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Scratch to Python: Moving from Block- to Text-based Programming

Learn how to apply the thinking and programming skills you've learnt in Scratch to text-based programming languages like Python.

Scratch to Python: Moving from Block- to Text-based Programming
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Discover how you can transition from block to text-based programming

Block-based programming languages like Scratch make it simple to learn and teach programming. But once you and your students have mastered it, it’s time to move on to a text-based programming language such as Python. This online course will show you how.

You’ll discover how to transfer the programming and thinking skills you learnt while using Scratch to Python. You’ll develop basic text-based programming skills, learning how to understand error messages and debug code.

The course will show you the power of text-based programming and give you the tools to support your students’ transition too.


  • Week 1

    From 31 Aug 2020

    Transfer programming and thinking skills from Scratch to Python

    • Welcome to the course

      Meet our educators and the other participants who will accompany you on this course.

    • Set up your tech

      Set up the software and websites you need to start using Python.

    • Common concepts of Scratch and Python

      Explore shared concepts of Scratch and Python, and find out what to consider when you are transitioning your learners.

  • Week 2

    From 7 Sep 2020

    Explore the limits of Scratch and the power of Python

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Looking back on what you've learned so far, and forward to what's to come.

    • The limits of Scratch and the power of Python

      How you can use Python to move your programming beyond the simplicity of Scratch.

    • The concept of concurrency

      Learn about differences in how sections of code run in Scratch and Python.

    • Debugging

      Find out how to interpret error messages and debug your Python code.

  • Week 3

    From 14 Sep 2020

    Get to grips with Python

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Find out what you will be learning in Week 3.

    • Building young people's resilience

      Build young people's resilience to help them overcome the hurdles of transitioning to text-based programming.

    • Real-world Python

      Learn to use Python programming to solve real-world problems you might encounter in the classroom.

    • Documentation and debugging

      Find out where to find answers to your programming questions, and flex your debugging muscles.

    • End of Week 3

      Let's recap this week and see what's in store next.

  • Week 4

    From 21 Sep 2020

    Power of text-based programming

    • Solve problems with the power of Python

      Use external libraries to tackle bigger, real-world tasks with the help of Python.

    • Action plan and next steps

      Draw up a plan of practical measures for transitioning your students, and find out what other text-based languages offer.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore how you can transfer programming and thinking skills from Scratch to Python
  • Develop basic skills in Python programming language
  • Identify simple error messages in Python syntax and how to debug code
  • Reflect on the power of text-based programming and what you can create
  • Produce tools to support children’s transition from block-based to text-based programming

Who is the course for?

Scratch to Python is designed for primary or K-5 teachers and volunteers. If you don’t have any experience of programming, we recommend you take Teaching Programming in Primary Schools first, to learn the basics of block-based programming in Scratch.

What software or tools do you need?

Scratch and Python

What do people say about this course?

This is a great course and I would love to see more of these type of projects that children (and myself!) can play around with and improve as they learn new skills. I wish it was more than 4 weeks long!

Sandra L.

Thank you for this course! As a parent with some coding experience it can be challenging to find ways to approach coding with kids. This course definitely has me thinking differently about how to help my kids evolve their programming skills. Also some very good info I can pass along to our school!


Who will you learn with?

Caitlyn creates and develops Raspberry Pi resources. She is a former teacher, and a postgrad student in social innovation. She likes open tech, the outdoors, art, music, games and anything scifi.

I am Director of Informal Learning at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, previously a secondary ICT and Computing teacher.

I love technology and creating projects and learning resources for Raspberry Pi. As a child I wanted to be either a computer scientist, astronaut or snowboard instructor.

Marc is a former Science and Computer Science teacher, now working for the Raspberry Pi Foundation as a Content and Curriculum Manager

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

National Centre for Computing Education courses

Join this course

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Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 6 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

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