Diary of a Lead Teacher: An exciting year to come...
For Primary schools, this time of year is a whirlwind, to say the least! If you’ve seen the film ‘Nativity!’, you’ll understand! It’s not far off the truth…
This is also a great time of year to reflect on what has been and to look forward to the new year. We stepped into our 5th year at Prendergast this September and into our first year with Digital Schoolhouse. We are beginning to fully implement a great deal of our creative, intertwined curriculum in a very constructivist way. This includes making productive links with the secondary school, in particular through STEM subjects, including of course, computing.
Year 3 have been particularly busy working with technology, in a decompositional way to make Christmas decorations and more recently, the 7 Wonders of the World.
In History, they have been learning about the Ancient and Modern wonders, creating models, researching and taking part in debates and creating ‘wonder stories’. In a brilliant link to computing, children were tasked with animating their stories using Scratch. Not only is this a great way to develop ICT skills, but what child wouldn’t get excited about writing when the aim is to bring it to life in digital form?!
They started by developing their characters, settings and narratives in traditional literacy ways. Then they needed to think about how the story would look. This involved drawing storyboards, where the physicality of the story could come to life. Instructions for the characters and their movements came next, leading smoothly into simple coding using Scratch.
Watching children develop their understanding of how to code in this decompositional way is really uplifting and exciting; not only can they do it, they know why they are doing it. This awareness is so important for all areas of learning and particularly when considering the creative, technological industries these children will most likely be a part of in the future.
Thinking to the future, when we return after Christmas, we will begin to plan our ‘Computing Week’ taking place across the school in early February. We will be making the most of our Digital Schoolhouse status as well as engaging local digital artists and industries to immerse children in the world of computing. It’s going to be an exciting new year!