INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS
Aims and objectives
ICT is changing the lives of everyone. Through teaching ICT we equip children to participate in a rapidly-evolving world, where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. We enable them to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way. ICT skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners.
The aims of ICT are to enable children:
•to develop ICT capability in finding, selecting and using information
•to use ICT for effective and appropriate communication;
•to monitor and control events both real and imaginary;
•to apply their ICT skills and knowledge to enhance their learning in other areas;
•to use their ICT skills to develop their language and communication skills;
•to explore their attitudes towards ICT and its value to them and society in general. For example, to learn about issues of security, confidentiality and accuracy.
Teaching and learning style
As the aims of ICT are to equip children with the skills necessary to use technology to become independent learners, the teaching style that we adopt is as active and practical as possible. At times we do give children direct instruction on how to use hardware or software in 'skills' lessons but we often use ICT capabilities to support teaching across the curriculum. So, for example, children might research a history topic by using a software program, or they might investigate a particular issue on the Internet. Children who are learning science might use the computer to model a problem or to analyse data. We encourage the children to explore ways in which the use of ICT can improve their results, for example, how a piece of writing can be edited or how the presentation of a piece of work can be improved by moving text about etc.
We recognise that all classes have children with widely differing ICT abilities. This is especially true when some children have access to ICT equipment at home, while others do not. We provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability and experience of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, by:
•setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
•setting tasks of increasing difficulty (not all children complete all tasks);
•grouping children by ability in the room, or with the ICT Teaching Assistant and setting different tasks for each ability group;
•providing resources of different complexity that are matched to the ability of the child;
•using Teaching Assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.
ICT curriculum planning
The school uses the a combined National Curriculum/QCA scheme of work for ICT as the basis for its curriculum planning. We have adapted both to the local circumstances of the school.
Currently an ICT Teaching Assistant is responsible for the delivery of much of the skills-based curriculum.
We carry out the curriculum planning in ICT in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the ICT topics that the children study in each term during each Key Stage. This is undertaken in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group, and the children should be studying ICT as part of their work in other subject areas. Our long-term ICT plan shows how teaching units are distributed across the year groups, and how these fit together to ensure progression within the curriculum plan.
Our medium-term plans, incorporating the national scheme of work, give details of each unit of work for each term. They identify the key learning objectives for each unit of work and stipulate the curriculum time that we devote to it. The ICT subject leader is responsible for keeping and reviewing these plans. As we have mixed-age classes, we do our medium-term curriculum planning on a two-year rotation cycle. In this way we ensure that we cover the National Curriculum without repeating topics.
The class teacher is responsible for writing the short-term plans with the ICT component of each lesson. These plans list the specific learning objectives of each lesson. The class teacher keeps these individual plans and s/he and the ICT Teaching Assistant should discuss these regularly.
The topics studied in ICT are planned to build upon prior learning. While we offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, we also build planned progression into the scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.
Early Years Foundation Stage
We teach ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Reception class is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the ICT aspects of the children's work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. The children have the opportunity to use eg. computers, digital cameras, robots, recording devices and the interactive whiteboard. Then during the year they gain confidence and start using the computer to find information and use it to communicate in a variety of ways.
The contribution of ICT to teaching in other curriculum areas
ICT contributes to teaching and learning in all curriculum areas. For example, graphics work links in closely with work in art, and work using databases supports work in mathematics, while CD ROMs and the Internet prove very useful for research in humanities subjects. ICT enables children to present their information and conclusions in the most appropriate way.
ICT is a major contributor to the teaching of English. Through the development of keyboard skills and the use of computers, children learn how to edit and revise text. They have the opportunity to develop their writing skills by communicating with people over the Internet, and they are able to join in discussions with other children throughout the world through the medium of video conferencing. They learn how to improve the presentation of their work by using desk-top publishing software.
teaching programs, to collect data, make predictions, analyse results, and present information graphically. They also acquire measuring techniques involving positive and negative numbers, and including decimal places.
Science investigations and research are enhanced by the use. The children have the opportunity to develop their science skills by using interactive software and relevant websites, thereby developing critical, analytical minds. Appropriate programs may be particularly suitable for children with special needs as regards presentational skills; and also for the more able children to research more widely.
Personal, Social and Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
ICT makes a contribution to the teaching of PSHCE and citizenship as children learn to work together in a collaborative manner. They develop a sense of global citizenship by using the Internet and e-mail. Through the discussion of moral issues related to electronic communication, children develop a view about the use and misuse of ICT, and they also gain a knowledge and understanding of the interdependence of people around the world.
Teaching ICT to children with Special Needs or to More Able Pupils
At our school, we teach ICT to all children, whatever their ability. ICT forms part of our school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education for all children. We provide learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties. In some instances eg 'Communication in Print' materials, the use of ICT has a considerable impact on the quality of work that children produce; it increases their confidence and motivation. When planning work in ICT, we can take into account the targets in the children's Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and also those more able learners for whom ICT may be a crucial extension activity The use of ICT can help children in achieving their targets and progressing in their learning.
Assessment and recording
Teachers assess children's work in ICT by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. Pupils' progress is closely monitored by the class teacher and the ICT Teaching Assistant, and at the end of each term, each pupil will be levelled for the strand of ICT which has been studied. This class record is kept in the teacher's Assessment Folder and also by the ICT Teaching Assistant. When appropriate, the children print out work for their subject folders/books, additionally children can also save their work onto their class files. The ICT subject leader keeps samples of the children's work in a portfolio. This demonstrates the expected level of achievement in ICT for each age group in the school.
Currently, each classroom contains at least three PCs, as well as three laptops for curriculum use, an interactive whiteboard and access to an inkjet printer.. The Library contains six PCs and five laptops . There is also a colour printer that is also networked to the administration computers. Each classroom has a number of CD roms to support learning through ICT. Every computer in the school is linked to the internet and also has a Viruscan program. We keep resources for ICT, including software, in the upper resources room as well as in classrooms. Along with the computers, the school has the following:
•colour printers •scanner •digital cameras •video recorder •electronic keyboard
•listening centres •calculators •robots •control interface with buzzers etc.
•word processing packages •painting/drawing software •clip art •a music composition package
•a multimedia programme •spreadsheets/database programmes •control programme •simulations;
We will encourage children to be at ease with revealing something inappropriate on the internet they may accidentally come across. Where we judge this to be a serious issue, the Headteacher will advise the parents that a breach of e-safety has occurred. The Headteacher will also advise the school's internet service provider of the inappropriate material.
The ICT Subject Leader will regularly attend conferences and external training to keep up to date with the latest initiatives.
The role and responsibility of the class teacher
Each teacher, in collaboration with the ICT Teaching Assistant, is responsible for the planning of I.C.T in accordance with the agreed scheme of work within their own classroom. It is also the teacher's responsibility to ensure equal opportunities and fair entitlement of all children in their class and pass on records pertaining to this. The class teacher should maintain the resources within their classroom in good working order - computers should be sited away from excessive dust/dirt pollution, away from glare of windows (where possible) and at height appropriate for their age range. The sockets should not be overloaded and wires should be kept tidy and out of the way.
Monitoring and review
The monitoring of the standards of the children's work and of the quality of teaching in ICT is the responsibility of the ICT subject leader and the Leadership Team. The ICT subject leader is also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of ICT, for keeping informed about current developments in the subject and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The ICT subject leader regularly discusses the ICT situation with the Leadership Team. During the year, the ICT subject leader has specially-allocated time for carrying out the task of reviewing samples of the children's work and for visiting classes to observe the teaching of ICT.