Windhill21 follows the Herts for Learning Computing Scheme of Work which provides a creative approach to delivering the computing curriculum and is fully aligned with the 2014 National Curriculum for Computing from EYFS to Year 6 (summary of how Windhill21 maps learning themes to meet the curriculum).
This scheme supports the teaching and the development of computing, building computer science capability and digital literacy for current and future learning.
Each half term Windhill21 focuses on a similar strand of the Computing curriculum across the school in dedicated ICT lessons delivered in the classroom, the ICT suite, the immersion room and using a variety of the resources available to the school. The skills taught in these lessons are then continued within the next half term by the class teacher to further embed them across the curriculum.
Computing is an area that has a lot of specific vocabulary, you may find this glossary (which is targeted at primary school teachers) useful.
2015 Autumn Term - Second Half
After the half term break the strand across the school will be databases and information.
Year 1 and 2 will be covering pictograms and simple branching databases.
Year 3 and 4 will be creating a database containing infomation about their classes.
Year 5 and 6 will be exploring the creation of more complex databases.
2015 Autumn Term - First Half
Before the half term break the strand across the school has been programming.
Year 1 and 2 have been learning how to create algorithms (a list of precise instructions) for a variety of ends:
- giving instructions to each other and to adults to perform tasks such as brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea for Mrs Moore or moving from one part of the room to another
- programming the school's BeeBots (and using the iPad BeeBot app) to move from one square on their mats to another and predicting where they will end up if they follow a pre-written algorithm
- using logo to create algorithms which draw shapes on the PC's in the ICT suite
Year 3 and 4 have been learning about programmable an automated devices in the real world and how simulations can help us to understand and learn. In addition they have been writing algorithms using Scratch which draw shapes on the screen, learning about repeat blocks and custom blocks.
Year 5 and 6 have been going further with Scratch to implement their own games using their own ideas and knowledge of programming. You can see some of the results online (Year 5 gallery, Year 6 gallery). In addition, the Year 6 classes have been setting up and using the Raspberry Pi's hardware to write programs which can interact with the physical world (for example, making one or more LEDs flash in sequence and implementing a reaction game using paperclips and jelly babies).
Windhill21 has an ICT suite which contains 16 modern Dell desktop computers running Windows 7. These PCs can be used to deliver a variety of lessons including the use of Logo and Scratch to teach programming; access to Microsoft Office to teach document creation and editing and tools such as Audacity and Windows Movie Maker for multimedia work.
Windhill21 are also privileged to have an immersion room to support and enhance the children's learning. This room has the capability to have an image or video wrapped around three walls to totally immerse the viewer in an environment. The sound and temperature can also be adjusted to create a complete experience. This room is used for activities ranging from topic work to yoga to maths and really must be seen to appreciate its impact.
Windhill21 has just purchase new iPads we now have a class set of 30 iPad Air 2's. They are in a trolley that can easily be taken to the classrooms to be used. Also each class has an iPad Mini 4 and EYFS has a set of six iPad Air 2's for use in Nursery and Reception.
Please click here for a list of useful Apple Apps that are used in school and some for Android. Also some useful websites for Dyslexia and ICT.
Windhill21 have a bank of Raspberry Pi's, that are currently used within Year Six lessons and in our after school Code Club. Please click here for a letter about Raspberry Pi's , and see below for some links to resources that have been used within lessons and the Code Club.
Windhill21 have a set of six BeeBots and a new set of six BlueBots (They can connect to the iPads via Bluetooth) that are used to introduced the younger children to the basics of programming. The BeeBots can be programmed with a sequence of instructions (an algorithm) selected from move forward, move backward, turn 90 degrees to the left and turn 90 degrees to the right. The school also has a set of mats with a grid of squares that can be used to teach the children how to program the BeeBot to move from one square to another and to allow them the predict what the results of programming the BeeBot with a given algorithm will be.
Key Programming Tools
Logo is a simple programming language which allows you to control a virtual "turtle" on screen and give it instructions to move forwards, backwards and turn left or right by a specified number of degrees. It includes the ability for a set of instructions to be repated a set number of times. The turtle leaves behind lines on the screen (as if it were drawing with a pen) which allows simple or complex shapes and patterns to be drawn. More information from Wikipedia.
Scratch is a free programming environment which allows you to "snap together" different blocks in order to build up your program. It is generally used to engage children in the creation of their own games and is very suited to this objective as most pupils can get satisfying results relatively quickly. You can try it out for yourself online or look at a selection of projects produced by Windhill21 pupils.
Python is a free text-based programming environment. This is a "real world" language which is used to power several large websites and to produce production quality games. As it is not based on a visual environment like Scratch it is more challenging to get results with but it is a very good introduction for the children to a full coding experience.
Mr Wood and Mr Bennett run an after school Code Club for Year 6 pupils on Tuesday.In the code club, children are given the opportunity to develop their Scratch programming; to develop their coding using Python on the Raspberry Pi's; or to learn how to create modern web pages using HTML and CSS.
You can access a gallery of all the Scratch projects the children have published to the web here. All these projects are live and playable.