ICT sessions
Yr 1 Session outlines 2011

http://internet-safety-primary-education.wikispaces.com/ - Pam's ICT WIKI

http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm - Word clouds for kids

http://delicious.com/ictwinchester - Book marks

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary - Level descriptors and assessment in ICT

Semester 2
http://ictsupport.weebly.com/ - Semester 2, Session 1 - Databases

Foundation Furbles

Year 4 lesson plan

Year 3 lesson plan

Branching date powerpoint

Branching data pupil sheet

Introducing Databases using 2Investigate Online

I begin teaching databases in Year 4 and thought I’d share some of the activities I do to help introduce this important topic to the children.
To put the work in perspective, it builds on their prior experiences with a range of data handling software lower down the school (notably using simple graphing software and creating branching databases/tree diagrams) and also acts as a foundation to more sophisticated interrogation of large data sets as they get older. Indeed, I use these Year 4 lessons to get the children familiar with basic concepts of databases and to let them realise the potential benefits of such software, so that they will then find it easy to then later progress onto more complex and purposeful work with them in later years.
For these reasons, I just concentrate on one very simple database in Year 4 which contains data about each pupil in the class. Admittedly, I can remember learning about databases for the first time when I was in primary school myself by creating a class database, and I believe that the activity still has value today – not least for the fact that it’s a topic accessible to everyone and which therefore doesn’t require any prior specific subject knowledge which might hinder any ICT work (like a database about planets and moons might, for instance).
I start by asking each child to fill in a short questionnaire about themselves before the first lesson – I then scan them as images into the computer, insert them all into one Word document and then place it onto the school network ready for the first proper lesson.

Download Class Questionnaire
In previous years I’ve always used a program called JuniorViewpoint as our database package, however this year I’ve had the pleasure of being able to try out a brand new and much more child-friendly application called 2Investigate Online by 2Simple Software (and distributed via its Purple Mash website). Through being provided online it also has the advantage that children could access it at home if they wanted (I dislike teaching skills which can only be practiced in school and can’t be transferred outside).
Having discussed the key function of a database (for storing information on a computer in a structured way), I then work with the children step-by-step to design its structure using 2Investigate Online to store the information written on the questionnaires (full name, age, eye colour, hair colour and number of brothers/sisters), pointing out that:
  • each ‘card’ will contain a record of information about each child;
  • each piece of personal information that needs to be added is called a field;
  • each field represents a different type of data – such as: a number, text or choice field;
  • the questions/labels identifying the information required are called field names.

Once done, I then let them spend the remainder of the lesson entering each pupil’s details, encouraging them to do so carefully to ensure accuracy. We also discuss how using a choice/number field for some data types can help to minimise mistakes too. (It prevents misspellings and ensures a common entry format – e.g. numbers could be shown as: words, digits or dots otherwise.)
This is quite an unexciting and fairly tedious task but one which they obviously have to learn to be familiar with and have to be given some experience of doing. To make sure everyone has a complete database to examine in the following lesson though, I do make a point of inputting all the data myself afterwards so that I know that they will all be working from the same, accurate data.

For the second lesson then, I explain to the children that they are now going to use this database to find out some facts/statistics about the class and demonstrate to them some of the ways that they could collate/classify the record cards in 2Investigate Online to make them easier to view and thus interpret:
  • Arrange/move them around the screen by simply dragging them about;
  • Group them into sets/categories according to a particular field;
  • Sort them into an order by specifying which field to use and whether you want them to appear in ascending (going up) or descending (going down) order.
To focus their attention, I give them a list of questions try and answer. This is always a good activity not only because it is quite straightforward to deliver, but also because it gets the children working with the database records cards independently. I even let the move confident children who finished have a good at posing their own further (similar) questions to try answering.
Flash video
Flash videoDownload Questions about the Class Database
We then end the lesson with a short discussion about the relative benefits of using each of the three record-collating methods to answer different types of questions and compare how much easier the task is using ICT than manually searching through paper questionnaires would have been (with the main reasons being because it is quicker and more accurate to move/organise the record cards around on-screen).
That’s all I then do about databases in Year 4 – designing one, inputting data into it and exploring different ways of organising its records to answer questions. It is quite basic stuff, but all of it is extremely essential and I would feel that rushing into more complex tasks too early on would be too confusing – I’d much rather teach skills steadily and ensure that the children can both understand them and implement them confidently before the work gets more challenging. 2Investigate Online has helped a lot this year due to its highly-intuitive interface, and I just hope now that the children remember everything I’ve taught them for when we re-visit the topic of databases when they move into Year 5.

Semester 2, Session 2 - Multimedia: Film literacy through ICT powerpoint

Film in the curriculum

Links to film

Storyboard templates

How to use movie maker 2

http://www.grsites.com/archive/sounds/ - Sound effects archive

http://internet-safety-primary-education.wikispaces.com/Multimedia - Examples of multimedia

http://www.royaltyfreetunes.co.uk/Albums/contempthemes1.htm - Royality free music

Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning in all subjects. At Key Stage 1, it is statutory to teach the use of ICT in English, mathematics and science. Teachers should use their own judgement to decide where it is appropriate across these subjects. At other key stages, there are statutory requirements to use ICT in all statutory subjects, except PE.
Pupils should be given opportunities to support their work by being taught to:
  • find things out from a variety of sources, selecting and synthesising the information to meet their needs and developing an ability to question its accuracy, bias and plausibility
  • develop their ideas using ICT tools to amend and refine their work and enhance its quality and accuracy
  • exchange and share information, both directly and through electronic media
  • review, modify and evaluate their work, reflecting critically on its quality, as it progresses.
  • Official websites: National Curriculum ICT KS1, National Curriculum ICT KS2, Assessment in ICT against the Level Descriptors,;
    Teaching and learning context
    • What knowledge, understanding and skills do I have with regards to educational ICT?
    • What do I have to understand about the teaching and cross-curricular use of ICT in schools?
    • How can I develop my personal ICT skills to ensure I am able to meet the requirements of the curriculum and the standards?
    Qualifying to Teach requires that you should have secure knowledge and understanding of ICT and that you can provide evidence of it. Guidance indicates that one source of evidence may be through ‘…online subject audits, tests and or personal development files.’