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ScratchMaths - building mathematical knowledge with programming

Tim Mulford, Whitburn CoE Academy, and Kelly Smith, Our Lady of Lourdes RCVA Primary


This session provides a hands-on introduction to the ScratchMaths project.

ScratchMaths is a two-year computing and mathematics-based curriculum for Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6). Its aim is to enable pupils to engage with and explore important mathematical ideas through learning to program using the free online programming environment Scratch.

The idea is that Maths is difficult in part because of the language in which it is expressed. Can we find a different language – and set of ideas and approaches - that is more open, more accessible and more learnable. And can we find it without sacrificing what makes mathematics work? The tentative answer is 'yes' – the language of programming might – if designed right – be just such a language.

The ScratchMaths curriculum has been designed and trialled by a team based at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London, England in conjunction with primary teachers and is currently being used in over 50 schools across England.

Relevant Key Stages: KS2

Session resource(s)

Tim Mulford's biography

Tim is Head of ICT and Computing at Whitburn CoE Academy and a CAS Master Teacher.

Kelly Smith's biography

Kelly has been a teacher for over 14 years, the last 4 as a CAS Master Teacher. Kelly is also a Specialist Leader in Education with a specific focus on Computing. Currently, she runs an after school Coding/Digital Leaders club. Prior to entering teaching, Kelly worked in various areas of ICT for over 8 years in local government, NHS and private companies.

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