The autumn term has been a long but rewarding one for me. A new job has been the challenge that I was looking for and I am settled in to a new school and a new role. Each week has passed with a new set of achievements and the role has been fast paced, but progress is being made at an astonishing rate!
One focus for me, as for many of us, is implementing a new computing curriculum for the school. As an early years teacher I am keen to include the foundation stage within the primary curriculum planning phase and make stronger links between the two curriculums.
This may be an easier process for other curriculum areas, but within the ‘technology’ strand in Early Years Outcomes and the new computing curriculum for key stage 1, it seems to be a little more vague.
I see this vagueness as an opportunity to create something good.
I started with the foundation stage team a few weeks ago and we looked at these documents together:
Both of these documents come from Somerset SLP and they break down the technology development points and how technology can support the early learning goals across the foundation stage.
Taking these two documents, we looked at an existing school framework for the outgoing ICT curriculum (The Nottinghamshire ICT Framework). The rest of our school will take their key stage requirements and plot a long term plan, showing where aspects of the existing ICT curriculum will be taught and support other curriculum areas through a topic approach.
We took this framework for a long term plan and adapted the second Somerset document listed above to create this:
For each area of learning and set of early learning goals I have organised the activities that I have planned so far each topic this year. I will continue to update this for the rest of the year, to ensure progression towards the early learning goals and how technology supports them.
Moving to a new computing curriculum in 2014.
These documents will be reviewed again in 2014 following the publication of the new National Curriculum, alongside our foundation team. With the Rushcliffe Learning Alliance (RLA) that I am a part of, we have planned a curriculum starting in Foundation 1 through to Year 6.
Our curriculum’s overall characteristics set out to promote and achieve these goals:
Key Characteristics that we want to promote with our children:
- Competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects.
- The ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity.
- An understanding of the connected nature of devices.
- The ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum.
- The ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively.
Skills from the Key Stage 1 curriculums (previous and new) which are appropriate for Foundation children have been included in our school’s curriculums. Typing names on keyboards, inserting photographs, handling technology appropriately and e-safety will be taught from Foundation 1 and 2.
View the RLA Foundation Stage computing curriculum here: foundation curriculum . Please credit the RLA2014 group if used.
Children in my foundation class have been programming on iPad apps over the summer term and making progress towards to the Key Stage 1 curriculum. Algorithms have been taught through role playing robots and giving verbal instructions and also programming toys to move through a set of masking-taped grid paths and mazes.
When the new foundation stage curriculum was published, around 2 years ago at the point of writing this post, the goals for technology were much broader in the foundation stage. There was a stronger emphasis on content creation and with a new curriculum for Key Stage 1, this is a great opportunity to bring some of those skills in to the foundation stage in order to make way for their greater emphasis on coding.
Enabling Environments: A Computing Curriculum Beginning in Early Years
This book has been written for the Early Years practitioner or Computing Coordinator of a school looking to further embed the use of technology in their Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 settings. Marc Faulder, an Early Years teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator, provides a complete skills curriculum from 30 months to the Early Learning Goal in this book. Chapters introduce a skills curriculum, the assessment and progression of the skills and a thorough planning document to show how technology enhances learning in all Early Learning Goals.