Introduction to the Department
ICT (Information Communication Technology) is an integral part of the school curriculum, taught by a subject specialist teacher in each part of the school. In ICT lessons, the boys are taught computing skills as well as traditional ICT. More precisely, the curriculum focuses on Computing and is presented using ICT skills. This way, logical and computational thinking as well as programming skills, are developed in each boy, alongside the knowledge of standard software packages and other ICT skills.
Year 1 boys begin to understand the need for ICT and how to access it and they are taught the differences between reality and computer-based products. The boys are encouraged to learn basic ICT functions, including how to log in and find their way around a desktop. From this young age, a form of programming is introduced: boys give instructions to Bee Bots and are then able to see those instructions played out. The software 2Simple gives each boy the opportunity to learn how to present specific information through the use of ICT. In Year 2, the pupils begin to use Microsoft Office packages in order to manipulate and present data.
In Year 3, the boys are taught to recognise different types of online behaviour, how to respond appropriately and, hence, how to stay safe while using technology. In terms of standard software packages, there is a strong focus on using Microsoft Word, with the boys learning to use many functions and tools within this specific software. The boys begin to appreciate the usefulness of the Microsoft Office suite, as curricular links are made to topics studied in other areas of the curriculum, such asto the Humanities, Ancient Egypt.
Boys in Year 3-4 use Scratch to develop their programming skills. By Year 4, the pupils can recognise and understand basic scripts and put them together. The boys also focus on 3D images and Pivot Animation.
In Year 5, boys are challenged further in their programming skills: They are provided with a scenario to develop their own scripts in Scratch, requiring them to use computational thinking and reasoning. Towards the end of Year 6, the boys are introduced to programming in Python, a skill that is further developed in Upper School.
E-safety and ICT skills are connected when the Year 5 boys create a multi-media presentation on the topic. Creative skills are fostered through Web design and creation. Year 6 boys study the importance and functionality of Microsoft Excel, creating financial models, using complex formulas and formatting the spreadsheet. Microsoft Publisher is used to design and evaluate a range of topics. Finally, the boys are presented with a real-life scenario and must use ICT to solve the problems contained in the scenario.
In Upper School, the boys are taught how to code using Python, learning about algorithms and sequencing in order to create a function programme. They develop an understanding of the different types of errors which can occur while coding. Year 8 boys use Python to generate their own computer games, fixing any errors which occur in the process. They learn how to generate variables using numeric and string data types, write a series of print statements and use input to get responses from users. Independent learning is reinforced throughout the year.
ICT skills are developed alongside this work, with a focus on manipulating data and generating correct outcomes in Microsoft Excel.