Scratch Logo, courtesy of MIT Media LabLiteracy from Scratch

Conference papers

Scratch CatThe “Literacy from Scratch” project has sparked off a fair bit of interest in academic circles, and there have been a few conference papers, some of which are available for download here.

The links to the items will download or download and open Word documents. They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this licence, visit

1) A Working Model for Teacher Training in Computing
Key Competencies for Educating ICT Professionals

Lawrence Williams, Brunel University, Uxbridge, West London, UK
Miroslava Černochová, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Barbara Demo, Department of Informatics, University of Torino, Italy
Sarah Younie, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Starting in September 2014, classroom teachers in the United Kingdom are required to move away from teaching ICT, towards new Programmes of Study in Computing, including computer programming. This paper presents a developing international working model for teacher training, designed to support this major change in focus. Conceived at Brunel University, west London, ideas for the development of computer coding in the classroom were swiftly shared with colleagues at Charles University, Prague, the University of Torino, Italy, and De Montfort University, UK. Based on the MIT Scratch program, teacher trainers and classroom pupils are introduced to elementary block-coding, through a highly creative cross-curricular teaching and learning project called “Literacy for Scratch”. This centres on the cross-curricular production of animated narratives, together with the pupils’ own art work, for Sprites and Backgrounds. This, in turn, is supported by a set of three inter-connected web sites: Literacy from Scratch, for teaching materials; World Ecitizens, for pupils to publish their narrative work (some as bi-lingual stories); and MESH, for pedagogical papers which support the process. The project has successfully engaged pupils in computer coding from the ages of 5 through to 14.

Computing, Teacher Education, Creativity

  1. Paper given at the IFIP 2014 Conference in Potsdam (Word 110 KB)

2) Developing Computational Thinking Skills through the
Literacy from Scratch project
An International Collaboration

Miroslava Černochová, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Mark Dorling, Computing at School, 5 Southampton Street, London, UK
Lawrence Williams, Senior Academic Fellow, MirandaNet, UK

This paper builds on the growing international success of the Computing project, Literacy from Scratch, showing how computational thinking skills (mainly algorithmic thinking at this early stage) can be developed through this creative, cross-curricular project. The project is now established in several countries (in the UK, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Pakistan) and it has been presented in several more (in Poland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, and Korea). However, while it provides an excellent starting point for the development of computational thinking in schools, there is now a clear need to show teachers how computational thinking can be incrementally developed through this project, and underpinned by research. Accordingly, this paper looks at the practicalities of the project itself, and suggests ways in which the Progression Pathways (an assessment framework with a set of incremental skills, concepts, and principles) set out in England by Computing at School (CAS), and researched and developed in the Czech Republic, can begin to be mapped.

The Literacy from Scratch project is supported by a dedicated website in several languages: and has an accompanying Routledge text book, “Introducing Computing” ed. Lawrence Williams, with chapters by Miroslava Cernochová, and Mark Dorling.

Progression Pathways assessment framework can be found at: and were developed by Mark Dorling, and others at Computing at School.

Key Words
Computing, programming, progression, creativity, cross-curricular learning, Scratch, story-telling, the pupil´s concept of a computer, assessment framework

  1. Paper given at the IFIP Conference in Vilnius, July 2015 (Word 1MB)