Technology and computing has become an important part of most people’s lives. We would like to ensure that all children in our school can become competent and confident users of ICT, ready for their adult life.
The curriculum has been updated to focus on ‘computing’ in line with the proposed new curriculum. The computing subject covers all objectives for the new national curriculum for Key Stage One, over Year One and Year Two. Planning in EYFS relates to the Development Matters document and the larger objective of ‘Understanding the World’. The computing curriculum has been designed to give the children breadth of understanding of technology using a variety of tools and equipment.
We have a commitment to ensuring we have equipment that is relevant to the age and stage of the children, and that we embrace and introduce new technologies where relevant. To enhance the curriculum the children are able to access a range of technology in the school including desktop computers in the computing suite, programmable toys and iPads for classroom and group use. Children are able to develop and progress their skills in computing each year to build on prior knowledge and skills they have been taught before.
We have a commitment as a school to ensure that all children are online-safe using technology and the internet. All classes have a poster displayed to promote the key tips for being online-safe. Each half term the children have an online-safety lesson during their computing slot to recap these tips and procedures.
Children across the school have enjoyed using a range of technology and can talk about how this technology can help their learning in other curriculum areas.
The children Reception have been using a range of different technology to develop their computing skills. They have been using the interactive screens to mark make as well as helping to develop their mouse and keyboard skills. The children have also been using programs such as www.phonicsplay.co.uk to help with hearing initial sounds and blending words. Some children have been exploring the use of different technologies such as cameras and smart watches!
The year 1 children have been creating their own simple algorithms (a clear and precise set of instructions for a computer). They have learnt how to follow algorithms as well as writing their own using positional language.
During the autumn term, the year 2 children have enjoyed making their own stop animation movies using the kindles. Their short stories were based on their own superhero and were planned during literacy lessons which involved the children having to establish a setting, props and dilemma. The children really enjoyed filming them and using the stop animate app.
The children have also started to use Purple Mash to improve their maths and spelling skills. Remember to use your login to access it at home too and use the link below:
This term, the children in nursery have been learning how to use paint programmes and have completed searches using kiddle. Some of the children searched information about toucans and others on how to build a wormery.
The children in reception have enjoyed going to the Computing Suite for the first time this term. They enjoyed using the website, Purple Mash and drew some lovely drawings to improve their mouse skills. They learnt how to open a new page, hold a mouse correctly and have fun with the different paint tools!
The year 1 children have been using the website purple mash to draw pictures about their favourite things during their time in year 1, They were able to use different tools and developed their mouse skills. They also write a sentence about their favourite thing to improve their keyboard skills.
During the year 2 topic Art around the World, the children have enjoyed making resources for their art exhibition including badges and posters using the program textease. They also enjoyed researching the artists whose work they have been recreating using the search tools on the computers and using the kindles.
We use Purple Mash at Toftwood Infant School to develop children’s understanding of computer science. The children learn to write simple algorithms (precise sets of instructions that we give technology to follow) in a fun and engaging way. Quite a few of the children have said that they would love to grow up and to be able to make computer games like Minecraft and the skills that Purple Mash develops allows the children to develop a wide range of their computer skills.
As well as developing children’s computer science skills, it also has lots of creative tools that we use with the children. For example, we have previously use MashCams to import our own photos into different characters to enrich our literacy work – we have used astronauts for the topic of space in Year 1.
It also links with other curriculum areas, like Music. An example of this was seen in KS1 have made their own musical scores and compositions.
You are able to access Purple Mash at home too! Please ask your child’s class teacher for the class log in. If you are logging in with the username and password, please remind your child of the Online-Safety tips.
Please remember password safety and do not share passwords with others.
The children have continued to explore a range of Technology during the Spring term. They have been using the computers to play games and have particularly enjoyed exploring the Jolly Phonics programme.
They have also been using the interactive screen to write and draw and play money games that we have looked at in maths.
They children have been talking about technology that we use in everyday life such as phones and cameras and learning how to make a phone call.
Year 1 have enjoyed using Google Earth this term to look at different hot and cold countries. They learnt how to locate a country and then use the mouse to move around and look at the different features.
We used Purple Mash to create our own Weather Reporter and Astronaut mashcams.
We used a programme called Spex+ to design and create our own moon bases. We had to move and rotate objects as well as evaluating our designs in order to improve them.
The children in year 2 have been using Purple Mash to create and debug their own simple programs. They used 2Beat to create their own musical score. They also used 2Create on Purple Mash to create their own version of the Storm Whale, helping them to practice their mouse and typing skills.
As part of their ‘Art around the World’ topic, they have been using Google Earth to virtually visit places in our local area and further around the world.
Adam Gibson, Head of Computer Science at Dereham Neatherd High School has been running free and informative CPD workshops based on delivering Computing. These provide learning opportunities’ for pupils and CPD for teachers based around delivery of Computing. Toftwood Junior School has benefitted from regular Wednesday afternoon sessions for Years 3 to 5.
The focus of certified Schoolhouse workshops, as part of Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse programme, is to help empower and inform teachers in the delivery of Computing.
Throughout the workshops, we have taken pupils and teachers through various elements of Computing, for example computational thinking and algorithms. We have also incorporated simple play-based learning techniques, which have engaged pupils and helped teachers to deliver complex topics using familiar classroom resources.
Digital Schoolhouse is delivered by the UK games industry trade body, Ukie. It was originally seed funded by the Mayor of London’s Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) and is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The programme is powered by Nintendo Switch®, sponsored by SEGA, Warwickshire Council and Ubisoft, to offer schools the support and professional development they need without cost. In turn, helping to prepare the next generation with the digital skills they need for their future.
KM3 were very lucky to have Mr Gibson and two children from Neatherd High School, part of the Digital School House, complete an exciting and interesting computing lesson.
The children learnt how to become computational thinkers, using algorithms (clear, precise instructions) to direct a computer. During our usual computing sessions in class previously, the children have been using 2Code on Purple Mash to create a programme and this session moved the children on from this.
The children focussed on listening to instructions, working in pairs to be the ‘computer’ and the ‘programmer’ providing directing each other to create a picture using playdough as the stimulus. We learnt that if our instructions were not clear enough, the ‘computer’ could not create the model.
Following this, after learning that it is important to be clear with our instructions and directions, we learn how to create an algorithm for the dance the ‘Hokey Cokey’. Step by step instructions were written and edited by the children and tested on each other.
We learnt that we had to use accurate measurements, for example 360 degrees and move forwards 30cm to ensure that the computer knew exactly what they were supposed to do.
Our next step is to apply this knowledge and our algorithms to a programme called ‘Scratch’ to make a character move and dance to the Hokey Cokey.
The children said:
“It was really fun, I especially enjoyed doing the play dough work!” (Emma)
“It was amazing! I learnt that I need to make instructions really clear.” (Olivia)
“I really enjoyed doing the Hokey Cokey and making clear and precise instructions for this.” (Millie)
Mr Gibson is due to come back in to work with CP3 and FB3 in the Spring term.
In Year 4, thirty children were delighted with the opportunity to have the Head of Computer Science from Neatherd: Mr Gibson, introduce us to Computational Thinking.
We started off the session by playing bingo. Mr Gibson gave each child a different grid with 0’s in different cells. As he read the co-ordinates out to us we had to mark them off on the sheets. The first child to win the game was delighted as Mr Gibson was reading the co-ordinates very fast and we all had to keep up!
The children were keen to demonstrate their skills and were able to complete the second activity with aplomb! They were tasked to create a drawing on a grid and then write the co-ordinates of each cell. Mr Gibson then told them to pass their instructions but not their drawing to someone the other side of the room. They all then attempted to follow each other’s instructions to duplicate each other’s drawings, some were very accurate, some discovered the instructions needed tweaking and others had not followed the instructions implicitly. Lots of hilarity ensued when the instructions and drawings were displayed.
This week Mr Gibson brought two very professional and able Year 10 students to assist with the topic of Conditional Formatting. The children were delighted to welcome Mr Gibson back for a second week and were keen to get started on the new lesson.
Mr Gibson gave the children a warm up exercise in which they had to colour a grid following the co-ordinates on the paper, they had to remember that each comma meant they had to leave a cell blank. It was very impressive to see the concentration and focus from all the children – well done Year 4’s.
The main activity required intense concentration from the children as .listened intently to the instructions on how to change the colour of a cell (pixel) using conditional formatting. One child was so competent with his new found skill that he created an image of a dog on the grass with a brilliant blue sky.
Yet another fantastic learning experience! Year Four would like to extend a huge than you to Mr Gibson and his assistants.
Year 3 have been working on their word processing and typing skills. They have used dance mat typing to help them learn how to type correctly and consolidated their learning from Literacy and their topic by typing up non-chronological reports and creating posters.
They have been continuing to learn about coding using the code4life website and writing code and algorithms to direct a vehicle.
Year 4 have also been developing their word processing and typing skills. They have been using Scratch to learn how to manipulate sprites to begin creating a game. The children then used PowerPoint to create presentations on the Islamic Pilgrimage and used iPads to create movie trailers!
Year 5 have been concentrating on improving their typing speed by using touch typing skills and creating spreadsheets. The children have used their spreadsheets and know how to complete calculations using the ‘auto sum’ function.
Year 6 have continued to develop their typing skills and have created music using the Garage Band app. The children have also extended their spreadsheet knowledge and have presented data in different ways, such as in numerical or graphical form. The children have also created PowerPoints following their Holt Hall residential trip.