Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.
The ICT department's aim at STARS is to give all pupils throughout the school the opportunity to use ICT to enhance and enable their learning in the best way possible. It is important for pupils to be ready with the ICT skill set needed to succeed in their next steps. As part of our continued commitment to supporting pupils to return to their mainstream school, pupils develop their knowledge and confidence in using online learning platforms.
All pupils who participate in the KS3 curriculum have the opportunity to learn and use Photoshop, to learn and create programmes using software such as Python and to learn HTML and CSS. Pupils also study the practical parts of computing, looking at what is in a computer and how it works together, touching on the topic of binary to affirm their practical Maths knowledge.
ICT learning will continue throughout the Key Stage Four Curriculum, however it is then embedded in learning across the school.
In ICT there is an ethos of using computers to enhance learning and make life manageable, by learning to touch type and understanding how to access the various organisational tools. Pupils use Google Classroom across the school, so pupils can experience a sharing platform that could be used when returning to school, future colleges or workplaces. Pupils learn how to be resilient when using the computer, by having to problem solve and therefore forging the necessary skills to be successful upon return to a mainstream classroom.
ICT is widely used to enhance and support lessons across the curriculum at STARS: there is a wide selection and variety of devices for pupils to use including desktops and laptops running Windows; Chrome books, iPads and interactive whiteboards. During school time every pupil has their own allocated Chromebook, with different programmes and methods to support pupils with a range of needs, such as talk and write programmes for pupils with Dyslexia. Also available are a variety of different cameras, from small and portable to DSLRs.
ICT is supported by a highly experienced member of staff, together with the support of Cygnet technical services and Sutton Local Authority schools network, ensuring a high level of internet safety filters and systems monitoring are in place. At STARS, the E-safety Policy and procedure is clear and E-safety education is given high priority. Parents receive support to develop their knowledge of E-safety and ways for parents/carers to help ensure their child stays safe online and when using technology.
Pupils enjoy the responsibility of having their own ChromeBook. Pupils have reported they feel safe in all ICT lessons; that they know when they have done well and can always ask for help. Pupils are clear about E-safety and are confident in reporting and seeking advice regarding difficulties and issues.
Pupils on the Creative iMedia course are involved in whole school projects such as taking photos for the school website and staff pictures. Pupils that continue with their ICT education through undertaking a KS4 qualification become part of a wider school support team; they are actively encouraged to spread their knowledge and support other school members, answering and solving problems.