Scratch for Literacy and Numeracy (online)

Scratch is a free application, developed by the MIT Media Lab, which allows users to create and share their own interactive stories, animations and games. It is easier to use than traditional programming languages as it consists of graphical blocks which snap together. This highly interactive course covers how to use Scratch coding to support literacy, while also developing pupils’ numeracy skills. It includes coding tasks, videos, tutorials, links and discussion forums for sharing ideas with fellow teachers. This course was designed by PDST Technology in Education in collaboration with Lero.

Duration20 hours (minumum). Flexible study times
Skill LevelIntermediate
Target AudienceAll (primary) teachers, in particular those teaching 3rd to 6th class
PrerequisitesBasic ICT skills. Participants should have experience of carrying out basic ICT tasks (opening, editing, saving, closing files) and be proficient in using an Internet browser. Participants will move between Internet browser windows, following tasks in one window to create Scratch projects in another. Prior experience of participating in an online course, contributing to an online discussion forum and uploading or downloading files will be an advantage.

Online course availability, requirements and access

This EPV day approved free online course will be delivered via between July 3rd and 20th, 2017. A second instance of the course with a very limited number of places will also be offered in August - August 8th to 24th. Participants must choose to enrol in either the July course or the August course in advance and changes cannot be facilitated. Participants are supported by e-tutors. This course was available for enrolment on May 19th. All places have been taken and enrolment is closed. If already enrolled, login to for the link to access (see 'My courses' or the summer course information page).

Technical requirements: As Scratch is currently only available as a desktop application, this course must be completed using a laptop or a desktop computer with the latest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser installed. It is not suitable for completion using a tablet. A good broadband connection is essential. 

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be enabled to:

  • Develop the skills to use the Scratch coding/programming interface 
  • Plan a lesson in any curricular area which incorporates Scratch
  • Use Scratch to support the development of literacy and numeracy in their classroom
  • Create a Scratch project, incorporating multimedia elements
  • Share a Scratch project on the online Scratch gallery
  • Understand copyright and how it applies to their own context
  • Understand how using Scratch can support pupils with special educational needs. 
  • Plan their next steps in the integration of Scratch in their classroom.

Course Content

This course consists of five modules, as follows:

Module 1 – An introduction to Scratch

Participants will explore uses of Scratch as an aid to literacy development and learn how to use the basic tools of the software. Participants will become familiar with the website and lesson plans available on the website.

Module 2 – Scratch for numeracy

Participants will explore how Scratch supports numeracy, specifically within mathematics and learn how to create simple and effective resources and lessons with Scratch. Participants will be introduced to sample Scratch lessons to adapt for use in their own classroom. In this module participants also commence the development of a Scratch project.

Module 3 – Scratch for literacy

Participants will explore how to use Scratch can be used to support literacy for English and Gaeilge. Participants will look at how Scratch can be used to support pupils with SEN, and they will explore more advanced features of Scratch while developing their project.

Module 4 – Scratch across the curriculum

Participants will explore how Scratch can be used across the curriculum and will plan and share a lesson for their own class which integrates Scratch. They will also explore copyright implications in the context of the use and creation of digital resources in their classroom.

Module 5 – Planning for Scratch

This final module focuses on assessment, classroom management and planning for effective use of Scratch in teaching and learning, reflecting on school self-evaluation and school improvement. Other online resources such as Scoilnet will also be explored, as will some internet safety considerations. Participants will finalise and share their Scratch project.

Impact survey and course

Participants registering for this course are asked to commit to participating in a follow up (impact) survey and a short course in autumn, on “Using Scratch in my Classroom”, which enables participants to reflect on their practice and share their experiences of implementing learning from the course in their own classrooms with other teachers who completed the summer course.

Important information for participants

A high standard of participant engagement on this course is required for successful completion. This involves communication with both the course e-tutor and fellow course participants as well as completion of several activities. Throughout the course participants will be required to join in a range of online discussions and complete a number of tasks. These include a lesson outline for Scratch use in their own classroom, a Scratch project, a reflective learning log and an e-learning action plan. Participants are required to meaningfully engage with their e-tutor and other participants in the discussion forums and provide feedback on resources and comments shared by other participants. Throughout the course, participants will maintain a Learning Record which demonstrates their achievement of the course learning outcomes.

Please also note the following three important requirements:

  • Participants are required to use their name as registered with the Teaching Council.
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
  • Impersonation is a breach of the terms of service.