For every child to become masters of technology in the rapidly changing digital world. Pupils will develop their digital literacy skills whilst gaining the knowledge of how to develop their ideas and safely use technology. They will be able to apply the skills to their further education and future career preparing them for jobs of the future. At Greswold the children have many different opportunities to use a wide range of technology such as animation, graphic design, digital software and the internet with an annual focus on online safety, culminating in children applying these skills to independently create ‘Greswold News!’ in Year 6.
Many children start at Greswold being familiar with a wide range of technology. They then develop skills and an understanding of the purpose of these technologies such as using Google as a search engine and using walkie talkies to communicate with one another over a distance. The children also have opportunities to use old mobile phones, keyboards and computers in their role play. They talk about the different technologies they use at home for example the microwave, washing machines and televisions. There are iPads available with age specific learning apps set up. They use the interactive whiteboards in the classrooms daily. When available we use programmable toys to initiate their coding skills.
Children use a mixture of iPads and Windows PCs to develop their computing skills. They learn why it is important to keep personal information private and where to go for help if something or someone makes them feel uncomfortable using the story ‘Smartie the Penguin’. The children are given their own login and password and will practise the skill of logging in and out of a computer independently. Through simple point, click and drag games, the children learn the main parts of a computer and refine their mouse control. They continue to develop this by using the Paint program to create their own pieces of art. The children learn how to write their own algorithms using simple coding programs such as Beebots and Kodable, as well as using the Beebot robots during their position and direction topic in Maths. They will develop their keyboard skills using simple text handling programs such as word to create captions and labels for their artwork.
Children use a mixture of iPads and Windows PCs to develop their computing skills. The children use the Lightbot Jr and Scratch Jr apps to progress their understanding of coding. They create simple programs and are encouraged to solve problems by debugging their code. Children develop their creativity by creating digital art and also use stop motion animation to bring plasticine minibeasts to life. In the computer room, the children develop their mouse and keyboard skills. They use Word to make text look interesting and PowerPoint to present information connected to the Geography topic of Africa. The children learn to save their work and load it again to make subsequent changes. This is linked to developing an understanding of how the school network works and where the data is physically stored. In work on online safety, the children learn some simple rules to follow when using the Internet. They research the Great Fire of London using a range of websites and learn that some websites can be inaccurate while others are not suitable for children. The children consider the risks associated with video sharing sites such as YouTube and recap who they can talk to if they have concerns when they use online technology.
Pupils build on their knowledge of how computer networks function and link. They continue to use the Internet to find information and evaluate the effectiveness of their keyword searches and the reliability of the information generated. They know how to use advanced searches to find copyright free images and how to bookmark websites on both the computer and iPad. Pupils learn how to use email safely as a method of communication including acceptable and unacceptable content. Children also learn how to create avatars to use as an online alias when using discussion forums to keep their identify safe, understanding that if they make personal information available online, it may be seen, used or altered by others. They are taught to recognise the effect their comments might have on others (including cyberbullying) and to respect the ideas, work and communications of all. Pupils use the computer software Lightbot and Scratch to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals and solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. They use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs and work with variables. They use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs. The children will also learn some basic skills within Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. They will be able to use these skills when completing their Science experiments where they will then present their data and findings in a presentation to others. They will know how to structure and store their own data and create folders so that they can retrieve it easily. Pupils are also taught about the role computers and other devices have in industry, linking this to local industry and how they use them.
Pupils are taught how to verify the reliability of information on websites and evaluate the accuracy of content. They learn what plagiarism is and that other people’s work should not be copied without crediting the source. They continue to understand how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly, recognising acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; and can identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact. Children develop their transferable skills of word processing and design by creating non-fiction texts linked to their Anglo-Saxon topic. There is a focus on computer science using the Code3 and Scratch languages giving the pupils opportunity to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems. They use logical reasoning to explain how some algorithms work and to detect and correct errors. Using an iPad, the children will create their own stop motion animation linked to their English topic of adventure stories. Throughout these topics, there will be a focus on how technology is used to support a variety of everyday tasks in the wider world.
Children are taught how to keep their online profile secure and are reminded of the importance to protect personal information, including the dangers of social media and sharing images. The children also learn about the online threats computers face including viruses and malware. Coding is taught through Kodu where the children have the opportunity to create their own world and program a series of challenges. Linking with our Victorian topic, the children will use computer programs such as Audacity to create a podcast, which they can then edit. Using Sharepoint, the children will also create a web page that promotes their Residential visit to Llandudno. They will develop their word processing skills within Microsoft word. This will allow them to use more advanced functions, which will enable them to write more fluently, confidently, and with increased speed - this links to their skills in the Life Ready scheme. The children will learn to collaborate with each other using online services including wikis, discussions and email.
In their coding scheme of work, children use the internet to engage in several, varied complex programmes to explore different types and usages of programming systems building on previously acquired skills.
While learning about Internet Safety, children submerge themselves into the topic by identifying appropriate and inappropriate usages of modern technology, as well as looking at current social media and phone apps in order to recognise how protecting their digital footprint through privacy settings, can lead to a safe and happy life. In doing so, pupils are also able to recognise what dangers they might face if they fail to protect their private information and data. During this topic, children are also provided with several avenues of how they can report concerns about content or contact, such as: how would they communicate problems to the NSPCC, the police or other trusted adults.
Cross-curricular links are utilised to allow children to explore movie-making media where children can use their historical knowledge combined with written work to create, edit and publish (onto the school website) their own live news broadcast around the theme of WW1.
Technology in the real world is accessed through a series of Life-Ready sessions. One of these sessions is delivered by a local Deputy Head who introduces children to the concept of evidencing a range of core skills that, in the future, can be integrated into devising their Curriculum Vitae. Children then develop and add continuously to these working documents throughout the year with the knowledge that they will continue to access these documents at Secondary School. Additionally, pupils will receive inspirational and motivational career talks from professionals from within the technological industry who will talk about their academic pathway into that career.
To ensure their application of skills is relevant to real-life, children will access an Excel unit where they are required to plan and cost their residential visit to France. Children also use a range of media to help create their yearbook, reflecting on their journey and memories through Greswold.