At Parkwood we are very conscientious of the important role computing has in ours' and our childrens' lives.
We encourage children to develop their skills from an early age through games and hands on learning. Our children have access to laptops and iPads at school and we also offer a touch typing club.
In the 2014 the government replaced the outdated ICT curriculum with a new computing curriculum intended to equip ‘pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world’ and to recognise the way in which ‘computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems’. The essential change to the curriculum was to move away from using existing ICT systems to accomplish pre-determined non-ICT goals (e.g. use Powerpoint to create a presentation) towards using ICT to create systems that could accomplish their own goals (e.g. programming a robot to complete a task, writing a programme that would create a simple game). The curriculum also recognises that children will need to know how to use common technology (cameras, phones, the internet) to accomplish the goals for which they were designed and to know how to use technology safely, especially when operating on the internet.
At Parkwood we have addressed the issue around computation skills by offering children instruction via the following platforms:
- Espresso Coding
- Logo (and various Logo based apps)
These will allow children to develop an understanding of the concept of coding, develop their skills sequentially to become more effective coders and to begin to write full programmes to accomplish set goals or to replicate given ICT based tasks (e.g. write words on a screen, create a simple online game, alter website content).
Additionally we offer a variety of opportunities for children to interact with a variety of technologies both to understand their operation in terms of computing (e.g. the way in which digital cameras respond to given algorithms in order to function) as well as to accomplish given goals (using the internet to carry out a search for information).
Finally, we teach children how to safely use technology, especially web-based technology in order to accomplish goals. We make children aware of the risks involved in the use of the web, such as encountering strangers and sharing sensitive information or images on the internet or via mobile technology. We also make parents aware of key aspects of this through regular workshops.