The Middle and Upper Schools are following a brand new curriculum this year. At St Christopher's, we aim for each child to become a:
- Digital Communicator: They can use a variety of tools and programs to express themselves and develop ideas.
- Digital Creator: They can use their logic to solve problems and their creativity to ask 'why not?'
- Digital Citizen: They use all aspects of ICT safely and responsibly and understand the effects of their own, and other people's, actions.
In order to do this, we continue with the five areas of study covered in the Pre-Prep: E-safety, Multimedia, Technology, Programming, and Data Handling.
Computational thinking, taught mostly through programming units, enables children not only to use ICT, but to begin to evaluate, question and make changes in the world. With a background knowledge of the way that computer programs, systems and hardware work, they are better equipped to create their own products and solutions. These aims fall in line with the government's wish for today's pupils to become 'active participants in a digital world'.
All pupils will begin this year with a unit on E-safety, where we will be using a variety of tools to springboard discussion on issues such as: secure passwords, viruses, email spam, cyberbullying, copyright and using time responsibly. Feel free to discuss stories like these with your children:
Throughout the year, various year groups will also be learning about: how computers work; stop motion video; movie making and editing; being a database detective; presentation and publishing software; spreadsheets and graphing; research skills; coding, using Scratch, Kodu and at least one text-based programming language; online collaboration; touch typing; photo editing.
Children could also practise their touch typing at home:
We endeavour in the Pre-Prep to provide children with a broad range of computing experiences to enable them to be safe and responsible online users to include awareness of social media. In addition, we aim to develop and grow their creativity using digital technology, helping them discover how to make logical and efficient decisions in programming. This enables them to become literate creators using digital ways of communicating. To provide this learning environment we focus on the following areas to include:- E-safety, Multimedia, Technology, Programming, and Data Handling.
The children use a range of hardware to include:- PC laptops, Chrome books, iPads, Beebot and Roamer programmable robots, digital cameras, sound recording equipment, data loggers and interactive whiteboards. The software range is vast but in addition to becoming competent users of Microsoft the children will also be creators using online software designed by educators to code and program to include Purple Mash, Mediator and Scratch.
Children's skills begin with learning how to operate devices using password logons, then to control and type using a QWERTY keyboard with touch pads and mouse operations. They have designated Computing lessons of 40 minutes per week and additional times with their form teachers embedding ICT into their class work for research, mental maths rehearsal, presentations and assessments. During their programming modules they will become familiar with terms such as algorithms and debugging. In addition, they learn about the World Wide Web, search engines, scan reading, email, manipulation of pictures and sound and to measure, record and organise data.