At Swalecliffe, our aim is for the children to develop a set of computing and IT skills that will carry them through their school life and beyond. We aim to achieve this by providing exciting and engaging activities that capture the imaginations of our children. We believe it essential to give children the tools they need to become safe, responsible and creative citizens in an increasingly digital world.
Computing and e-safety is taught in all key stages and used throughout the curriculum. Each class has a dedicated weekly lesson and has opportunities to use a range of technologies in other subjects, whether it be building and programming robots with Lego or creating an animated story using an iPad app. The school benefits from having a good mix of laptops, desktop PCs and iPads and children are encouraged to become independent in their use.
Teaching and learning at Swalecliffe is enhanced by the use of a digital learning platform - DB Primary - every child is given their own account when they first join the school. Teachers post information and activities regularly so that children can access them at home. The learning platform also gives children the opportunity to communicate, share and collaborate in a safe online environment.
In Reception children use iPads and floor bots (Bee-Bots) in an informal setting. They use iPads and computers to create topic related content such as simple animations, pictures and manipulated photographs. They also play on age appropriate educational games and learn about staying safe online. They are supported in order to build their confidence and express their ideas and understanding.
In KS1 children explore programming using programmable floor bots: learning to write and try out instructions; guiding bots around different routes. They learn to name and use the different parts of a computer and are introduced to creating and saving digital content onto the school network, using a variety of software and apps. In Year 1, children learn to use a digital camera to take photos then use these images to create storyboards. In Year 2, pupils learn how to design simple games on the computer. They use educational apps on iPads and are introduced to basic programming concepts.
As children progress to KS2 computers and iPads are used extensively for cross curricular research. Children are encouraged to select and use different software and apps to present their ideas. From Year 3, they extend their IT skills and programming knowledge, moving toward becoming discerning users of technology and the Internet. Pupils are introduced to more than one programming language e.g. Scratch, Python, HTML and they learn to write and test algorithms (precise instructions), as well as make computer animations, games, blogs and websites. They are encouraged to help each other to problem solve, debug (fix) any errors and to share their learning and skills with their classmates. Computing concepts are also explored using ‘unplugged’ (away from the computer) activities and using a variety of apps on iPads. We also run a computing club for one term a year. This allows interested children to delve further into computer programming.