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ICT - Log on to the future

What it's all about

The technology curriculum has traditionally focused on secondary school, but in light of proposed changes to the primary curriculum in England, we couldn't resist the chance to expand our pupils' knowledge, writes Pam Dryden. So why not follow our example, liaise with the technology, science and computing sector and set up a special day to introduce children as young as seven to the technology of the future?

We teamed up with Intellect, the trade body for the technology sector, and the GoTo foundation, an organisation aiming to change the public perception of computer science, to create the GoTo Tech day. It was an astonishing success.

Pupils aged 7-9 took part in three lessons to give them hands-on experience of computing skills. At the end of the day, they showed their delighted parents what they had learned.

RS Components introduced the children to the Raspberry Pi computer (pictured above); the University of Roehampton ran lessons on Scratch, a programming language for young people, and Apps for Good showed pupils how to design mobile apps.

In the Scratch lesson, children collected a few computer-controlled animal characters and wrote simple programs to animate them. They were thrilled that they had learned how to make a simple game. By using Scratch, they find out about mathematical and computational ideas, and learn to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively.

The fact that children as young as seven could get actively involved with computer science was fantastic. They loved it.

What else?

Help pupils to design their own mobile apps with a lesson from QBall. Introduce pupils to Scratch with Barbarathompson's lesson.

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