The curriculum is regularly updated and developed to accommodate the fast moving technology that becomes available along with the introduction of the Computing Curriculum incorporating Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. The children are taught the basics of coding from as early as the Pre Prep. Programming is taught in every year group with basic coding leading to Scratch, Python, HTML and other languages. In addition to programming and coding, the children learn the key elements of MS Office and Google Apps, as well as developing good levels of competency with many elements of our electronic world such as creating websites, photo-editing, film production, digital music, wiki’s, blogs and video logs. Children are formally assessed on a regular basis and we work hard to accommodate their individual needs. Children are encouraged to attend additional computing clubs. The cross-curricular use of technology is considerable.
There is an extensive computer network at Mowden that supports two IT suites, offering both a range of desktop computers and Google Chrome OS desktops, and at least one computer in every classroom as well as the Library and Pre-Prep. The school has a pool of iPads and Chromebooks which are used throughout by all subjects to make learning more mobile. Children get experiences with small computers by using Raspberry Pi’s – credit card sized single-board computers – and BBC Microbits, which assist in the teaching of computer science.
In the Prep School, the Computing programme is covered in two 35-minute lessons per week for years 4 and 5 with those in the upper Forms getting one lesson a week. The children in the Pre-Prep also have two lessons per week in one of the IT rooms.
Through the use of fun and manageable programs, the pupils work to develop their skills in touch-typing, focusing on speed and accuracy. The pupils are continuously assessed as they progress through their positional knowledge of the keyboard.
Pupils are encouraged and later expected to organise their files into suitable folders. All pupils from Year 3 onwards have their own folder and logon name. Using Google Drive as a filing system, the children have the ability to control where files are stored, making a more personalised and easy to manage system.
All pupils in the main school have an e-mail address that is accessible outside the school. Pupils are taught email etiquette and participate in discussions about safety issues with online communications. Each week, the children are invited to attend Internet Cafe which is a great opportunity for them to use email to stay in contact with family members and friends.
Pupils’ access to the Internet is through standard filtered access during lessons and restricted access during free time. All Internet access is logged. E-safety is a key element of the teaching programme.