What it's all about
A group led by Havering School Improvement Services' ICT team created a dynamic new curriculum known as Switched on ICT, to help develop the skills pupils are likely to need in future, writes Nigel Hooton.
As a pilot school, we provided feedback to publisher Rising Stars, which was developing the study materials. When I started rolling out this broader, cross-curricular approach to ICT, I realised that, because it was not context-specific, it was easy to embed and costs were kept to a minimum, with as many free, open-source resources as possible.
To help staff adapt, we established a panel of digital leaders from among the pupils. We now have Year 3 (P3) pupils using the free programming language Scratch.
On a typical morning, our Year 4 (P4) children may be in a history lesson creating wikis or a blog about the Second World War. Through the "We are musicians" unit, they may create music to complement their studies, or a spreadsheet to track the evacuation patterns of children at our school during the war.
In a literacy lesson, Year 5 (P5) pupils may use persuasive writing to create their own advertising campaign for television, radio, posters and online media in the unit "We are advertisers".
After lunchtime, Year 6 (P6) may use the "We are web developers" unit to create interactive pages for their websites on Victorians, continuing them at home later.
The results have been impressive, and we are proud of what we have achieved.
Try chadders07 's tutorial to get you started with Scratch programming software. bit.lyScratchIntro
LitProfSuz explains why blogging is a great way to communicate with pupils. bit.lyBlogInSchool.