Spotlight on Juniors and the Digital Age
Have changes in technology had an impact on Junior school?
This is a really exciting time to be a pupil at Juniors. Advances in technology mean that we, as teachers are able to bring lessons to life in ways that were unimaginable when I was at school. These advances also mean that we have to prepare our pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need for future success.
Has Juniors fully embraced the digital age?
Computing is taught as a discrete subject but it is also integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Pupils from Nursery through to Year 6 have the opportunity to use computers, iPads, Smartboards and BeeBots to extend their learning. Soon, they will also be able to add Lego Robotics to their toolkit thanks to our generous BHSA. Pupils have the opportunity to learn how computers and computer systems work, to design and build programs, to develop their ideas using technology, and to create a range of digital content. In Key Stage Two, pupils begin to use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They communicate by combining text and graphics.
What are the benefits of this approach?
Through digital literacy, all pupils are taught to be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. The internet is also used to research and enhance the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of topic work. The pupils are given their own e-mail address and are shown how to share and upload their work, both on the iPads and the computers. Coding is taught and it is wonderful to observe pupils using these skills to create their own games on applications, such as, Scratch.
What about e-safety?
With all of these advances we are aware of the potential dangers of the internet and e-safety is an integral part of the computing curriculum. We cover this in each topic and also have assemblies discussing how to stay safe online. The key message, ultimately, is that the internet is like any other space – it requires an understanding of appropriate behaviour. Pupils don’t need to be scared, they just need to be aware. Then we can all enjoy the many benefits that the digital age has to offer.