St Andrew’s recognises the increasingly important role that technology plays in the lives of all young people and the need to equip these young people with the necessary skills to make the very most of this technology.
Technology has transformed the entire process of teaching and learning; it is a crucial component of every academic subject, and is also taught as a subject in its own right from Year 1 onwards where general skills and specific applications are introduced. Pupils learn ICT in one of our ICT suites, ‘The Web’ or the ‘LRC’, both rooms being equipped with the latest flat screen computers. The aim is to provide our pupils with the skills necessary to apply ICT in any subject appropriate to their age and development, and this is done in an environment which emphasises the importance of creativity, collaboration and resilience, most important, perhaps, when debugging a programme! The issue of online safety is paramount and our pupils (and their parents) benefit from biennial e-Safety workshops.
Microsoft applications (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) are taught from Year 2 upwards, and coding also enjoys its fair share of curriculum time. Beginning with Scratch and Kodu Game Lab, the pupils’ coding skills develop as they move up through the School. The coding journey culminates in the introduction in Year 7 of Python, a high-level programming language. Coding skills are further developed in Year 8 when, as pupils move into the exam season, they use Python to develop their own library of key terms which is used as a study aid. Cross-curricular projects are a common theme over a number of departments. Working with the Art Department in Year 7, for example, our pupils use Google Sketchup to design a digital art gallery which is then populated with their own work! iPads are used extensively by teachers and the next step is to provide a bank of these devices for pupil use.
Year 8 Pupil “St Andrew’s taught me how to make the most of my time and to develop my skills.”