ICT has been part of the full curriculum review in 2017/2018 and is now central to 'The Big Question' that is being asked in our Circle of Life non-core curriculum work. During the academic year 2016/2017 a full and comprehensive review of E-safety was undertaken. Subsequently a new program of study for each year group has been developed and a series of whole school icons has been introduced across the curriculum to denote coverage. We have recently updated the subject action plan, ready for the second half of the year, and during leadership time we have been analysing evidence of the children's learning and outcomes.
The e-safety programme of study encourages children to establish a grounded understanding of trust and friendship in safe ways. It allows children throughout school to learn about ways to stay safe and use the internet effectively and refers to 'rule of law' when talking about what we can and cannot do when working online. Much of our curriculum is cross-curricular and affords children opportunities to make links between ideas and concepts. Whilst creating posters about the rainforest in years 3 and 4 children establish a deepened understanding of respect for their environment. In reception children explore everyday technologies to help them develop their understanding of the world around them and develop lines of trust. Our e-safety aspects are particularly driven by the need for tolerance, awareness of individual liberty and respect when communicating with others. We build into our work studies of online bullying and how we, and those we care about, can stay safe and respected on the internet.
Children are provided with a range of extra-curricular opportunities under the 'computing' heading. Children in years 2 and 3 are currently able to take part in a computing club. They are given chance to explore art programs in order to produce creative designs and create short animation videos. The children particularly enjoy making lego animation films as part of this club. They have also created their own shirt designs and receive this upon completion of the club. Each year we increase the places and number of sessions for the extra-curricular computing studies. It is highly popular!
Children in reception begin their computing journey by developing their mouse skills and finer control. They explore a range of art programs to create images of teddy bears and familiar objects. Children are then taught to explore fill tools and changing colour tabs to develop their work. They are encouraged to establish keyboard skills and are able to log on to school systems themselves. Children in reception are constantly exposed to technology in wider aspects via the use of Ipads and story phones to aid their learning across all areas of the curriculum.
Children explore coding and what algorithms are, how they are implemented and programmed. Children will use logical reasoning to predict patterns of behaviour within coding programs. They create toy posters using word documents and use Natural Revelation Art to create Andy Warhol style images. They establish their creating skills which help them to organise and store information. Children make links between ICT and Art to help deepen their skills within these subjects. Throughout the curriculum, e-safety lessons are embedded so that children become familiar with ways that they can use technology safely and respectfully.
In this area of school, children become proficient in using Publisher to create rainforest themed posters and booklets. They become familiar with digital devices and how these can be manipulated to create effects and outcomes. Year 3 and 4 pupils explore coding to help them design, write and debug programs to accomplish specific goals. They use their control skills to help them solve problems. Throughout this process children are encouraged to use logical reasoning to explain how coding systems and algorithms work. Pupils apply their ICT skills in other areas of the curriculum, they use Ipads to film chronological timelines. E-safety teaching is embedded within these planned sessions with skills deployed throughout these units of work.
In UKS2, children become computer literate learners. They explore the benefits the internet provides in the wider world by establishing links with others. Children are taught to understand computer networks and begin to appreciate the opportunities this offers for communication and collaboration. Pupils are able to use and combine software to create adverts, videos and animations. In years 5 and 6, children use their information technology skills to create propaganda adverts to reflect their wartime themes. Throughout our e-safety lessons, children are exposed to the exciting things that the internet offers them but in controlled and safe ways. They learn to understand boundaries and how to take precautions and when to report issues and concerns. Children take part in drama opportunities and activities to help them recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviours online - this is a particularly effective strategy and is a strong addition to our teaching surrounding e-safety in UKS2.