As we started the new academic year, Computing learning finally returned to normal post pandemic. Everyone has been working very hard during the year, and I am sure the children have talked about their skills with you at home. Here is what the children learnt during 2023:
Year 6 – In this final part of the academic year for year 6, they were really challenged with their coding skills both using Scratch to make a multiple choice quiz. They also have looked at different types of coding programs, Kodu and a text only based program, Python, which the children thoroughly enjoyed learning. They also learnt new concepts ready for Secondary school including Binary, Boolean Logic, Computational Thinking and extended their knowledge on Databases. The children extended their knowledge on Computer Networks for the final time learning about three different types of networks. They also their knowledge about using the Internet, as well as the ever important Online Safety. What a busy, exciting time for Computing!
Year 5 – In the Summer term, year 5 were learning about Graphical Modelling and Simulation. They started their journey around these concepts, learning first about graphical modelling by understanding about the differences between paint and graphics programs by recreating Henry Matisse’s famous “The Snail” painting using these different programs. Then the children moved on to learning about Simulation programs, games and finally in paired programming created a Planet Simulation (Sun-Earth-Moon) with a pen block to trace the rotations as they coded the Moon to rotate around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun. Some fantastic results ensued! Over the year, the children have extended their Online Safety knowledge, Internet searching, Microsoft Excel, Internet Searching knowledge and used Scratch to make a fantastic Chatbot based on Greta Thunberg, including lots of information about climate change. A really busy year!
Year 4 – For the first part of the summer term, the children refreshed and extended their knowledge of the Internet learning about web crawlers, the differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web, as well as understanding about how searches are ranked. They discussed the reliability of researching information, knowing how to check for reliable sites and then ended the half term role playing in their groups how information is passed around a network. In the second part of the term, year 4 the children were challenged to use all their previous knowledge of Computing to organise an imaginary end-of-school party for their class and teacher. The children were really keen and didn’t disappoint with their creative skills! Both classes had to create an email invitation, an advert for the party, a menu and timetable of events, as well as a food budget (incorporating their maths skills) and an interactive map to the venue. They chose either to work in pairs or independently and were fully engaged in their ideas. This was an opportunity for the children to remember and use all programs they have been learning about since year 1 – Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Publisher and Scratch. These activities were also part of the progression packed lessons over the year including making an animated story, investigating manipulation tactics in Online Safety, Internet Searching and Databases. A busy year of learning!
Year 3 – Here is just a snapshot of the children’s learning during year 3. The children were learning about the contents of a webpage, designing a new website home page for school to learning how to use keywords and symbols to return better results when searching the Internet, as well as keeping safe while doing so. They then moved on to using their newly learnt techniques by doing some Internet researching with partners.
The children moved on to understanding databases – what they are, how they are used in the real world and what information they provide. They started off by learning important vocabulary (Record/Field/Attributes) by making paper database cards then grouping these and sorting. This then moved on to looking at computer databases and retrieving information from these, discussing real life databases like our own school database of children who attend, to finally making a branching database where the children had to select objects and create data questions based on these. Brilliant learning!
Year 2 – In year 2 this term the children were really excited to be introduced to the coding program, Scratch. They worked on mini tasks, getting used to the block based coding program by “tinkering” with Scratch (yes this is an official Computing term!) which allowed them to explore what the program can do and how it works ready for year 3. The children found this very exciting! After the half term, the children took to learning about the Internet at an age-appropriate level (also while keeping safe). They learnt how to access the Internet, how to search using one word (their favourite word CBEEBIES!) and then understanding about LINKS. After this, they paired up with a friend to practise searching the Internet for teacher-given sites and answering questions about the information. What super researchers!
Year 1 – Children in year 1 furthered their learning of programs by exploring Microsoft Word this term. They used programs to produce artwork and a simple leaflet based on a famous artist they had been learning about – Vincent Van Gogh. They also furthered their learning of programmable toys and used both physical Beebots and online Beebots to give instructions to, to reach a given point on a map using their new vocabulary “Forwards, Backwards, Left Turn and Right Turn”. They also began learning about the Internet by using fun activities to navigate to the Internet using Google, and then locating and clicking on a link to a website. Some great digital learning!
Reception – Reception began the fun of extending their keyboarding skills. Children used some great simple age-appropriate games which encouraged them to locate the letters and numbers on their keyboards ready for year 1. Keyboard and Mouse skills are a really important skill to have when using a computer and will benefit the children massively as they begin the year 1 National Curriculum for Computing. The children also explored using a Beebot programmable toy, learning how to give the toy instructions, both with a physical Beebot toy and using a Beebot game on the computers! Super fun!