At Falcons School for Girls we value ICT skills highly, and our pupils begin using common technology, such as tablets, from Peregrines Nursery. We present technology as a tool, not a toy, and allow the pupils to extend, express and illuminate their learning in new and interesting ways.
From Year 1 pupils start formal Computing lessons in our new IT and Music Technology suite. The pupils follow a full and involved programme all the way up to Year 6, where they are able to implement their skills in longer, project-based tasks. The lessons include Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. We use a variety of resources from PurpleMash, EducationCity and Espresso Coding. Throughout their years at Falcons School for Girls pupils will learn how to use the Internet safely and appropriately.
In Key Stage 1, pupils learn how to safely log in and out, how to use a mouse as well as a trackpad and the computer parts. As their skills develop pupils are able to follow simple algorithms as well as writing a set of instructions. One of the favourite parts of the curriculum is learning how to create pictures using several painting styles. Pupils also practise the all-important skill of typing and replying to emails. They use spreadsheets to insert data and create graphs. They use technology to create digital content such as a newsletter or animated book.
In Year 4, pupils learn about animations and how they work before creating their own video game. Previously pupils have had the opportunity to meet an actress who plays the lead role in a video game giving their learning a greater context. Pupils continue to use the Internet to search safely and efficiently for information to create a quiz. The students practise their writing skills and word processing. They also write and debug algorithms.
In Years 5 and 6 pupils begin coding lessons with Blueshift. During these lessons pupils are taught coding using Python, one of the most widely used programming languages. The lessons intend to familiarise students with the Python programming environment and syntax as this is currently used in assessment when pupils progress to senior school. The pupils will learn the fundamentals of computing stated in the curriculum by building apps, graphics and games. Using the online resource trinket, pupils will be able to work on their programs in a browser anywhere where there is an internet connection. The teaching is based around covering the basic tools used in coding, such as; variables, conditionals, functions, loops, I/O and using libraries such as turtle graphics.
As well as our brand new IT suite, all classrooms have a set of iPads and pupils have access to laptops across the school.
The school uses a learning platform, Firefly, as a way of communicating, sharing and providing content for both pupils and parents. The platform can be accessed from home and allows information, events, photographs and videos to be accessed and shared easily; a window in to the school day and a way to share and preserve key learning experiences throughout the academic year.