The school has a well resourced computer suite with internet facilities. Each classroom also has its own computers with access to the internet. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard. The interactive whiteboard is used in many lessons to support the learning and teaching in the classroom. Lessons are focused, interactive and fun!
The interactive whiteboard is used in many lessons to support the learning and teaching in the classroom.
All pupils are encouraged to start information technology activities from the nursery. As pupils progress through the school they have access to a wide variety of information technology resources, where they learn skills such as digital imaging, internet safety, creating web pages, word processing, graphics, modelling, storing and retrieving data.
The Government maintains that successful schools are expected to teach a deeper and broader understanding of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that now includes Computer Science and Digital Literacy.
Here is some information about what we do in school to provide the best opportunities for pupils to develop their skills in computing.
Computer Science is essentially a means to promote logical thinking and challenge pupils in the practical use of computer programming.
Digital Literacy is what we have traditionally taught the pupils (i.e. how to use computers) but now there is an emphasis on some added elements which enable pupils to become confident and safe users of various technologies both at school and in the home.
In KS1, one of the ways we are teaching the pupils about the language and concepts associated with computer programming is by using Bee Bots and Pro-bots, which are simple programmable robots.
In KS2, we are developing a widespread use of a computer program called Scratch; this program enables pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in computer programming. It is a programming language where children can create interactive programs such as stories, games, and animation.
As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically.
Scratch provides a structured and open-ended means to develop computer programming skills across all abilities; in Year 3, pupils are presented with a structured task using basic operations and various tools which can then be used to create more complex animated games etc.
Computer Science will also provide pupils in KS2 to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web, i.e.
The Internet is a global network of networks joining computers together and allowing them to share information through Internet Languages and The World Wide Web is one of the services that uses the Internet to share information using web pages that can be viewed on browsers e.g. Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer etc.
It is very important to instill in children the notion that every programmer makes mistakes and that mistakes are normal and that debugging is a normal part of the programming cycle. More importantly, it is the pupil’s job to debug a program, not the teacher’s.
The computer programming element of the curriculum includes some new vocabulary and to help demystify some of these terms, here are some useful explanations:
Algorithms are a set of instructions to achieve a desired goal e.g. how to make a sandwich successfully or baking a cake by using a precise method.
Debugging is simply finding errors within a sequence of events or code and putting them right for a desired end, e.g. to make a computer-generated pen draw a square on the screen, the turns must be through right angles (90 degrees, not 45 or 60 etc.)
Decomposing is simply breaking a process or program down into smaller separate steps e.g. building a house is made up of different steps by laying the foundations, building the walls and putting on the roof etc.
Sequencing is putting a series of events in the correct order to ensure a desired outcome e.g. spreading butter on a slice of bread before adding the filling.
Selection this is an essential part of programming whereby a choice is made if something happens e.g. if it rains, then you put on a raincoat.
Repetition is the repeating of a set of instructions over and over again, such as a daily routine which is repeated every day during the course of a school week e.g. wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, go to school, learn and come home etc.
Variables these are ‘containers’ which are used to store information within a program e.g. the score box in a quiz.