When Computing is taught, not only does it look at the operation of software but also how computers and computer systems work and how they are designed and programmed. We use ‘Switched on Computing’, which provides the opportunities for children to explore computer science in more depth, developing a range of skills needed for the technological world in which we live.
Click here for the parents’ guide to the new Computing curriculum
Children have the opportunity to use programmable toys and operate their movement, illustrate an eBook and create a card electronically. They will also develop computational thinking by filming the steps of a recipe and find images using the web.
Children are expected to use Scratch and Kodu to develop programming skills and explore how computer games work. There is opportunity to develop creativity by editing digital images and also record bug hunt data.
Children use Scratch to program animations as well as finding and correcting bugs in programs. They begin to explore computer networks and how they work, as well as learning to communicate safely on the internet via email. Children will also create online surveys to collect and analyse data.
Children are expected to develop a simple educational game and prototype an interactive toy using Scratch. They will also have opportunity to produce digital music and present the weather. Children will write in HTML to produce a web page and create their own Wiki.
Children have opportunity to develop interactive games and crack codes to enhance programming and computational thinking. They will create web pages about cyber safety and share experiences and opinions. Children are also expected to create a virtual space.
Children are expected to plan the creation of a mobile app, research the market, design the interface and then use application invention software to develop this. Children will also have opportunity to develop project management skills and create a video and web copy for their app.
As you are all aware, the use of Facebook and other social media are now widespread and part of many people’s daily life. As part of our E-safety policy all children and staff must agree to the Acceptable Use Policy to gain access to the computing network. This outlines how names and images of children will not be published unless prior parental consent has been given. While it is fabulous that parents want to celebrate the success of their children in activities such as sports days, drama productions, class assemblies, it is important to note that posting images of these online in any social media or on the internet is against our school policies. We must respect the wishes of those parents who do not want their child’s name, image or school publicised on the internet. We ask you to work with us to achieve this.
With recent events of Cyberbullying reported in the media it is important that as a school we work together with parents to keep children safe online and to ensure that the E-Safety message is consistent. Your help is needed to talk to your children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately online. Children can accidently or deliberately be exposed to unwanted or unpleasant content or comments online and there are steps you can take at home to minimise this risk. E-Safety is taught to all pupils at Cromwell, explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online.
What can parents/carers do?
Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online (personal information, photos etc). Make sure you know what your child is doing online exactly as you would offline.
Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact Remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as Mobile Phones and Games Consoles.
Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child.
Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply. Look for the CEOP button –website details below.
Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
It’s essential to be realistic - banning the internet or technology will not work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Education around safe use is essential.
Websites for more information:
www.thinkuknow.co.uk – Visit the “Parent/Carer” Section and use the Click “CEOP REPORT” button to seek advice and report online abuse.
www.childnet.com – Visit the ‘Know It All’ Section for an interactive guide about online safety
www.getsafeonline.org – Free up-to-date Security advice
http://clickcleverclicksafe.direct.gov.uk – Click Clever Click Safe Campaign
www.cybermentors.org.uk – Online support for children
I hope this information is useful to you in making your children more aware of keeping safe online.