The 2014 national curriculum introduces a new subject, computing, which replaces ICT. This represents continuity and change, challenge and opportunity. It gives us the chance to review and enhance current approaches in order to provide an even more exciting and rigorous curriculum that addresses the challenges and opportunities offered by the technologically rich world in which we live.
The computing curriculum is made up of three important areas which will be taught across both Key Stages.
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Digital Literacy.
Computer science - This involves programming, debugging and beginning to understand computer networking. It will also focus on using logical reasoning to manipulate or fix programs. This can include simple commands and making predictions about the outcome of each command. Children will also be able to design and create their own applications!
Information technology - This involves using technology correctly and purposefully which includes using search engines to find and present information. This element of computing will be closely linked to children's topics where they will be given opportunities to effectively search for information, assess its credibility and use a range of ways to present.
Digital literacy - This will focus on using technology safely. Children have began to do lots of work on E-safety which has taught them many important skills about staying safe whilst using the internet.
Staying safe online
Staying safe online is a very important area of ICT. As technology develops so could the risk involved with using the internet. We know that many children now have access to tablets or smart phones and therefore work together to provide top tips for staying safe on the internet and teach the children these tips in school.
However, staying safe online is also something that needs to happen both inside and outside of school. Because of this South West Grid for Learning have provided some excellent tips for ensuring that children can use the internet in a safe but enjoyable way both inside and outside of school. Here are some of those tips:
This involves both online gaming and computer games. Pay attention to the age rating for the games. Some can contain voilence or inappropriate language. PEGI will allow you to check the age rating for computer games. Remember that lots of games now involve online gaming. Children should use username that do not reveal personal information and should follow the same golden rules that they would for talking to strangers any other way. Remember - 'friends' online are strangers unless we already know them. This includes online gaming friends.
Consider privacy settings for social media, talk to children about what they post and how it can affect their future. Remind them that what they write can be deleted but someone could take a screen shot of it in seconds. This will then be available for ever. They should not reveal information about their school or share anything that they do not have permission to share, including photos of their friends.
Remind children that they could be talking to strangers. They should not reveal any personal information including their school name, their full name or where they live. They should NEVER meet anyone that they have met online, unless with an adult.
Remind children that being consistently unkind online is a form of bullying and will be dealt with in the same way as offline bullying. Remind children that they should tell an adult either at home or in school if they feel someone is being unkind to them over the internet.