Draft Programme of Study for ICT at KS2


In the most recent draft Programme of Study for ICT which has been coordinated by the BCS and Royal Academy of Engineering the section for Key Stage 2 reads as follows…

Pupils should be taught to:
 Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of
digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and
presenting data and information; work collaboratively to plan, create, test, and evaluate a
range of digital products for a given audience.
 Develop programs that accomplish given goals, including controlling or simulating physical
systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts; use sequence, selection,
and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output;
evaluate alternative algorithms and designs to solve the same problem; detect and correct
errors in algorithms and programs.
 Understand computer networks including the Internet; how they can provide multiple
services, such as the Web; and the opportunities it offers for communication and
collaboration.
 Use search engines effectively and appreciate how results are selected and ranked; be
discerning in their evaluation of digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property;
use technology responsibly, securely, and safely; recognise the impacts of technology on
their and others’ lives, and how they change over time.

I would be interested to hear any feedback from any Key Stage 2 teacher even (and almost especially) if they are not an ICT specialist. Key questions I am interested in are… What would you need to help you teach the content of this draft PoS? What subject knowledge do you think you are currently missing?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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6 thoughts on “Draft Programme of Study for ICT at KS2

  1. As a Head teacher who is trying to support staff in developing a more investigative approach this poses several questions to me.
    Is this something which will develop ICT as an integral part of the curriculum? Yes
    Does it meet the ICT needs for moving the children up to Secondary? Probably but only if there is some freedom to add to this and there is a consistency of practice across all feeders schools.
    How would a school introduce it? Unfortunately to me, there is a likelihood that the success of such a PoS would be down to how well publishers write the schemes and software which schools buy in. This could turn into the programming equivalent of Talking First Word.

    Looking in more detail later I am sure that there are elements which are missing or unnecessary but it doesn’t frighten me and it could be argued that there is nothing there which the children are not incapable or of which wouldn’t excite them. I have long held the view that some of the best teaching of ICT takes places when the teacher keeps out of the way and allows the children to live up to their potential.

  2. I think as trainee teachers at the University of Northampton, we have covered the majority of these elements in our studies or at least been made aware of the need to consider them and where to look for support if required.
    Expanding on the PoS above the document http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/data/uploads/ComputingCurric.pdf gives more explanation relating to the content of the PoS (not perhaps as scary as it looks). The need to teach Computer Science and Digital Literacy alongside Information Technology is absolutely necessary today. I believe it is vital for every school, no matter how small, to have an active interest in developing ICT as a discrete subject. For those teachers who need to develop their subject knowledge, CPD is important as we all know, however we are all still learning and in some cases there will be children within our classes who will excel and understand more than the teacher. In this case we act as facilitators but it is important not to shy away from technological advancement more to embrace it. There will always be another teacher out there who will be able to support and advise – take advantage of the wider learning community. See my own blog mypad.northampton.ac.uk/lmorris which gives an insight into what we have covered in our studies in this our final year!

  3. I think this will go far to giving children a view that computers are tools, not ‘magic boxes’ that give us answers. By covering the features here children will have a balanced view of how the web, and the connected world, works; therefore becoming more adept at existing within it. Hopefully this PoS would encourage creators rather than consumers and redress the concerns of those who feel that our tech industry is being harmed by a lacklustre approach to teaching ICT in schools.

  4. I have to agree with all of Matt’s above comment wholeheartedly!

    Being a secondary teacher, I’m not sure this is directly related to me at this moment but feel there is a massive shift in attitude and technology(in some places) needed for this to work. In primary schools, it seems the children are exposed to a vast array of technologies to work with and familiarise themselves with. And certainly in my school there is a real lack of technology and willingness to engage with technology. Some of our staff still don’t use email!!!!

    I would be happy to set a class on to a task carrying out the above developing programming with the assumption that they would figure it out way more easily than I would, or already know how to do it. However, I would be very little support as I have no idea how to develop programmes.

    As for understanding computer networks, I would also need some CPD in that area. I would be more than happy to undertake such CPD as I feel it’s our duty to be as up to date as the pupils in technological advances, as far as possible. I think generally schools have a lot of work to do in preparing our pupils for what the real world of work is going to be like for them. The above things included.

    Hope this is of some use!

  5. As a Secondary Biology teacher, I would definitely struggle with the developing programs / understanding computer networks part, despite having finished my PGDE just last year. I don’t feel I *need* these things in order to effectively support pupils using ICT however.
    The first and last points are very important for any subject teacher imho, and were addressed during my years training. We seem to be at the point in many schools where the pupils know far more than their teachers, and some staff are still techno-phobic. Indeed, many members of staff treat computers as “magic boxes” and assume pupils can research a topic, without first being taught about the skills required to carry out such research.

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