Scratch with Ready-Steady-Code (RSC) has been pretty much one man’s voluntary labour of commitment since 2012. Seamus O’Neill, a former teacher, Maths expert and coding enthusiast has been busy about finding the best way to bring primary and secondary Maths teaching methodology into the 21st century through SCRATCH code.

Over the past 3 years he has been working with Tim Slight in Kilkenny.

Tim has a vast Computing background spanning nearly 20 years, having working in industry for 4 years with Pfizer he then went on to train as a teacher of Computer Science and has some 13 yrs experience in the classrooms of England, during this time he was awarded South East England ‘teacher of the year’ award

He has a huge passion for children’s education and particularly embracing coding, something first experiences on BBC Micro and Commodore 64’s in the 1980s, and sees huge value in how RSC offers this but as a complimentary method to maths, bringing in new, relevant technical skills but while encouraging other soft and transferable skills such as problem solving, thinking logically, working in a team and being creative.

As Seamus’s local support and lead trainer in the South East, and as an English-trained IT expert he brings another angle of understanding to Scratch with RSC. Under Seamus’s tutelage, Tim has been to Navan for training and helped set up the RSC Training Course for teachers in Kilkenny Education Centre in 2016.

Through CoderDojo Navan and through volunteering in schools, Seamus has seen and learned the difference between the way coding works for some children out-of-school to how coding should work for all children of all abilities at school, girls and boys alike. CoderDojo coding is independent of time and curriculum constraints and is free from the inspections and assessment that restrain coding in school. CoderDojo is especially tuned to what parents want for their children.

Seamus and Tim are very much aware that coding at school, when it works, is locked into a timetable and is expected to integrate seamlessly into the existing curriculum (as it is a subject in England but not so in Ireland). Seamus O’Neill was conscious of this when developing RSC as a methodology, through which it fits into school like a hand into a glove. RSC makes Scratch about 80% more applicable to school for teachers and learners worldwide.

Seamus received great encouragement when the developers of SCRATCH at MIT Media Lab in Boston, contacted him to get his permission to add his Magic Mix vector grids into Scratch. He went on at substantial cost to self-publish Books and Resources to facilitate Scratch with RSC for children, teachers, mentors and trainers in schools and clubs. There are almost 150 projects supporting the books and resources from senior primary to Junior Cycle. All are shared free on the Scratch web site.

Tim Slight, is currently working with Seamus on a plan to take SCRATCH +RSC training and resources into primary and secondary schools in the South East region.