Vision Statement


Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 20, 2013



The Governments vision for the changes from ICT to Computing is to make students aware of how programming contributes to the world around them. Although ICT has been part of the education system for many years it has  changed names on several occasions. The Government believes that the old ICT curriculum is out of date in relation to England trying to compete in the global economy. They have introduced      ‘computational thinking and practical programming skills in order for England to be seen as a competitive in the computer industry’, (DfE, 2013).
Sarah Byrne writes for the Guardian stating that, ‘ICT curriculum is changing. For a start, it has a new name: computing. The hope is that the new curriculum will equip students with the skills they need to   become active participants of this fast-paced digital world’. Useful links like this will help to develop the skills teachers need in order to teach this new area.
The changes indicate that schools now have the freedom to teach a form of ICT until September 2014, (DfE, 2013) after which they will need to teach computing as the new program of study. This in turn requires old and new teachers to be up to date in their knowledge.
Technology gives students the chance to solve problems independently and with others. As teachers, we need to be able to offer the students the chance to flourish in all areas of the curriculum. ICT or Computing needs to be integrated in all areas of study if possible. This will then give the best chance for most students to benefit from learning new skills to use in the future. This has then changed the way teachers maybe perceived from ‘teaching to facilitator’ (Britland, 2013).
With the new curriculum changing a variety of support is on offer. PyconUk offered the chance for students to speak to software developers about their careers. The students were then able to try different resources and write their own software. It was noted that, ‘It was a pleasure to see new young programmers discover the fun that can be had writing software, Python community’s outreach and diversity efforts are bearing fruit’. These types of opportunities will help students and teachers understand what computing entails and how it can be implemented within the planning.
Is there still room for ICT within the curriculum? Several researchers have suggested that both need to taught, Matt Britland mentions that, ‘It is safe to say that I think it will help ‘some’ who eventually enter a career in computer science, but will hinder many more when they realise they are being taught things that are of little relevance to them. It is important to get the balance right. It is important not to restrict our student’s digital education’. This is also highlighted by Joanna Poplawska, ‘the discipline of information technology should be given “equal emphasis to computer science”, something she feels the new curriculum’s ‘Computing Programme of Study’ does not do. To compete with other countries it suggests that the curriculum needs to cover both in order for the students to have broader knowledge. This can be achieved by teachers having the skills and confidence to teach both areas. Trying to deliver both of these will be an issue regarding funding and time for the teachers to actually be trained.
Both ICT and Computing require the students be taught about E-safety. This needs to be implemented on a continuous basis,  during class session and letters home. Parents’ need to be involved in the information surrounding E-safety and how they can support their children. There are several web sites that give guidance on E-safety, The Early Surfers’ Zone offers teachers’ lessons plans as well as resources. The lessons evolve around a penguin, an animal that students can respond to, and asking questions that help him to stay safe. The site mentions that, “Pupils will hear the story of Smartie the Penguin and answer associated questions throughout the story to help Smartie make the best decisions whilst on the internet. Pupils will learn a simple e-safety message in the form of a song, which will be repeated on several occasions.”
The Tes website also offer detailed medium term plans on how to teach E-safety. These are very informative and can be used across the school. I would use both of these sites and read about E-safety before planning any ICT/Computing lessons. I would also invite the parents to an E-safety night, showing them video clips, leaflets and general question and answers. To plan these meetings I would need to make sure that I was fully converse with E-safety and be able to answer any questions addressed to me.
Following all my sessions at University I feel that I am now able to plan and teach a computing lesson. I would definitely use all the functions available on the purplemash website. This site covers all areas of the curriculum and things can easily be adapted to match any topic. I would also encourage the class to make a blog and continue this when they are at home. I would use a blog to keep in contact with other schools especially when a geography topic arises based on another country. This will need lots of research but would be a brilliant tool for the students to participate in. Another site that I found, which looks very useful was ICT in Early Years, it has a list of websites detailing what they specialise in. This site is easy to navigate and gives a clear indication to what would be useful when planning. I will actively seek any further training especially on the new curriculum but at present I feel able to teach a computing lesson.





Session 6 Final session


Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 18, 2013

Final session for ICT. During this lesson the class peer reviewed each others blogs and also looked at the resources in the resource bank. I had a look at Rachael’s blog and noted down some key themes. I left feed back on her site and mentioned about the use of iPads. I now feel quietly confident in using ICT or rather Computing in schools.

The following groups shared their resources and suggested ways to use them whilst in a classroom.

Rebecca, Amber, Chloe and Collette chose an activity that would support story writing. Amber had used this activity whilst in a placement and so was able to offer first-hand experience in using it. The activity offered a selection of titles. The children were able to choose a title and then write about it. The titles had also been hyperlinked so the children could listen to the sounds and develop more ideas. To take this activity outside the classroom the titles offered allowed this, such as ‘woods’, the children could then visit a wood nearby to develop their story writing.

This could easily be adapted and the titles change to suit the current topic in class. I would use this activity during a literacy lesson. It gives the children the freedom to choose something that they can relate to rather than being told the subject by the teacher. This will make the work more independent and pupil choice.

Alice and Hannah gave ideas for progression within computing. They planned the structure of resources that could be used from EYFS to KS2. The information was very informative but did not show links to various sites that could be used. If links are made available this would be a very helpful resource when it comes to thinking of ideas for teaching. I hope they are able to add to their resource.

Ben, Gemma and Sophie decided on a topic ‘Pirates’. They then suggested a vast variety of activities, websites, stories, video’s that could all be used when planning for this topic. It was very informative and imaginative. Planning for cross curriculum activities was also mentioned. This resource was endless and would be very beneficial if the topic arose.

Serena, Marlene, Lindsay and Sarah decided to show how the ‘green screen’ app could be used within a classroom. They used the iPad touch cast app to develop this idea. Their theme was space, so they used puppets with a moon background to tell a story. One of the difficulties they found was the fact the iPad is quite heavy to hold while doing long screen shots and they felt it would be unsuitable for younger children to do. Although the resource looked interesting I felt that a lot of input would be needed for children in EYFS and maybe yr1 of KS1. Additional staff would need to be involved when trying to use in the classroom.

Lottie, Abbie, Stacey and Rosie also tried the green screen app on the iPad. Their resource suggested that the children would pick a theme and then try using the green screen app to make a small video. Again similar situations arose such as weight of iPad and staffing issues. A selection of titles would need to be offered to the children in order for them to make a choice. A finished video would be beneficial to show them first in order for them to understand what it is they are trying to make.

Myself, Rachael, Ellen and Kat used a variety of sites to create our resource bank. Our theme as mentioned in the previous blog was ‘Autumn’. We managed to cover most of the curriculum within our resources and felt that anybody could print it off and use it. The rest of the class said that they felt it was a resource that they would use, which gave me hope in the planning of computing, whilst at placement next year.

Session 5 Beyond the classroom


Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 17, 2013

This session looked at taking technology outside either by bringing visitors in or exploring places that children wouldn’t normally see. Apps and sites are available for children to visit places online without them actually going. The class looked a variety of different sites and apps. During the session I looked into the site called ‘Espresso’. This site used very simple basic commands for the children to follow. It also had a commentary to follow at the beginning to show how the application worked.  As an introduction to simple programming, which is now part of the new national curriculum,   this website is useful. I did feel however that after the initial 2 lessons the activity was very similar and I felt that it would become boring to children.

Other options available; 3D shapes, this allows the children to take photos and then add speech bubbles to bring them to life. So, they are able to take photos of obscure things such as vegetables and create a scene around them. This could be very beneficial for creating stories during a cross curriculum activity. This is an application that I would attempt to use during a lesson as it is very open ended and the children can decided how to complete the activity. I found this blog site, iPad apptivities,  that shows you how to complete the activities.


The session also looked at sites that enable children to write stories in 6 slides, which looked interesting but did not have time to look at it. Some of the group looked at QR codes,on pinterest   , the children choose an object and then hold the iPad over it and create a QR code. The codes can then be joined together for others to try and follow. They can make maps of their local area, classroom and school or at home.

A copy of a QR code from google images.

During the session I also looked at the Kodable app available on Apple’s iTune site,  this activity was very basic, no words but very colourful characters.

One application that I found  interesting was eTwinning,  this app allows schools to join together when learning about different topics. They are able to blog about what they have been learning and pass this information onto other schools. This enables shared learning in a broader sense. The children are also able to talk about what they have learnt and then the other children can replay and listen to the information. During my employment as a TA my class learnt about Australia. They could only communicate via emails and with the time difference this caused delays. Using this app the children would be able to listen to what the children had replied and make the sessions more interactive. I would like to use this when I have my own class but especially with a class from a different country.