The International Working Model
Using “Scratch” to support Literacy Development:
A collaboration between Brunel University (Education) and
Bishop Ramsey C of E School, Ruislip
Brunel University’s Education Department has an Erasmus Bilateral Agreement with The Charles University in Prague. As part of this new collaboration, educational projects are currently being developed between Czech schools and UK schools, using ICT tools, especially the development of computer programming.
World Ecitizens is an international website created by teachers to give students a “voice”, by publishing their learning outcomes.
MirandaNet is a leading on-line community of teachers, dedicated to sharing best educational ICT practice at an international level.
Scratch is an elementary computer programming language, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.
In January 2012, Michael Gove “disapplied” the programmes of study for ICT, recommending that schools should teach computer science, including computer programming. In response, Brunel University set up new courses in computer programming for trainee teachers at both Primary and Secondary level.
Year 8 Scratch Pilot Project Aims at Bishop Ramsey School
- To develop computer programming skills using Scratch
- To develop narrative skills using Scratch (not currently developed)
- To publish student learning outcomes (on World Ecitizens) and a project report for teachers (on MirandaNet)
- To explore new ways of collaborating with Brunel University
Students in Year 8 ICT lessons will explore the use of Scratch to create a piece of narrative work by creating about ten linked scenes (called backgrounds). Characters will then be added to the scenes, and animated, and sound tracks may also be added. This work may be linked to English, Music and Art lessons. Students may work alone or in pairs.
Introductory lessons will be given to Year 8 students by Lawrence Williams, Teaching Fellow at Brunel. The project will be explained to staff and pupils, and the tasks will be introduced in these lessons. Support from the University will be maintained through weekly visits on the following dates:
- Thursday 8th (Introduction)
- Thursday 15th, 22nd, 29th
- Thursday 6th, 13th
Following the lesson development, the stories will be assessed:
- as successful narrative work (narrative structure, development of characters, use of dialogue, and description)
- as effective (efficient) computer programming
- for cross-curricular elements such as art work (developing pupils’ own sprites and background scenes), and music (development of sound tracks in music lessons, or as homework)
Possible international dimension
In Prague, there are the following personnel with an interest in supporting the project:
- Dr. Mirka Černochová (Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague, who will actively support the project)
- Tomas Komrska (Head Teacher, ZS Korunovacni School, Prague)
We hope to develop links with Prague through email and WebEx video-conferencing as part of this project. As this is a pilot, it is not clear how this will develop. For example, students in Prague might create sprites for BR students to use in their stories. Story ideas might be exchanged with Prague students. Cultural differences between the countries might be discussed over email and video-conferencing. There are many exciting possibilities.
Lawrence Williams, Teaching Fellow, Brunel University Graduate Department
For further details, see