The world we live in is changing rapidly and technological advancements are at the heart of this. We know that the use of the internet, mobile phones and online Apps and games are rapidly becoming the norm and children have access to these from a young age. At Bedonwell, we believe in equipping the children with the skills to use technology safely to ensure that they are digitally responsible.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage learn about Information Communication Technology through the 'Understanding the World' area and specific aspect 'technology'. This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, children learn about Computing following the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Children will learn about the following computing aspects:
- Text & multimedia
- Digital images
- Sound & music
- Electronic communication
- Algorithms (control)
- E-Safety (online safety) & research
- Modelling & simulation
- Handling Information
At school, online safety is taught as part of our computing curriculum. We have dedicated lessons to promote responsible internet use, as well as talking to the children about ensuring their use of technology is safe.
A key feature that is prominent in every year group is the concept of E-Safety, whereby each year, the children are taught about how to use the internet safely, such as:
Search engines – understanding that the use of specific key words typed could result in inappropriate websites/images.
Social media – understanding that children need to be over 13 to use all forms of social media and over 16 to use whatsapp. They are also taught about how to use them appropriately, such as not disclosing personal information etc.
Cyber-bullying – understanding that all conversations are stored and that nothing is ever ‘fully deleted’.
Online gaming – understanding that accepting requests or chats from unknown people should not happen.
Ensuring that a responsible and trusted adult is aware of the child’s actions online.
Each class has an hour time slot in the ICT/media suite each week, using computers that are regularly updated with the latest software. As well as this, each class has the opportunity to use iPads and laptops for research along with using specific apps chosen to progress their learning.
In KS2 the curriculum is as follows:
In year 3, the children focus on how to use software such as Word and Powerpoint, as well as understanding where to save their work effectively. They are taught the basic key functions of shortcuts found on the keyboard. During the year, the children use programs such as 2DIY to create a game, linked to the topic ‘we are programmers’. In order to achieve this, they have to create:
- a background for their levels;
- the keys used to move the characters;
- sound effects and animations;
- how to get from one level to the next;
- how to receive and lose points.
In year 4, the children build on previous learning of creating games to create animations using the software program 'Scratch' within the unit ‘we are software developers’. The children pick/create a character (known as a sprite), and give them various ‘commands’ in order to do specific functions based on the keys pressed. With this, the children are creating short animations and games for their partners to play.
Their second unit, ‘we are meteorologists’, focuses on their ability to use the internet safely to research information about weather linked to a country of their choice. They select the data retrieved to create a weather report using Powerpoint for each day, showing the temperature, wind speed, precipitation along with a short section describing the country.
In year 5, the topics that are covered are ‘we are game developers’, ‘we are artists’ and ‘we are web designers’.
In the first topic, the children develop skills learnt in Scratch to solve problems for their sprite (character). The technical term for this is called solving algorithms, whereby the children have to create a code in order for their sprite to achieve certain criteria. We focus on more difficult commands for the sprites, as well as including multiple sprites in one game whilst giving them various commands.
In the topic ‘we are artists’, the children use software such as Inkscape to create tessellating patterns using various commands. With this, they are able to create patterns of different shapes and sizes with the click of a button, based on the movements they put in the code. As well as this, the children used Terragon to create realistic landscapes and then enter codes to add mountains, water, woodland to create an island for their dragons to live, which links to the English unit of work.
For their final topic, the children design and develop a child-friendly web page teaching others about E-Safety. In order to achieve this, the children learn about the importance and risks with using search engines, as well as research appropriate websites for their ideas. The children then used wix.com to create a webpage putting in code to design a layout and include their information.
In year 6, the topics covered are ‘we are app planners’ and ‘we are market researchers’. In the first topic, the children create an app linked to GPS, in which they think of an effective and easy way for people to find locations of various places as well as themselves. They then explore similar apps and evaluate their designs comparing them to the real apps.
With ‘we are market researchers’, the children focus their research on their chosen country for their ‘Holiday Show’ project. From here, they research popular topics relating to that country and created charts to show the outcome of their research, resulting in an effective activity that they showcase to the rest of the school.