At Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy we take Computing very seriously and incorporate technology to complement our curriculum. We hope to prepare our pupils for a future in an environment which is shaped by technology. In classrooms you will find laptops, ipads, BeeBots and cameras used across the school in a cross-curricular capacity to aid the entire breadth of subjects taught. We aim to develop confident, independent learners who are able to plan, design, create, program and evaluate information through the use of technology.
From an early age, today’s children are being exposed to a wide variety of interactive media, from television to the internet, from mobiles to tablets; our children are being born into an increasingly digital world. We therefore see E-Safety as a central focus of all Computing learning and as such E-safety is taught from Foundation Stage through to Year 6 to ensure children know how to stay safe online. We begin the year with a pupil survey questioning their E-Safety knowledge, which then shapes the focus for the rest of the year. Then through assemblies, lessons and workshops delivered by the local police we survey again at the end of the year to demonstrate the progress made. To compliment this focus we have developed a strong relationship with the Leicestershire Police who come to school throughout the year to deliver talks to our parents to ensure this message is heard at home as well as at school. In past years we have held talks on Kayleigh’s Story, Digital Footprints and Breck’s Last Game and all have been well-received by our families.
This year we are fortunate to be following the Childnet Digital Leaders programme. This is a youth leadership training scheme that empowers our pupils to educate their peers about online safety. Our Digital Leaders meet weekly to work through e-learning modules to equip them with the skills to become peer mentors in school and help keep others safe online. This training sees the Digital Leaders building their knowledge base and expertise and prepares them to take a lead in the digital age.
We are very fortunate to have close links with DeMontfort University and we work closely with them across many projects. One of these projects sees student volunteers that are taking Computing courses at University come and deliver Scratch Jnr coding sessions to our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils.
Mr D Johnson
Year 1 delivered an e-safety assembly to the rest of the school, offering key advice on what to do to keep safe online and who to contact if you have concerns about content online. The assembly culminated with a video the pupils filmed and edited themselves using Adobe Spark.
Computing is embedded throughout the school and used as often as possible. Here you can see Year 2 have used their iPads to record a musical composition of their own making using tuned instruments. Following this lesson they revisited their work to evaluate and improve their work thanks to their use of technology.
By incorporating technology into our lessons we can bring our curriculum to life. Here you can see Year 3 filming, acting and later editing their own green screen weather reports. The final films were fantastic and shared on twitter for our families to enjoy at home.
The ability to use a search engine to research online is an important skill as is the ability to discern and evaluate the results. We teach our pupils to question the reliability and appropriateness of what they find online. Here Year 4 used a search engine to research their Viking topic.
We use the Accelerated Reader as a tool to promote, monitor and manage independent reading across the school. This technology perfectly complements our desire to promote a genuine love of learning across all ages.
Incorporating technology into our classrooms allows the pupils to instantly edit and improve their work. Our pupils are able to select and use a variety of software dependant on their goals for that lesson. Here we can see Year 6 have introduced mini-iPads during Literacy time for dictionary and thesaurus use whilst polishing their work.
Technology also allows us to make learning accessible for all learners. Here you can see that we have provided a visually impaired pupil with their own laptop with larger / highlighted keys – this is because writing with on paper can prove difficult and the laptop allows them to keep pace with their peers. This minor adjustment has had a big impact.
Our Digital Leaders have been enjoying the Childnet Digital Leaders program and have completed the training modules. We are now about to start our projects to assist pupils and teachers alike for the remainder of the year. Earlier in Spring term we visited the Apple Store to complete an enjoyable coding session. In this video you can see the pupils have programmed a Sphero Bolt to navigate an assault course – our previous coding experience came in handy.
Parent / Community Links
We are very fortunate to have close links with both our local community and the Leicestershire Constabulary. To capitalise on this and to ensure our parents are kept informed of technological advances / concerns we invite the police in to deliver parents talks throughout the year. The most recent talk discussed both the benefits and dangers of online gaming prompted by the recent Breck’s Last Game campaign.
Working closely with De Montfort University we provide our Year 4, 5 and 6 children with Coding sessions for half a term. Using the program Scratch we ensure pupils are adept at using sequencing, selection and repetition to achieve a given goal. By identifying how increasingly complex algorithms work the pupils are then able to identify and correct errors. These are valuable skills in a digital age where coding plays an increasingly important role.