developed through Literacy from Scratch effectively against this conceptual map, and how to develop further pupil progression within the classroom.

• I am currently developing a new section on Music and Scratch, inspired, like the art, by work carried out by Tomas Komrska’s pupils in Prague, at ZS Korunovacni , and by other Czech colleagues, such as Hanka Šandová.

Lawrence Williams

Coded music in Scratch, with a loop!

Introducing Computing: a guide for teachers

Many of the ideas developed on this site have been elaborated further in this book edited by Lawrence Williams and published by Routledge in 2014

Torino University Department of InformaticsFollowing the International Literacy from Scratch Workshop in Torino in December 2013, we are pleased to be able to add some Italian and Russian materials to the site.

Please note that this site is still being developed. Please use the Contact link if you spot any glaring errors.
If students have used any material, such as text, images, music, or sound effect files, that is copyright, please contact us, so that appropriate acknowledgement may be made, or the material removed, as required.

Contact us for further information.

Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. See