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ICT

ICT & Computing is covered from Years 1 to 8. Your son/daughter will follow the CAS (Computing at Schools) Progression Pathways which covers a vast range of topics from Algorithms, Programming and Development to IT and E-safety. All projects are designed to be practical, exciting, engaging and encourage creativity. Some projects covered are:

  • Year 3– Espresso Coding, Word Processing, Code for Life, Touch Typing Jnr and Presentation Skills
  • Year 4 – Scratch, Components of a PC and Espresso Coding
  • Year 5 – Lego WeDo and ZU3D Animation
  • Year 6 – Basic Python, Codebugs, Flowol, KODU and Spreadsheets
  • Year 7 – Website Design, Python, advanced Spreadsheets, Networking and Fuze
  • Year 8 – PC Architecture and Evolution, Binary Code, Data Representation and Python

E-Safety is covered at the start of every year in all year groups using resources from DfE recommended websites. All projects are reviewed each year to ensure content covered is up to date and relevant.

FUZE is a computing platform designed to encourage students to explore and experiment with basic electronics, communications and even robotics while at all times developing a core knowledge of computer programming. It has an aluminium casing which houses the keyboard and Raspberry Pi and protects it from electronic shorting, static and physical damage. It comes with a highly advanced and modernised version of FUZE BASIC programming language. It opens up a world of opportunities to anyone who would like to learn how to program. The electronics components kit provides a vast array
of jumper cables/wires, resistors, LED’s, micro switches and sensors. An analogue light sensor is included to allow programming with variable control, bringing real world applications to the forefront and offering a world of exciting and accessible learning opportunities.
CodeBugs are used during Coding Clubs, Computing lessons from Year 5 onwards. The Digital Leaders are also trained in using them and teach other students from Year 5 how to set them up and programme them. CodeBugs are a fun and engaging way for children to physically build and interact with the device. The LED matrix gives instant results and students can quickly progress from blinking LEDs to scrolling animations, and then progress on to attaching and controlling other devices. It is a unique platform that makes physical computing and wearable electronics accessible for all. With CodeBug students can make all sorts of amazing projects that are as simple or complex as they like.
Lego Education WeDo is a fantastic, simple-to-use tool that enables students to learn, construct and then bring their models to life. Students are given different characters they can build; WeDo covers all national standards and comes with a cross-curricular plug ‘n’ teach curriculum pack that improves communication, collaboration and team building skills. WeDo helps teach how technology plays an active role in the students’ everyday life and is an ideal product for teaching across different subjects at primary levels such as Computing, Science, Social Studies, Language, Technology and Engineering.
BluBots were purchased for students from Years 1-3. BluBots are small transparent little bug-like bots, which light up in blue when switched on. BluBots helps students to code, debug and simulate algorithms for the new National Curriculum for Computing. Students use the BluBot App on the iPads to program the Bots to follow an algorithm / sequence of instructions. They also come with small maps so students can program the BluBots to fol low a course or a set of directions to get from A to B. Students absolutely love these and they are a great way for them to learn various key Computing concepts such as Algorithm from Year 1.

GameMaker is a piece of software which will enable students to design and create video games using the intuitive ‘Drag and Drop’ feature. The GameMaker’s built-in language (GML) helps students to learn to program as they go and not jump in at the deep end of coding which can be frustrating and tedious. This software is easy to use and students can gradually build on their knowledge learning more complex features / programming code as they progress therefore, making their video games more complex adding to the excitement and joy of playing the games created.

GameMaker also incorporates many of the Computing Science terminology and is brilliant for incorporating creativity, problem solving, design and innovation which is incredibly important in the Computing and Gaming industry.  Children of a similar age have used GameMaker to create many famous games such as ‘Top Hat’, ‘Cubesis’, ‘Terrain Saga KR-17’ and ‘Monster Slam’ (only to name a few) and have been played worldwide.

GameMaker will be introduced in the new academic year to students in Years 6 – 8.  Our Digital Leaders will trail this first as later in the year they will be running classes / activities for other students within St Michael’s.

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment can run on an Xbox as well as a standard PC, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input. Students learn how to use KODU in Year 6 and are given the opportunity to take part in the Year 6 KODU gaming competition. In Year 6 KODU is a fantastic way to evidence all the key Computing concepts e.g. Iteration, Decomposition, Selection, Variables, Algorithms, Debugging and many more.
And no it’s not the snake! Python is a programming language that is freely available and that makes solving a computer problem almost as easy as writing out one’s thoughts about the solution. It can be written once and run on almost any computer without needing to change the program. Some of Python’s notable features are its elegant syntax, making the programs you write easier to read. It is an easy-to-use language that makes it simple to get your program working, and comes with a large standard library that supports many common programming tasks such as connecting to web servers, searching text with regular expressions and reading and modifying files. Python’s interactive mode makes it easy to test short snippets of code. In Year 7 and in Coding club students learn to use Python either by IDLE Python 3.4 or via Fuze which has an integrated Raspberry Pi.
Every year a school visit to Bletchley Park is arranged. During this trip students learn about the history of coding and how it was used to help break the code used by the Enigma machine by the Germans during the Second World War. They also look at the lives of inspirational people such as Alan Turing and the mechanics of his Turing Bomb machine. Students also see to the evolution of computers from how it was 60-70 years ago to how it is today. They can never get over the fact that computer hard drives used to be the size of a whole classroom! It is a fantastic visit which the students benefit so much from.

Digital Leaders are a selected group of ten students who have various responsibilities ranging from teaching students how to use various software to finding solutions to technical problems such as printers not working. To become a Digital Leader, students go through a challenging process including an interview. Once selected, they undergo training to show them how to fault find e.g. printer not working and students go through a process to identify what the problem is and how to solve it. Students also assist staff in using certain Apps on the iPads and teach students how to use certain software and practical kits e.g. Code Bugs. Students are changed every term to enable other students to have chance at becoming a Digital Leader.

GameMaker is a piece of software which will enable students to design and create video games using the intuitive ‘Drag and Drop’ feature. The GameMaker’s built-in language (GML) helps students to learn to program as they go and not jump in at the deep end of coding which can be frustrating and tedious. This software is easy to use and students can gradually build on their knowledge learning more complex features / programming code as they progress therefore, making their video games more complex adding to the excitement and joy of playing the games created.

GameMaker also incorporates many of the Computing Science terminology and is brilliant for incorporating creativity, problem solving, design and innovation which is incredibly important in the Computing and Gaming industry.  Children of a similar age have used GameMaker to create many famous games such as ‘Top Hat’, ‘Cubesis’, ‘Terrain Saga KR-17’ and ‘Monster Slam’ (only to name a few) and have been played worldwide.

GameMaker will be introduced in the new academic year to students in Years 6 – 8.  Our Digital Leaders will trail this first as later in the year they will be running classes / activities for other students within St Michael’s.