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ICT in the National Curriculum

Introduction

Information and communication technology (ICT) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Pupils use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning.

Accessing the curriculum

In addition to printed versions, the National Curriculum is available online from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) website (http://curriculum.qca.org.uk). This in itself is good use of ICT because the curriculum is shown ‘in action’ (using video case studies of effective practice), information can be accessed and linked in a variety of ways and useful resources can be easily downloaded.

Knowledge, skills and understanding

During Key Stage 1, pupils explore ICT and learn to use it confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes. They start to use ICT to develop their ideas and record their creative work. They become familiar with hardware and software. During Key Stage 2 pupils use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They develop their research skills and decide what information is appropriate for their work.

ICT resources

The Primary and Foundation Stages are encouraged to use a wide range of resources. The range includes: lower-case keyboards, infant mice, large monitors for whole-class activities, colour printers, speakers, headphones, microphones, scanners, digital cameras (with movie facility), digital microscopes, overlay keyboards, talking word processors with a word bank facility, paint programs, data-handling packages, presentation programs, drag-and-drop software.

Conclusion

This chapter has outlined the ICT knowledge, skills and understanding that primary school and Foundation Stage children need to acquire. It has also offered a glimpse of some of the ICT resources available. The following chapters will examine how these resources, and many others, can be used to support children’s learning across the curriculum.

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