Computing at St Matthew's
Computing at St Matthew's can be seen woven throughout all curriculum areas. We use technology purposefully to enhance our teaching and learning at every opportunity. We use iPad publishing apps to design and create information brochures such as on The Great Fire of London in Year 2 or desktop publishing software in KS2 for work on the Egyptians. We use some database software to store and collate information we find on rivers in Geography. We practice our times tables by taking part in online TT Rockstar tournaments or develop our spelling stratergies through spellingshed competitions. We even use data loggers to help us conduct experiments in Science and iPad imaging applications to edit and improve digital media. Take a closer look at what we do below:
As Computer Scientists the children are encouraged to think about and approach all sorts of problems creatively, breaking them down and working collaboratively to find solutions.
"We're all computational thinkers here!"
Computing Unplugged Week
During this week at St Matthew's, all classes took the opportunity to look at Computers and Computer Science without using any technology. We explored the science behind computers; how they work, what algorithms are, what various input devices could be and how the outputs might change depending on what we want.
Upper KS2 and Year 4
Year groups 4-6 all became secret agents and worked on a project to intercept and decipher codes sent by the Germans in WW2 during The D-Day Landings. The children worked in teams and using a "key", tried to crack the code to help the Allied forces. They learnt how to break problems down into smaller chunks and how to use logical reasoning to decipher the code, just as the code crackers in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park did in 1944. They also learnt about the history of coding, who created them and why, when they have been used throughout history and the importance of Alan Turing.
Unplugging from social media
Year 5 linked their literacy topic of Free Verse Poetry to our Unplugged week and wrote their own free verse poems in the style of 'Prince EA' . In them, they demonstrated a great awareness of the harmful side of social media over-use and gave warnings to other children about the potential problems found online.
Unplugged: KS1 and Year 3
The children in Year 3 and KS1 considered what computers actually are, how they work and how important they are to us in our lives today. Year 3 investigated different computer components and looked at the difference between inputs and outputs by labeling the components inside of an iPad.
Year 2 had so much fun! They pretended to be robots and tried to write their names using their feet instead of hands. They learned about how computers and robots cannot think for themselves but depend on precise instructions called algorithms to operate. They each created an algorithm and worked in pairs giving and taking instructions on how to draw crazy characters.
Altru Digital Media Assembly
KS2 were treated to an assembly today to demonstrate the power of social media and digital footprints - as well as the negative side to it. Talking from the viewpoint of some of our favourite apps and games like Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Roblox and many more, the children related to the messages told and became more aware of how to keep themselves safe when online.
5G had an extra bonus from Altru: a workshop full of games and drama activities to delve even deeper into the positives and negatives of social media.
Coding with Code Studio
3D used the iPads today to develop their coding skills on Code Studio. They used code blocks to create a sequence of instructions to move a sprite from one side of the screen to another along a certain path. They made links to the term 'algorithm' they had learned about previously in Year 2.
Year 5 - Publishing on Word
The children in Year 5 wrote some amazing pieces of narrative poetry in their writing books but then decided to type, edit and publish their poems using Microsoft Word. They carefully navigated the pupil shared drive to save their work and precisely used various features within the software to present their work professionally.
Creating road safety posters
Our school E-Cadets used the Macbooks to create road safety awareness posters to be used outside our school, warning and offering advice to anyone driving or parking around our school. They did this digitally to ensure that they looked professional and could be re-used at a later date should they suffer a bit of wear and tear over time. Smart thinking!
Coding with Code Studio
Year 6 continued their progress on Code Studio this afternoon by using repeating loops in their coding so that a set of instructions could be repeated once, twice or a hundred times over! They discussed the usefulness of this coding feature and when it would be beneficial in the world.
Information texts on Purple Mash
In Year 5, they have been learning about Anne Frank in their WWII history topic. They used Purple Mash to collate all of their learning and findings on Anne Frank, skillfully using text boxes, images, captions and titles to keep it looking effective and informative.
Using Chatterpix to animate imagery.
Year 6 and Year 5 used the Chatterpix app on the iPads to help them talk about the book Journey by Aaron Becker. They animated different images from the book to share their thoughts, feelings and summaries of the story and characters.