ICT and Computing are an integral part of learning at Villa Real School. Pupils/students are taught ICT / Computing as a discrete subject and in a cross curricular manner embedded into the pupils’/students’ learning across other subjects from EYFS to Key Stage 5.
The aim of ICT and Computing at Villa Real is to enable each pupil/student to develop their skills in order to access lessons and activities, promote motivation and enjoyment and to provide them the skills needed to use ICT effectively outside of the school environment. The curriculum is designed to embed skills and knowledge in early years in order for pupils/students to make an informed choice in later years if they wish to pursue Computing or ICT as a formal qualification.
ICT, for some of our pupils/students, means exploring sensory experiences through the use of ICT resources, for example, a variety of interactive wall panels, light boxes, bubble tubes, fibre optic lights and robots, as well as other electrical items which can provide cause and effect activities.
ICT is also used for enhancing and developing communication skills through the use of a variety of different switch types, such as Big Mack switches. These switches can be used in order for pupils/students to engage with and be part of activities, making comments and also for carrying messages to each other and staff. Some pupils/students also have access to Eye Gaze Systems – a system which uses the movement and gaze of the human eye to aid effective communication.
Each class also has access to an Interactive White Board and class assigned Apple iPads. Villa Real School has a large number of laptop computers which are held centrally and allocated to classes when needed. A large number of these laptops are touch screen to support learners with additional needs. Specialist software is installed to different devices in order to facilitate learning.
Purple Mash provides opportunities for pupils/students to investigate Maths, Science, PSHE, Computing and Humanities with a large number of differentiated lessons that are mapped to the national curriculum.
Kodu programming tool supports pupils/students with more challenging programming tasks in later years.
Our younger pupils are supported with iPad applications that concentrate on literacy, phonics, speech and numeracy. Pupils are encouraged to use these applications to develop both hardware and software skills.
All pupils/students follow a course of study that teaches behaviour and decision making when using technology. Formally known as online safety, these lessons equip our pupils/students to make good decisions both now and in the future when using technology. This is taught throughout the curriculum and as discrete lessons. Our course of study follows the DfE standards set out in the Connected World document. Villa Real School is committed to ensuring its pupils/students can use technology safely while understanding their rights and responsibilities.
EYFS to KS3 National Curriculum is taught via a progressive programme set out utilising a number of different software packages and guidance set out by the DFE.
Where appropriate, from KS3 – KS5, a specialist Computing and ICT teacher will support students through a formal qualification.
ICT and Computing is a subject area by which all pupils/students are highly motivated, and which all pupils/students are able to access easily at a level that both challenges and supports progress. It is used to support the learning of other subjects, enabling them to gain access and engage fully in their learning, providing means of communication and also a variety of learning experiences.
The curriculum is mapped via a progression model to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, however in rare cases some complex pupils/students – including those with degenerative conditions – may have planning which aims to sustain. The curriculum is designed to support and challenge learners in order that every pupil/student achieves their personal best in this area.
ICT assessment takes place through observations, questioning and also written work (when appropriate). Currently we use REAL Progress alongside B Squared as our assessment tool for monitoring and recording data in ICT. Students in KS4 and above are assessed using NCFE ICT and Computing.
We ensure that the ICT curriculum is reviewed and evaluated annually and that it is still relevant and useful in supporting our pupils’/students’ learning and meeting their communication needs. ICT developments are constantly changing and it is important that we remain up to date with current technologies and show pupils how to use these safely, thus preparing them for life outside of school. The ICT department welcomes the views of parents/carers in order to tailor our curriculum to your child’s needs.