We are thrilled to be able to be using our Computing Suite once again.
After adjusting to the new COVID-safe procedures in our classrooms, corridors and playgrounds, we have carefully considered and adjusted the way in which our suite is used so that we can continue to provide the children with quality computing teaching using devices as well as unplugged activities.
The children have been enjoying a detailed focus on Online Safety in their classrooms and have completed many unplugged activities which have enabled them to share ideas, discuss possible dangers and reflect on their own practises when using the internet. They have had access to quizzes, discussions, role play, games, videos, and stories, and have shown an increased understanding of what it means to keep themselves and other safe when using the internet.
This is particularly important when we are perhaps using the internet more due to home learning and homework tasks set by the teachers.
Our Computing teaching for many classes this half term is focusing on Coding. The children will be receiving unplugged lessons as well as using the computer suite. Many will be set 2Dos on Purple Mash that will require them to complete these at home. Please regularly check with your child and encourage them to log in to their account, handing in their 2Dos on completion, when their teacher will then respond.
PURPLE MASH IS ALWAYS HERE!
Early Coding Stars!
Online Safety Awareness
Children's Apps For Quality Downtime!
Age-specific apps for children
As the dust settles on another school year family thoughts turn to holidays and leisure time over the (hopefully) hot summer holidays. Whether you are going away or staying at home, finding ways to play and relax with your children is essential, especially after such hard work with Home Schooling!
One way to do this is with interactive apps and games for smartphones and tablets that parents and children can enjoy together. From pure entertainment to educational and competitive experiences here are the top 10 apps to keep you and your kids happy all summer.
COMPUTING AT SCHOOL
At Our Lady & St Gerard’s we aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares pupils to ‘use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world’. We have a puropose-built computer suite (which opened in 2019) for teachers to deliver discrete computing sessions and we also benefit from a class-set of laptops and a number of Sufaces and Notebooks to use, in classes, across the curriculum, so that we can provide:
“A progressive curriculum that is flexible, relevant and engages pupils’ interest; that is used to promote Online-Safety through teaching pupils how to stay safe, how to protect themselves from harm and how to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety.”
There are three aspects of the computing curriculum: computer science (CS), information technology (IT) and digital literacy (DL).
The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – they are able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future work place and as active participants in a digital world. (Computing in the National Curriculum – Naace)
The Online-Safety strand is to be taught across the whole year, incorporated into all our work. Our pupils will recognise the importance of this area of computing, with special Online-Safety days. The children can see the importance of this area of learning, by the displays in classrooms and corridors, each identifiable by the same warning sign.
For more information on online-safety you can visit our online-safety page for parents.
As a school, we use a range of strategies and resources to deliver our computing curriculum, including subscriptions to Purple Mash and Busy Things; allowing and encouraging our children to continue to develop their skills and learning at home.
HOME LEARNING WITH COMPUTING
Purple Mash supports the teaching of the Computing curriculum throughout the school year, with each child from Y1 to Y6 having their own password and login to their individual account. As Purple Mash is online, children can continue their learning anywhere and anytime.
Purple Mash hosts an exciting mash-up of curriculum focused activities, creative tools, programs and games to support and inspire creative learning every day.
There are sometimes circumstances that mean schools have to close. This doesn’t mean that learning has to stop. Our children have shown this since Home Learning began. In the words of 2Simple, the producers of Purple Mash, our school’s usage is, “…through the roof!”
Our children are making the most of open ended tools; publishing, story creation, game design, concept mapping, collaborative writing and art to name a few.
Maths is being enjoyed through spreadsheets, graphing, times tables racing games and a whole host of maths based tools and resources.
Topic work is being undertaken by the children where they are using themed writing templates, slide shows, stories and quizzes.
During Home Learning, Computing and digital skills are continuing to be embedded across both KS1 and KS2.
Included in the weekly overviews set by the class teachers are 2Dos which are activities that have been set by the class teachers. Each child receives an alert, shown on the bell at the top of their home page, once they have logged in to their own account. This alert leads them directly to the activity, which can be ‘handed in’ once complete. The class teacher then responds to the activity.
Look below to see examples of each Year Group’s completed home learning tasks. Where there is a QR code, simply go to the camera on your phone or mobile device and, as long as you are connected to the internet, it will lead you to the actual activity completed by one of our children.
For additional Home Computing activites, please visit Barefoot Computing via the link below. There is a wealth of enjoyable activities, designed by teaching professionals for families to do at home with their children.
Click on the login/register button and you will be taken to the free home learning page.
Our Computing Facilities
Our Lady & St Gerard's is fortunate to have a fully-equipped computing suite, as well as a lap-top trolley, and fifteen Microsoft Surfaces for use across the whole school. We have programmable toys for each key stage and access to hundreds of programs and apps across the internet, that help us to provide a creative, fun, engaging curriculum for all our pupils.
A continued subscription to Busy Things for our foundation pupils, and a more recent subscription to Purple Mash for KS1 and KS2, provides us with even greater resources to ensure access to all areas of the new curriculum. Both of these websites will be available for the pupils to login and use at home to extend their learning further and to use it to complete homework tasks.
There are many opportunities for enrichment in computing. This does not need to be limited to talented or gifted pupils. Within this curriculum area, there are a range of possibilities for independent learning. Our school will steer very able pupils towards the best resources, provide critical feedback on their work, or set further challenges. Some of our gifted pupils can become ‘digital leaders’ where they take responsibility for aspects of technology in the classroom or school.
There is scope for pupils to learn more about computing for themselves outside of school, and OLSG will encourage and celebrate this in school. Many of the resources suitable for teaching computing in school are available free for pupils to use at home if they have a computer of their own.