The new National Curriculum (September 2014) has redefined the different elements of Information Technology to be taught to our children at St Gregory’s.
“The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.”
There is a far greater focus now on learning about computers and computation, not simply learning how to use technology. Children begin to learn programming skills in Key Stage One and continue throughout their time at St Gregory’s, using different applications to support their developing skills.
Digital literacy requires children to recognise common uses of information technology beyond school; to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; to identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies; to understand the opportunities [networks] offer for communication and collaboration and to be discerning in evaluating digital content.
They should learn to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Within the school we address these areas in all the year groups, embedding safe practice into the children’s daily experience. Additionally we address the safe use of the Internet as part of our Personal, Health and Social Education programme, inviting the Safe Schools and Communities Team, and representatives from CEOPs to give input to both children and parents.
This year has seen the updating of all our promethean boards in classes. We now have Smart boards in each room. This is an exciting opportunity for children to access the curriculum through this amazing technology which not only enhances the way teachers teach, but it also enhances the way students learn. It can provide students with an enriched learning experience by projecting visual elements. It also makes differentiated learning much easier because teachers are able to accommodate different learning styles. Visual learners are able to observe the whiteboard, while tactile learners can learn by touching the board. The touchscreen option allows teachers to run programs with the tap of their finger. This makes it not only makes it easy to navigate for the teacher, but for the students as well. In addition to that, a student’s learning experience is enhanced by this technology because of its ability for students to view diagrams, charts, videos and more, right on the huge screen in front of them. Their learning comes to life, and many students find it more fun to learn than ever before.