Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#rethinkingICT Towards a more challenging curriculum

My thoughts on the way forward for ICT education in response to Chris Leach’s Rethinking ICT #ICT500 idea
 
I have long thought that KS2 pupils can achieve much more than we allow them to in computing. In KS2 this is mainly down to the tyranny of Maths and Literacy in our curriculum. Many class teachers are capable of teaching elements of Computer Science but don't have the time or energy after Literacy and Maths.

With this in mind I have approached my head and chair of governors to teach a stand of Computer Science to all year groups. Class teachers will teach strands of digital literacy throughout the key stage and I will teach the Computer Science. With this in mind I am brushing up my scratch programming and have bought Lego Wedo and pico boards to supplement keyboard and mouse inputs in scratch. It has surprised me just how much I have enjoyed learning the basics of Python and how much pleasure I have taken in writing very basic programmes.

Just as interesting has been working on understanding concepts in programming so that pupils can take concepts from one language to another and into the wider curriculum. In year 3 today we were writing simple procedures to create screen letters using logo, something I have done many times in Year 5. What was different was talking through and drawing out our ideas before hand and using these plans to help us debug problems with our basic codes. All ideas gained through learning Python. The kids loved it and two of my SEN boys achieved as highly as my best pupils. I caught a child in the playground at break time pacing out his name using logo commands. Next step debugging our sentences.

I am collaborating with a good friend from Soton Uni computer science department to make sure there is breadth to our new curriculum and we are looking at ways to teach how the internet works and how sound and images are digitised.

Life is hectic but it is fun and innovative.

2 comments:

  1. As another CS lecturer at the uni of Southampton, I think the initiative is excellent, and your plan looks sound. I have a concern as a woman, that the outcomes may be rather gendered... would be really interesting to monitor this aspect - with you, and nationally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Su,
    I would value your input to help balance the curriculum and ensure it appeals to all. As I firm up aspects towards a September start I wonder if I can run some of it past you?

    Phil Bagge

    ReplyDelete

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