At Horniman Primary our aim is for pupils 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 continuing to provide exciting and engaging activities that capture the imaginations of our children. We believe that it is 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 collecting scientific data on data loggers 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 Horniman 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 computers, iPads and other technologies such as digital sound recorders, cameras and floor bots (Bee-Bots and Pro-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 computers and are introduced to creating and saving digital content onto the school network, using a variety of software and apps. In year 1, children use these to create and manipulate images and text. In year 2 pupils learn how to make simple maths games on the computer; these are then uploaded to DB Primary and shared with parents and the wider school. They use educational apps on iPads and are introduced to basic programming concepts using code.org resources.
In 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, Logo, HTML and learn to write and test algorithms (precise instructions), as well as make computer animations, games and quizzes. 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 a variety of apps on iPads.
We currently run an after school Code Club once a week, for Year 5. This allows interested children to delve further into computer programming. This year, projects have ranged from taking computers apart to look inside, making games in Scratch and recently to learning a new programming language (Python) and building and writing programs for programmable robots.