The ICT Vision and Aims.
At Castlewellan Primary School, we respond positively to a rapidly changing technological world. Effective 21st Century Education is founded on equipping and future-proofing our children and staff with an e-skill set that will confidently prepare them for a future that is evolving with great haste.
It is our intention to implement the policy through the following aims:
- To foster positive attitudes towards Information and Communication Technology.
- To extend, enrich and enhance both teaching and learning in all subjects, by providing ICT experience for both Mainstream and Special Needs children.
- To provide the children with regular access to a variety of software, electronic sources of information, interactive learning resources and electronic devices which shall develop a range of skills necessary for them to become proficient, discerning, safe and responsible users of ICT both in and outside school.
- To promote both group work and independent learning.
- To develop information handling and research skills.
- To help the children reflect critically on their ideas and solutions to problems, and to find more effective ways of doing things.
- To raise levels of teacher competence and confidence in integrating ICT into their planning, teaching and assessment of children’s work (using ICT as an integral part of the processes and the management of teaching and learning).
- To improve the quality of teaching and learning in all subject areas.
- To use ICT to develop a secure, robust and reliable system of communication between all stakeholders including pupils, parents, staff, governors and the wider community.
ICT is central to the whole curriculum and places great emphasis on purpose, i.e. using ICT to solve problems and ‘get things done’ in the context of an activity which has a real purpose for pupils and for their future life and work.
Schools will need to create specific opportunities throughout the course of the year for pupils to engage with and demonstrate the skills to real life, meaningful contexts across the curriculum.
Pupils should be enabled to:
- Access and manage data and information;
- Research, select, process and interpret information;
- Investigate, make predictions and solve problems through interaction with electronic tools;
- Understand how to keep safe and display acceptable online behaviour.
Pupils should be enabled to:
- Create, develop, present and publish ideas and information using a range of digital media;
- Create information and multimedia products using a range of assets.
Pupils should be enabled to:
- Communicate using a range of contemporary methods and tools;
- Share, collaborate, exchange and develop ideas digitally.
Pupils should be enabled to:
- Talk about, review and make improvements to work, reflecting on the process and outcome;
- Consider the sources and resources used.
Pupils should be enabled to:
- Manage and present their stored work;
- Showcase their learning across the curriculum.
What is ICT Competence?
ICT competence is concerned with:
- Learning about ICT – developing the knowledge and skills required to use ICT effectively and to apply these in a range of contexts.
- Learning through ICT – developing the skills required to access and use information from a range of electronic sources, interpret it and use it effectively.
- Learning with ICT – applying the skills in their own learning either at school, at home or in the community.
Castlewellan Primary School is well equipped with 14 networked laptops on a trolley and 2+ PCs in each class.
Every class has access to
- 2 class PC
- A printer and a colour networked Photocopier
- A digital camera (which can be signed out for use when required)
- A Flip Video Recorder
- 10 digital headsets with microphones
- A digital voice recorder
- A large format printer
All classes have access to
- An Interactive Whiteboard.
Other General Resources
- Bee bots
At Castlewellan Primary School we will endeavour to meet the requirements of the Revised Northern Ireland Curriculum, as set out in the Programmes of Study.
ICT and the Northern Ireland Curriculum
ICT is a major contributor to the teaching of Literacy
- Through the development of keyboard skills
- Children learn how to draft, edit and revise text
- They learn how to improve the presentation of their work by using desk-top publishing and presentational software.
Many ICT activities build upon the mathematical skills of the children.
- Children use ICT in Numeracy to collect data, make predictions, analyse results, and present information graphically.
- They also acquire measuring techniques involving positive and negative numbers, and including decimal places.
- They can explore mathematical models.
- e.g. use of BeeBots and spreadsheets
- Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PDMU) and Citizenship
ICT makes a contribution to the teaching of PDMU and citizenship as children learn to work together in a collaborative manner.
- They develop a sense of global citizenship by using the Internet.
- Through the discussion of moral issues related to electronic communication, children develop a view about the use and misuse of ICT
- They also gain a knowledge and understanding of the interdependence of people around the world.
- Creative and Expressive
- ICT offers children the freedom to express their own ideas creatively and to experience the designs of others.
- Children will have the opportunity to develop their creativity through a range of network software and digital technology.
- They can explore the Internet to gain access to a wealth of images and information about world famous pieces.
- World around Us
ICT transcends the barriers of distance and opens up the world as an easily accessible global community allowing children to experience the past, present and future of the world they live in.
Pupils accessing the World Wide Web
For all information related to this see Castlewellan Primary School’s Policy on the Use of the Internet (see Appendix)
Principles of learning and teaching
- Castlewellan Primary School’s ICT facilities are available for use by all pupils and staff. All children are given access to ICT regardless of gender, race, physical or sensory disability. ICT can impact on the quality of work that children can produce and it can increase their confidence and motivation
- The Special Needs teacher has access to networked computer systems and the Smart board Interactive Whiteboard to support her everyday teaching and learning strategies
- Care will be taken to ensure that all pupils, including those with Special Education Needs, have equal opportunities to be involved in ICT activities. We also endeavor to ensure that curriculum material and software is not gender biased.
- Management Information System (MIS)
ICT enables efficient and effective access to and storage of data for the principal, teachers and administrative staff.
The school complies with SEELB requirements for the management of information in schools. We currently use SIMs which operates on the school’s administrative network and is supported by C2K. All teaching staff have access to Assessment Manager and will be entering standardized score data in.
- Many of the activities, which involve ICT, will be sufficiently open-ended to allow for a variety of different outcomes. Children may work individually or co-operatively in small groups or as a whole class, depending on the nature of the activity.
Special Educational Needs
- We appreciate that ICT has a tremendous potential for enhancing the learning of children with special educational needs. They can, through differentiation, progress at their own rate and gain great satisfaction from producing work using the computer. Office software, including; Word, Powerpoint and in some instances Excel have proved very useful pieces of software.
- The staff use ICT when developing Educational Plans for individual pupils, when appropriate. The SENCO uses ICT to support her everyday teaching and learning strategies. She uses the IEP writer 3 in her planning for the MLD unit.
Continuity and progression
- The School is working in parallel to the New Lines of development for ICT and we are implementing the 5 ‘Es’ through the CCEA Accreditation Tasks that have been allocated to appropriate year groups Yrs 3 – 7.
Teaching and learning styles
- The staff will employ a range of strategies in their use of ICT to ensure that the needs of all children are met and allow each child to capitalise on their strengths.
- In Key Stage 1, classes use different drawing tools to practice forming letters and numbers or stamping pictures/objects to show groupings of numbers. This has proved a great help to children who learn through visual and/or kinesthetic stimuli as has Beebot, Roamer.
- Auditory learners have found word processing software that reads work back to them a great tool, e.g. Textease, Penfriend, Wellington Square software etc. Those children in the Special Unit and for children within mainstream who have special needs benefit from using these. Recent investment in iPads has given children the ability to listen to audio books and read ebooks.
- The visual learner benefits from exploring activities which, are related initially with the floor Roamer and Beebot (on the iPad). Later on, children will progress onto using Roamer world activities on-screen, Blackcat Logo and the Pro-bot device with Upper Key Stage 2 pupils. All of these allow the children from an early age to see angles in action. These are just a few every day practical examples of those used in class.
- Using the interactive white boards has proved very beneficial to whole class teaching, introducing ICT activities, extending teaching and learning strategies and introducing thematic work.
Planning, monitoring and evaluation
- At a whole school level, all staff are consulted regarding ICT issues including the inclusion of ICT within the School Development Plan, the construction and reviewing of an Action plan for ICT and the drawing up and implementation of lines of development in accordance with the 5Es.
- At year group levels, ICT is embedded into weekly and 6 weekly planning notes. Teachers meet to discuss and review progress, share good practice and evaluate samples of work.
- The ICT Co-ordinator will co-ordinate a self evaluative approach within this subject area which will involve teachers collating samples of work. This work will then be submitted into each child’s e-portfolio.
- We aim to collect samples of work for assessment purposes and to ensure that the progression of skills on paper is carried through into practice.
- The children are aware of methods of self-evaluating their own work.
Assessment and Monitoring of Pupil Competencies
Children’s use of ICT is assessed and recorded by the teacher using formative and summative assessment methods. Class teachers keep samples of work that is related to work carried out within the five ‘Es’ and are encouraged to use children’s self evaluation sheets/diary where appropriate for the ICT tasks completed. Children are given opportunities to evaluate their tasks; work and software used and exhibit their work where appropriate.
Formative: It is carried out through classroom observation and questioning of pupils which occurs on a lesson by lesson basis, based on lesson objectives and outcomes in the Progression of Skills. These are conducted informally by the class teacher and are used to inform future planning. In KS2, peer mentoring and peer to peer ‘critical friends’ are useful strategies for evaluation of pupils’ work. Most of the tasks are linked to CCEA ICT Accreditation and as part of the ongoing assessment, teachers are able to level children according to their ability.
Summative: See Pupils’ ‘My documents’ folder and LNI E-Portfolio for samples of work and sample activities from CCEA IT Accreditation scheme carried out by Year 3 – 7 children.
Teachers will report on a child’s progress within ICT to the next class teacher, parents and post-primary school. In the case of the post-primary school, reporting will use the IT accreditation level descriptors.
Health and Safety
Each classroom has rules for safe use of the computer – devised and discussed with children and displayed in rooms.
In all classrooms, consideration is given to health and safety in the location and positioning of equipment. The following issues are addressed.
Position and posture of the child
Children should be seated correctly at the computer:
- When using the computer the child should be able to sit upright on a chair which gives some back support, having their arms roughly horizontal when using a keyboard.
- The child’s body should face forwards, not twisted sideways.
- The child’s feet should reach the floor. A footstool may be used where necessary. Ideally the chair height will be adjustable to suit all the people who will use it.
- Children sharing a computer should be encouraged to make sure that everyone in the group can see without straining.
- Children should be looking down at the screen with the top of the screen roughly at their eye level.
- Children should be shown how to hold the mouse lightly in the widest part of their hand so that a very small movement is needed to click a button
- Children should not be working at the computer for more than 20 minutes without a break.
- The computer table/bench should be of a height appropriate to the size of the child (lower benching in KS1)
- The monitor should be kept well back from the front edge of the table/bench.
- There should be space on the computer table/bench for the keyboard in front of the monitor.
- There should be enough space on the computer table for a mouse mat to be used.
- Computers should be positioned to avoid glare from light or windows.
- Due care will be taken not to overload extension cables or double socket adapters where it is necessary to use such equipment.
- Leads should not trail on the floor.
- Damaged plugs or leads will be replaced.
- Ventilation grills should not be locked as overheating may occur.
- There is a slight risk of triggering epileptic seizures from excessive screen flicker. As monitors can vary in the steadiness of screen image due care will be taken to use a monitor with minimum screen flicker where an individual child may be at risk.
- It is our aim that pupils will use ICT resources safely at all times.
- Guidelines on the safe use of ICT have been distributed to all staff and are displayed where computers are deployed.
- Pupils are not permitted to switch on /off ICT equipment.
- ICT equipment is not to be carried by pupils.
- An annual inventory of ICT equipment regularly updated.
Roles and Responsibilities
- It is the responsibility of the ICT co-ordinator to assist the subject co-ordinators and all teachers with the implementation of this policy
- The ICT co-ordinator has the responsibility for the management of the resources, which are required for the implementation of this policy.
- The ICT co-ordinator keep up to date with current developments regarding ICT and advise staff appropriately
- The ICT co-ordinator will be responsible for any staff INSET in the development of ICT.
- It will be the responsibility of the ICT co-ordinator to ensure that the system for reviewing this policy is initiated and that the effectiveness of the policy is evaluated.
It is the responsibility of all subject co-ordinators to ensure that ICT is included in schemes of work, where it can effectively enhance the learning outcomes.
Mr McLean has the responsibility for the financial management, both for maintaining and developing the resources (consumables, hardware, software and human) for the implementation of this policy.
It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to:
- Integrate ICT into curriculum planning, classroom teaching and the assessment of children’s work.
- Ensure that any ICT resource/software used in the classroom is appropriate to curriculum needs and children’s learning needs
- Ensure that pupils have access to a broad and balanced range of ICT experiences. To aid this, the lines of progression in skills, indicate the areas to be covered within each year and the extent to which subject or ICT capability is being developed.
- Ensure health and safety practices are carried out
- Discuss and devise with the children rules for using the computer
- Implement the ‘Acceptable use of the Internet’ Policy within their classroom.
- Implement the ‘Acceptable use of the iPad’ Policy within their classroom.
Curriculum and technical support
Support will be provided by the SEELB ICT Unit, which will provide advice on all aspects of software and hardware and the integration of ICT into the curriculum.
Technical support for the C2K network will be provided through the C2K helpdesk and Northgate.
Support for software is provided through the SEELB ICT unit.
Acceptable use of the Internet Policy
The ICT coordinator has issued a Policy for the “Acceptable use of the Internet” to all parents, staff and other stakeholders. This will be issued to any new parents upon their child joining the school. This document is also available on the school website.
ICT in the home and in the Community
Most children have access to computers in the home or through their out-of-school activities.
In keeping with the school Homework Policy children will be encouraged to make use of home computers and ICT resources available through places such as After School Clubs, Libraries and Youth Clubs. Senior pupils have engaged in ‘e’ homework where they can access electronic worksheets from the school website.
Where appropriate, children will be given opportunities to make use of ICT resources to:
- Carry out research to support classroom work, projects etc.
- To complete work begun in school
- To carry out or present a homework task
Work carried out on home computers should be valued. It is important to ensure that a consistent approach to children’s use of home computers is taken in each class as a child progresses through the school.
As indicated in our approach to equal opportunities, children who do not have ICT resources at home should not be disadvantaged. Provision is made to permit the use of school computers outside lesson time through our ICT after school club.
ICT is currently being given a high profile in our planning, both for the children and ourselves. We are fully aware of the need to improve our personal ICT skills and in doing so, enhance each child’s learning.
Teachers are daily raising their own awareness of the content of the software and how it may be implemented throughout the curriculum.
It is our school’s policy to facilitate the attendance of teachers at relevant Area Board and school based INSET courses.
The ICT co-ordinator will report back to staff on any of the recent developments in ICT, which she has been informed of through INSET days.
Intellectual Property and copyright
The growth in electronic publishing has made it very easy to ‘lift’ graphics, video clips and text and use them in other materials without any thought for the fact that they are subject to copyright: this is theft. The penalties for breaching copyright can be high.
Staff respects copyright and intellectual property rights in relation to material taken from anywhere, including from other web pages, and used in your own materials, e.g. worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, websites.
Staff never uses material without checking with the owner and getting permission to replicate. The source, web page address or author will be stated when using materials from other web sites. As a courtesy, we provide a link to those originating sites.
The content, implementation and effectiveness of this policy will be evaluated and reviewed on an annual basis.
- School Development Plan
- ICT Action Plan
- ICT Progression Grids
- Hardware and Software Inventories
- Acceptable use of the Internet Policy
- Acceptable use of the Internet and Digital Technology Policy
- Acceptable use of the iPad Policy
- Health and Safety guidelines for the use of ICT