What does ICT look like at Cedars Manor School (CMS)?
1. Our approach to ICT:
As a school, we are continuing to deliver the computing curriculum as both stand-alone lessons, which enable teachers to ensure whole-class engagement, participation and up-skilling of techniques needed and peer assistance from the more able pupils; and as an integrated subject within other subjects across the curriculum.
There are two ICT suites in the school; one with 30 pupil computers (mainly for use with KS2 classes) and a smaller one with 15 computers for KS1 use. However, Year 2 have been timetabled to use the KS2 suite this year to ensure pupils are being taught the relevant coding skills needed.
Each classroom has an Interactive Smartboard (IWB) which is actively used throughout the day, as well as a maximum of two extra computers for pupils to utilise as and when needed – encouraging independent use of ICT for research and as an additional tool for subject-specific online tasks.
The ICT leader has organised a ‘Code-Club’ with the Able and Gifted students since 2013 and will continue to run the club throughout 2014-15 with the goal of encouraging those pupils to act as ICT leaders throughout the school to assist in technically challenging lessons and to offer support where needed.
2. The new Computing Curriculum:
the new computing curriculum is very much about allowing pupils the opportunity to learn about the coding and programming side of ICT. The scheme of work we are following at CMS includes the Rising Stars: Switched On Computing and Espresso Coding. As a school, we are encouraging pupils to be interested in the application side of Computing and not just the consumer side. Pupils are reacting positively to the innovative approach to ICT and are fully engaged and interested in what goes on behind the scenes; particularly with game-making.
3. ICT across the curriculum:
ICT across the curriculum is highly encouraged and is embedded in most lessons. It is seen through pupils’ interaction with online tasks on pupil PCs in the classroom and through teacher-led activities on the IWB, as well as the use of digital technology to provide evidence of group-work/drama opportunities across different subjects.
4. ICT technician support:
As a direct result of teachers’ CPD requirements, it was agreed that the IT technicians would be available to support ICT lessons when the new Computing Curriculum was introduced. This has allowed teachers to become more confident in administering their lessons, as they are aware of the added support in place for them.
5. The range of information technology used in the school:
There are many different tools available for teachers and pupils to use:
Microphones and Easi-Speak microphones (which had assisted with the Speaking & Listening project and is now used for ongoing Speaking and Listening opportunities in class);
Digital cameras (a class-set of 15);
Digital scanners and a Visualiser;
Easy-Sense data-loggers (that download information directly onto the computer);
A set of web-cams;
A set of Beebot floor robots (which are available to use within other year-groups when needed);
EYFS Child-friendly hand-held cameras;
And digital camcorders.
Fronter is a virtual learning platform that enables teachers to enhance pupils’ learning at home. The class/year-group pages are a great opportunity for collaboration and an excellent platform to keep parents informed of topical work that may assist in helping their children access the more difficult areas of the curriculum.
E-Safety is something we take very seriously at CMS. The ICT leader administers a termly assembly to remind pupils of the importance of keeping E-Safe. This is usually followed by a lesson back in class and a reminder issued in the newsletter for both parents and pupils to visit the E-Safety room on Fronter.