In Key Stage 3 the ICT curriculum in Wales consists of 4 strands: Communicating Information, Spreadsheet Modelling, Data Handling, and Sharing & Exchanging Information Safely. Our schemes of work address each of these 4 strands in years 7, 8 and 9. In addition we also incorporate numeracy and literacy into lessons as well as addressing thinking skills, communication skills, curriculum Cymraeg, personal and social education and careers and the world of work.
Our schemes of work are updated regularly to take account of the increased ability of pupils coming from primary schools.
Pupils start in year 7 with an induction to the ICT network at Y Pant which is something many of them may not have used before. All pupils are given their own unique user number and password. They are also given email addresses and set up accounts on Edmodo which we use as a social learning network.
We cover e-safety (which is also taught in PSE at Y Pant) focussing on the sorts of information you shouldn’t share online. Pupils create a webpage about “their year 7”. Using sites such as Mozilla Thimble and Code Avengers pupils learn HTML and CSS skills which they use to create their pages.
Research using the internet is an important skill in the 21st century and this is the focus for our next unit on sustainability. Pupils will research a topic and create an information leaflet in desktop publishing software, understanding how to use text boxes and guides correctly.
Databases are an important part of any IT system. In this module pupils will practice some sorting and searching in a database of endangered species before moving on to create their own database of films or books. We look at how websites such as Amazon use databases and the ways in which customers can sort and search these sites.
A new module for us this year is programming using Microsoft’s Xbox development environment, Kodu. Pupils will learn what algorithms are and be able to identify basic algorithms in computer games they are familiar with. They will then create a basic game in Kodu.
Another new module and continuing the programming theme is Interactive Fiction. This is planned to be a joint scheme of work with the English department. Pupils will experiment with playing text adventure games and then use the Quest software to create their own. English lessons will focus on the reading and writing skills, with IT lessons looking at the design, build and test elements of the games.
Year 8 pupils find out some interesting facts about the world running sorts and searches on a World Database before creating a database of their classmates. We then look at aspects of Health and Safety as they apply to using ICT (games consoles and mobiles as well as computers!).
We revisit Internet Safety and learn some more advanced skills in desktop publishing and spreadsheets. In the summer term pupils create websites in Dreamweaver in a topic they have been learning about in History.
In year 9 pupils work towards their Essential Skills Wales qualification in ICT which they will need for the Welsh Baccalaureate course they follow in years 10 and 11.
Pupils carry out two tasks: creating an extended presentation on a European Union country and database tasks.