Tag-Archive for ◊ curriculum ◊

Computing in KS1/2 – Have Your Say!
Thursday, February 07th, 2013 | Author:

This is your chance to have your say on the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 National Curriculum for Computing (the subject formerly known as ICT)

Today saw the launch of the draft National Curriculum. ICT is gone and in its place, Computing. To read through the document, click here.

Now, my thoughts on the changes can wait a few days until another blog post, but I REALLY need your help with something. I am on a panel at the Westminster Forum reviewing the new curriculum and giving my thoughts. The full line-up is available here but includes some amazing people such as Miles Berry and the Director of Education for Microsoft and the person who co-founded CodeClub and someone who does Computing and Software Development and me.

I’m the only primary school teacher on this panel. I don’t want that to sound big-headed, I’m not sure why they chose me and not Chris Leach or Kevin McLaughlin or the 100s of other amazing people on Twitter either….but I need to present for 5 minutes on my views of the new curriculum. That’s where you come in. My plan is to share your thoughts and fears and feelings about it too. Maybe I can be your voice on the panel. Maybe you love the thought of teaching algorithms to 6 year-olds.

So if you have any thoughts, please share them below. Will it change anything? Who knows. Will it make a difference? I doubt it. But it’s a chance, right?

For the official chance to consult on the changes, visit here

Category: blogposts, Curriculum  | Tags: ,  | 3 Comments
ICT Curriculum and Assessment
Monday, November 19th, 2012 | Author:

As you may know, I have spent many months writing, changing and adapting lessons for our ICT scheme of work. It’s gone from a stand-alone lesson towards a more cross-curricular approach and it hasn’t been plain sailing. I have created a website, www.ictplanning.co.uk, and this has been the home of the ideas for around a year. It started as a Google site, became a WordPress blog and has now changed the look and feel again. It originally had 11 areas to look at, each with a few more inside. I have now changed it to have 4 key areas, each with 6-7 sub-areas.

The sub-areas are set out in a similar way to Simon Haughton’s curriculum in that it looks at the end goal of creating an e-book, using spreadsheets or designing a website. My theory is that if the children can achieve these goals by the end of Year 6, we will have done a great job. Even if they haven’t achieved everything, they will have been exposed to a range of ideas, tools and software along the way and this will still be a wider variety than they will receive in many other schools.

Previously I had decided the areas and then put assessment on the back-burner until later. Although when I re-arranged it, I tried to put assessment at the forefront so that it went hand-in-hand with the plans. Before I was trying to level blogging and animation and it became too cumbersome and complicated. Now I have simplified the process to make it more accessible for teachers and children. Again, as I have stressed before, this is a system for my school, based on our situation and our needs. If others use the website, find it useful and adapt it for their own school, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too.

So for the assessment I have got rid of the levels and replaced them three medals. These are bronze, silver and gold. There has been discussion at school, with children too, about what they mean. Does bronze mean KS1? Does gold mean Y6? Not really. In some areas gold is easier to reach than in others, but generally:

  • Bronze – Gettings to grips with the idea, trying a few things out
  • Silver – Becoming more confident, making more decisions
  • Gold – Applying what I know into new situations, thinking about my audience, producing consistently good quality work
It might be that children achieve bronze and silver in year 2, it might be that they don’t get any medals in one area, such as spreadsheets, until y5. It is flexible. As it needs to be.

How will this look on the reports? Who knows. Previously we gave statements based on levels in the mid-year report and ten a level at the end of the year. These levels were difficult to separate as all of KS2 were either level 3, 4 or 5. This new system might make it easier to differentiate what a child is good at or what they need to work on. They might be a silver at website design but they might not have achieved a bronze in databases.

So I have split the website into the four areas (Computing and Programming, Using Text and Graphics, Researching and Communicating and Creating Multimedia). Within these areas are the sub-areas and on each sub-area page I have listed the steps for success. On the pages of the site, along with the steps, there are suggestions of software to use with examples, how-to guides and help sheets where possible. More of these will be added soon.

When it comes to the assessment, each sub-area, such as animation, has a simple poster with the steps for success listed for the teachers to share with the children.

An example poster based on Editing Audio.

Each child then has an assessment card with the medals listed and a paper insert with the statements so that they can see the next steps. The Digital Leaders suggested that having the paper middle was a good idea as they want to see how they can improve. This also means if they are learning about e-books, but also cover blogging, they can see both areas at once. The children can then also tick off the statements when they feel they have achieved them and then the teacher can sign the card too. After discussion it was decided that KS1 wouldn’t have the paper insert.

A snippet of the sheets that the children have.

So these have all been given out at school and now I await the verdict of the rest of the children. We will see how effective this is across the school but already it has brought up discussions about the different tasks that could be completed in order to meet the objectives.

I’d be interested to hear what you think.

To download the documents for yourself, visit the ICT Planning website.