ICT is in its fourth decade here at St. Andrew’s and it is now very much a second generation pursuit, with most families having computer-literate parents and access to a computer, tablet and/or electronic reader in the home. Added to this is the ever-expanding speed and scope of the Internet and use of mobile devices for communication and entertainment. Today’s child, more than ever, needs to have the confidence and skill to be able to adapt to whatever the industry will throw in his or her path next.
Here at St. Andrew’s we concentrate on early exposure to computers, with specialist instruction from Year 2 onwards. We have a dedicated computer suite for ICT teaching as well as access to a computer in every classroom and a second suite of computers for general use. We are ever mindful of changes and advances in ICT and our scheme of work is flexible and responsive and new innovations are incorporated where they would help to improve our teaching.
The core skills of Word Processing, Data Handling, Presentations, Graphics, Web Page design, HTML code and Computer Programming form the backbone of the work covered. Indeed, the recent changes in the National Curriculum for ICT provision have caused very little adjustment here at St. Andrew’s other than starting to teach “coding” right from Year 1.
However, other worthwhile and exciting applications will be experienced along the way, for example animation and video production techniques. The emphasis is on gradually building self-confidence and the ability to work and discover independently. Many of the skills which transfer from one application to another are practised over and over again to build that confidence.
In Year 8, pupils prepare a large portfolio of coursework which forms part of their assessment, leading to a Certificate of Achievement in ICT.
The school is currently looking to develop its mobile learning capability with the use of portable devices, such as tablets, in the classroom and has recently expanded its WiFi coverage to encompass the whole site.