ICT is taught at Y Pant in discrete lessons. Every pupil in years 7 – 11 receives 1 hour of ICT a week. Pupils are taught in split classes which ensures that every pupil has their own computer to work on in every lesson.
We have 6 dedicated ICT suites each equipped with 15 – 27 PCs. Rooms are all equipped with Smartboards and projectors and all have air conditioning. PCs in ICT teaching rooms tend to be the fastest and most powerful in the school.
Every pupil has their own userid and password for the network meaning that they can access their work from any computer in school. We are working on a web-based application that will allow pupils to be able to access their user areas from home as well. For now students should use USB memory sticks.
Everyone has access to the internet in school but we do control and monitor this. We use a package called Smoothwall and pupils log in separately through this to access the internet. Smoothwall allows us to block any sites deemed unsuitable for children to access, or any sites that might prove distracting (Facebook is blocked in school!). It also means we can monitor any sites that pupils visit at school.
We are currently running Windows 7 on all our computers in the ICT suites. Teaching in the department uses a range of software. We start with the Microsoft Office 2010 suite using Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel and Access. It is important however that students experience a wide range of software. We also use the Adobe CS5 suite including Dreamweaver for creating websites, Fireworks and PhotoShop for graphics and Flash for animation.
In addition all pupils are set up on our Google Apps site and will be given ypant.co.uk email addresses. Use of email in lessons is relatively new but will increase. Google Apps gives us the opportunity to use cloud computing solutions with Google Docs. We also make use of open source software such as Audacity for sound editing and other web-based packages including bubble.us for creating mindmaps. We will soon be introducing schemes of work to teach programming skills to students using software such as Scratch and Kodu.
ICT rooms are regularly open at lunchtimes and after school for pupils to catch up on classwork or to complete work on the computer for other subjects.