Which programming environment?

  • Jeremy Scott

    I’d be interested to hear views on what programming environment(s) I should be using for the C & IS exemplification materials (target audience is S1-3). I’m aware that, to get widespread adoption, it has to be something people will be familiar with and students will take to.

    I have some ideas already, but suggestions and comments are most welcome!


    Jeremy, we use Scratch with S1 and then to introduce programming at Int 2 currently (during part of the S3 year). Later we move on to VB2010. Andrew


    We use Scratch with S1 which the pupils enjoy and are very creative with. We are hoping to introduce Kodu to our S2/S3’s next year. At the moment we teach Int2 upwards with VB6.


    We use TrueBasic, it is old but is a true educational language which teaches principles that Object Orientated Languages don’t. John


    Should have said Scratch for S1/2 and TrueBasic S3-6. John


    Scratch in S2-3, but planning to review Stencyl and LiveCode soon with a view to maybe introducing in S3.


    We currently use Scratch with S2’s. For Standard Grade and Int 2 we use Visual Basic express 2008. With the higher class we switch back to the old vb 6 as we’ve found it to be much more stable than vb express 2008 and we have much more materials for the old version at higher level.

    We’ve had a look at Kodu but until we upgrade our computing rooms from computers with pentium 4 3.0 ghz processors and 428mb of ram to more modern specs then we’ll give it a miss. Kodu does run on these computers but it’s painfully slow despite tinkering with various settings.


    Starting new courses with s1/2 this year, first time ever for s1 in 20 years! Planning for scratch. For int2, H and AH we’ve used BlueJ Java IDE for 5 years now. Object oriented approach, scratch used for into to OOP concepts. BlueJ is free, supported by Oracle, runs on Mac, PC and Linux. Rethink for new level 4 course though, hoping to keep Java for level 5 and higher /AH.

    Mark J Tennant

    Hi Jeremy,

    We have started using Scratch with our s2 classes. currently about to ditch vb6 and move onto vb2010 for standard grade and higher students.



    Scratch and proposing to move to VB2010.


    I’ve just moved schools my previous one was using Scratch in S2 and then BlueJ Java beyond that (previously VB6). New school use Scratch in S1 and S2 with VB6 being used for anything beyong that. Currently looking at using Kodu as well.

    PS I experienced before that there was difficulty using VB6 on Windows Vista, anyone know if Windows 7 more acceptable to VB6?


    Those who use BlueJ might want to investigate Greenfoot which is made by the same developer and intended for school-age users. We currently use Scratch and VB6.

    Robin Strain

    We have been using Scratch right up to S Grade and VB – now VB2010 Express -for Int2, H and AH in S5 & 6.


    We are using Scratch in S1/2 (and into S3 next year with new CfE course), and are hoping to get sufficiently powered machines to run Kodu. I’ve had a look at Small Basic and am likely to introduce this for the S1-3 course as well.

    Currently, we still use VB6 for SG, Int 2 and Higher, but for AH, give the pupils a bit of freedom of choice and let them review other languages, including from Dreamspark.

    I’d like to make the move to VB2010, but am not convinced our computers are up to it, as we have to run Scratch and VB on a Virtual PC (which is one of the bane’s of my life – log on, then wait for an other couple of minutes for VPC to start, then at end of lesson its a five minute shutdwon procedure, including copying files back and forth from VPC to actual PC)

    Jennifer Chumley

    We are using Scratch and Small Basic in S2/3 ( new CfE course).

    We use Visual Basic.net for Int 2, Higher and Adv Higher. Also have visual studio 2010 express.

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