We are very lucky to have a large, purpose built and well equiped ICT suite, as you can see in the photographs above. All pupils have a timetabled ICT lesson each week, during which they are taught ICT skills. In addition, each year group has a timetabled opportunity to use the suite for cross-curricular sessions, where pupils put their ICT skills into practice.
The school is also wireless networked, so that our trolley of laptops can be used in any teaching space - pupils typically do topic research, prepare reports, create artwork, etc, in their own classrooms. The laptops are also used by teachers as part of class rewards schemes, so that there are times when pupils can choose the laptops as part of their 'Golden Time' or on other occasions.
There is also a small suite of networked computers (6) as part of the reference library, so that pupils can do research using CD-ROMS, DVD or on the Internet. The school library is also on-line within school, so that teachers and pupils can find out what books we have in the library on any subject.
At the same time as we are teaching pupils about Internet safety and how to use and interpret the vast array of information that we nowadays take for granted, Internet access is strictly controlled and all communications are filtered through the South-East Grid for Learning Gateway. The SEGfL provides a high standard of security and censorship. Parents and pupils are asked to sign the school's Internet Agreement and this is closely monitored and enforced, should that become necessary.
The following is taken from the National Curriculum for ICT
During Key Stage 2 pupils use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They develop their research skills and decide what information is appropriate for their work. They begin to question the plausibility and quality of information. They learn how to amend their work and present it in a way that suits its audience.
Knowledge, skills and understanding
Finding things out
1. Pupils should be taught:
a. to talk about what information they need and how they can find and use it [for example, searching the internet or a CD-ROM, using printed material, asking people]
b. how to prepare information for development using ICT, including selecting suitable sources, finding information, classifying it and checking it for accuracy [for example, finding information from books or newspapers, creating a class database, classifying by characteristics and purposes, checking the spelling of names is consistent]
c. to interpret information, to check it is relevant and reasonable and to think about what might happen if there were any errors or omissions.
Developing ideas and making things happen
2. Pupils should be taught:
a. how to develop and refine ideas by bringing together, organising and reorganising text, tables, images and sound as appropriate [for example, desktop publishing, multimedia presentations]
b. how to create, test, improve and refine sequences of instructions to make things happen and to monitor events and respond to them [for example, monitoring changes in temperature, detecting light levels and turning on a light]
c. to use simulations and explore models in order to answer 'What if ... ?' questions, to investigate and evaluate the effect of changing values and to identify patterns and relationships [for example, simulation software, spreadsheet models].
Exchanging and sharing information
3. Pupils should be taught:
a. how to share and exchange information in a variety of forms, including e-mail [for example, displays, posters, animations, musical compositions]
b. to be sensitive to the needs of the audience and think carefully about the content and quality when communicating information [for example, work for presentation to other pupils, writing for parents, publishing on the internet].
Reviewing, modifying and evaluating work as it progresses
4. Pupils should be taught to:
a. review what they and others have done to help them develop their ideas
b. describe and talk about the effectiveness of their work with ICT, comparing it with other methods and considering the effect it has on others [for example, the impact made by a desktop-published newsletter or poster]
c. talk about how they could improve future work.
Breadth of study
5. During the key stage, pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through:
a. working with a range of information to consider its characteristics and purposes [for example, collecting factual data from the internet and a class survey to compare the findings]
b. working with others to explore a variety of information sources and ICT tools [for example, searching the internet for information about a different part of the world, designing textile patterns using graphics software, using ICT tools to capture and change sounds]
c. investigating and comparing the uses of ICT inside and outside school