We decided to focus on learning and progressing in computer programming skills. We would use this activity with lower Key Stage 2 children but it could easily be extended for older children or those who are accomplished programmers or as they progress with the programming over a series of lessons.
Children would be given the simple bat and ball game, which already has all of the script written for them.
Children are then to create their own theme for the bat and ball game. They could choose their themes. We’ve chosen aliens, but it could be anything from cars to unicorns! Depending on the children’s experience, we would ask the children, for example, to change the sprites, add sounds, and add a background.Our group have demonstrated possible outcomes of this activity with the space bat and ball game (see “Resources“).
We would ask them to prepare their games to be used with Key Stage 1 children so that they had an audience in mind. The KS1 children could use the games as a stimulus for writing stories, poetry, drama, role-plays etc. These would then be shown and played by the KS1 children who could provide an evaluation for the children, giving it a purpose and the “assessment” not coming from the teacher.
Everyone knows that e-safety is an important aspect that needs to be taught to children but through talking to children (and from my own experience) it isn’t always being taught in the best way.
When talking to Year 7 students during the transition period they expressed their views that the first topic covered was E-safety, which included making posters. They all said that although they understood it was an important topic that the information was always the same and that it was always taught in the same way via making posters.
It is our job, as teachers, to make sure that our pupils do not come out of our classes saying the same thing. We want them to have learnt something new and have learnt it in a new, inspiring and interactive way. How can we do this?
Internet safety is often taught as a topic. However, is this entirely necessary? Internet safety is something that needs to be thought about and adhered to whenever the children go onto the computer. This means that e-safety needs to be incorporated into every lesson. Through small activities, reminders before the children write an email or having information in the room. Also, children need to have the opportunity to put this into practice on a regular basis either through natural use of e-mail or VLE’s.