WiseOwl Training - Established 1992 Wise Owl Training

Established May 1992
30 years in business
Wise Owl Training
30 years in business
See 479 reviews for our classroom and online training
The Scratch programming language and Code Clubs
Volunteers throughout the UK are helping to run code clubs, teaching 9-11 year olds the basics of programming. Find out more!

Posted by Andy Brown on 24 September 2012

You need a minimum screen resolution of about 700 pixels width to see our blogs. This is because they contain diagrams and tables which would not be viewable easily on a mobile phone or small laptop. Please use a larger tablet, notebook or desktop computer, or change your screen resolution settings.

Programming Lessons for Children - the Code Club

In a previous blog Andrew (no relation) introduced Small Basic, a version of Visual Basic aimed at children.  Now the MIT Media Lab have gone one stage further, and developed a programming language which is closer to colour-by-numbers than to hard-core coding.

The Scratch Language

Available as a free download from the Scratch website, Scratch looks like no other language I've ever used:

The Scratch icon

Even the icon is different!


Here are some examples of programming in this child-friendly language.  Want to create a variable?  That'll be the orange-coloured instructions:

Drag-and-drop variable instructions

Having created a variable called OwlName, you can drag any of these instructions into your code.


Scratch programs (or scripts) would have C# coders turning in their graves (or resetting the values of their rotational parameters):

Scratch script

Different types of instructions show up in different colours.


Having created a program (or project), you can share it with the world:

Sharing a project dialog box

The dialog box for sharing a project online.

Code Clubs

Code Clubs are (as they are succinctly described on the Code Club website) "A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11". 

So if you're worried your Johnny (or Jeannie) isn't up to scratch (excuse the pun) on VB or C#, you could enrol him or her in a code club.  Whether you're a volunteer, school or parent, there are clear instructions on the website showing how to get involved:

Join in with code club

You can click to say whether you're a volunteer, school or parent.

Lessons start using Scratch (as above), but progress onto other languages after the first term.

This blog has 0 threads Add post