Monday, 4 October 2010

ICT Curriculum

Each of our curriculum co-ordinators has been given a day to explore the planning across the school. The idea is that we would like each teacher to record the progression in skills from the national curriculum and to keep note of the topics/areas of study for each year group.

This week is my turn to look at ICT. I was particularly interested in doing this as I had just read this blog post where the relevance of the curriculum and the QCA Schemes of Work for ICT in 2010 is questioned. The post mentions the evolution of the internet and Google in particular. It also mentions that the searching of CD-ROMs - does anyone use CD-ROMs any more? I can honestly say that I don't and I haven't done for years.

After looking at the planning from the teachers in the school, basing my progression on the National Curriculum, I began to realise that the skills, knowledge and understanding that is described is, in my opinion, nowhere near specific enough and also it doesn't reflect the variety of modern applications of ICT.

So in order to help our staff to meet the demands of the curriculum, challenge the pupils appropriately and include the variety of skills that modern ICT can include, I have looked into different ICT progressions on the internet. I have found two which I think complement each other well which I think staff will helpful and the children will find even more exciting.

The first 'new style curriculum' is the Lancashire Progression. I like the way that the curriculum is split into phases rather than key stages. This means that skills are broken into what should be taught in Key Stage One, lower Key Stage Two and upper Key Stage Two. The progression takes each of the strands from the ICT curriculum and sub-divides them.
  • Exchanging and sharing information is now sub-divided into:
    • Text and multimedia
    • Images, video and animation
    • Sound
    • Electronic communication
  • Finding things out has become:
    • Digital research
    • Data handling
  • Developing ideas and making things happen is:
    • Datalogging
    • Logo and control
    • Simulations and spreadsheet modelling
I think that using these new strands will enable teachers to understand the diversity of skills that should be delivered. The Lancashire progression also features a Software toolkit which gives examples of the software which could be used to deliver the curriculum.

The other progression I like is the Herefordshire progression. Like Lancashire this progression is divided into phases and the strands have been sub-divided too (the names are slightly different but they mean the same thing). This progression gives ideas for the lesson, national curriculum levels and an APP-style grid.

I believe that with a combination of these two progressions our school will be able to deliver a modern, dynamic, diverse ICT curriculum from which the staff and pupils will benefit.

Something else which I have realised I need to learn more about now is the ICT provision in Early Years. This will have to be later in the year!

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