Switched on Computing: getting ready

One of my currents tasks is to look at what needs to be in place to deliver the Rising Stars Switched on Computing scheme of work from September in some of my schools. I currently support three schools who have purchased the resources:

  • a primary school with mixed year forms (Reception/Year 1, Year 2/3, Year 4/5/6) and an ICT Suite running Windows 7
  • a primary school with discrete year forms (Year 1 – Year 6) with netbooks running Windows 7 and iPads, both for one between two in a class
  • a junior school with double-entry year forms (Year 3 – 6) with netbooks running Windows 7 who are also deciding what tablets to purchase

My job is to go through the resources, identify the hardware, software and setup that will be used and recommend hardware purchases, create an action plan of software / app installs and check what else we need in place to get us off to a flying start teaching Computing.

It’s all the more of a challenge as each school will be using the resources differently. The school with mixed year forms will be runs long-term plans over two-year cycles to ensure that children do not cover the same topics; they will be covering all the units, but not in a sequential order. The junior school will not be plunging straight into Units 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1 – rather they will be checking that all pupils have a basic understanding of computer literacy before the start, and Year 6 will be covering some of the Year 3/4/5 material to ensure they don’t throw the pupils (and teachers) in at the deep end.

So I cannot look at Units 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1 and assume that’s what we will be getting set for in September, then keep one step ahead each half-term. Rather, I am looking at the scheme of work as a whole – all 36 units.

I am using the hard copies of teacher books, as well as the excellent online information available at the Switched on Computing website : http://switchedoncomputing.co.uk/. The “Extra Support” section is definitely worth a look as well, as it contains supplementary help and advice on how to get started.

I am going to blog on my findings as I go so that I can share this with my schools, use it as a reflection and analysis tool for myself, and also maybe help others who are going to use the resources too. I will not be teaching any of these units myself (as far as I know!) so I am looking at the technical side of delivering the curriculum rather than the pedagogy to teach it.

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