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Scratch is freely-available interactive multimedia educational software from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is intended to teach basic computer programming  concepts using simple manipulations of graphics, images and shapes.

Here's a very good introductory article about Scratch (from Communications of the ACM, Vol 52, pages 60-67).

If you're running into problems installing Scratch on your school's computers, this article by Roger Davies (Queen Elizabeth School, Cumbria) may help you along.



Scratch is available as a free download from, where you can also find teaching materials and tutorials.

Download Scratch.

UK Schools Computer Animation Competition is hosted annually by The University of Manchester, School of Computer Science.