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Innovative ICT teaching

Article | Published 3 October, 2012

Katrina Smith is head of ICT at The Priory School in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, which converted to an academy in June 2012. Katrina discusses the innovative teaching of computer science at The Priory.

For many years now we have been ensuring that the teaching of ICT has been done in a creative and innovative way in order to engage the students, as well as teaching them skills that can be transferred into other areas of their learning. We have particularly focussed on creating projects that teach not only the basic skills such as Excel, Word etc, but that also develop problem solving activities and more complex technical skills.

Our students have had the opportunity to develop Apps, learn HTML, engage with game design, video and sound-editing and, they have designed and developed excellent digital revision resources using these skills. Industry experts have been invited to come and teach applications such as GarageBand and show us how to use resources such as stop frame animation, which students have then been able to use in other school work - for instance a student may now use stop frame animation in a science project. The regular use of handheld devices has been well received when used in other departments too and allows students to present their work in a variety of media.

The disapplication of the National Curriculum Programme of Study for ICT has given us more freedom over what and how to teach, allowing us to develop further the creative areas of our PoS.  This is also preparing students for a variety of courses offered at Key Stage 4, such as a Double ICT GCSE, Computer Science and a Creative i Media Award. We now have the time to concentrate on more creative projects and advanced skills such as programming, where students are developing basic games to engage them with the principles of creative programming. 

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