Vision for ICT and Island School Values
ICT capability is fundamental to any child's success in a technology rich society. At Island School we believe that a responsive and flexible provision needs to be in place that develops students' individual ICT capability as technology and society's use of technology changes. Students need to be equipped with generic ICT skills that they can apply, test, adapt and evolve to meet new challenges as they inevitably present themselves. In conjunction with these technical skills, however, are the equally important critical thinking and social skills that will enable them to be effective "Digital Citizens" and allow them to contribute to the development of sustainable 21st Century society.
All our approaches to the use of technology at Island School are based on the central premise that technology is a tool for supporting student progress, deepening learning and achieving our whole school aims. Proficient use of new and emerging technologies is not an end in itself.
We believe that ICT use is not an isolated school area. We constantly seek to 'join up' our thinking on technology with the full range of school aims. To that end we want technology use to support ...
- students to become reflective, independent lifelong learners, critical thinkers and creative problem solvers;
- the development of assessment and reporting systems;
- our strategy for developing literacy skills across the curriculum;
- our approaches to meeting the specific learning needs of individual students.
Island School ICT aims in relation to its values...
We aim to provide high quality curriculum design, network connectivity, CPD opportunities and instruction that leverage the potential of ICT to enhance both teaching and learning. Excellence in learning is our ultimate aim.
We aim to provide opportunities within the curricular and extra-curricular programmes for students to develop and display their own ideas and to pursue their own learning interests using ICT.
Teachers and students use ICT at Island School to best meet the individual learning needs of students.
We aim to use ICT to effectively communicate and support the work of Island School as a learning community. ICT is used as a channel to better understand the world from individual, local and global perspectives.
We aim for students to understand the impact of ICT on both the environment, society and the individual. Through their experiences of ICT use our students will learn how to use technology and the internet in a safe, ethical and responsible way. ICT will support learners to take responsibility for their own progress and will directly help them to become independent and life-long learners.
The needs of the 21st Century
There is a lot of discussion in education about the 21st Century and the need for schools to equip students with 21st Century skills which tend to be defined as communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. ICT is fundamentally connected to each of these as capability with digital technologies provides students with the skills to:-
- reach out and understand the world around them in new ways;
- connect with others to solve problems collaboratively;
- create the learning networks that will support them to become enthusiastic life-long learners;
- appropriate information and ideas to communicate new meanings and personal understandings;
- critically evaluate information in a variety of forms and from a variety of sources;
- navigate a constantly changing information environment responsibly and effectively;
- understand and demonstrate behaviours that develop positive on-line relationships;
- understand the effects of technology on society and society's demands on technology.
Teaching and Learning Through and About ICT
As learning technologies become more infused into the daily life of teachers and students at Island School, it is clear that the task of maintaining appropriate challenges for all learners becomes more difficult. Furthermore as student capability with ICT develops earlier and as technology changes rapidly, it is essential that our curriculum is responsive to these changing needs.
At Island School we recognise that teaching is a dynamic process and that individual student learning and progress is dependent upon the timely interaction between the learner and the resources they need to take their next steps forward. Digital Literacy capability is the key to unlocking the capacity of technology to support individualised learning. The ability of students to define their information needs, generate and evaluate information sources, extract what they need and create new meaning using digital tools is central to what we try to develop in students, and it is our belief that students need to learn both through ICT and about ICT in order to achieve these aims. As such Island School maintains discrete ICT lesson in Years 7 and 8 as well as encourages the appropriate application of ICT to all other areas of the curriculum. This model not only builds a firm foundation of skills but also puts these skills into a variety of learning contexts which encourage the application of what they know. At KS4 ICT is a core subject and students follow the Cambridge IE Award in Applied ICT. This course is designed to allow students to evidence their understanding of ICT through an individual project, challenging them to work independently and display 21st Century skills. Our post-16 provision centres on the BTEC Interactive Media course which is a vocational pathway for students interested in applying ICT skills in media contexts. The structure of this course compliments and extends the ways of working and the assessment mechanisms of the IE Award.
In Years 7 and 8 students are assessed on a 7 point scale where 1 is the highest and 7 the lowest. The assessment scheme is criteria referenced and the full assessment rubric can be found here. The areas of assessment are Information Literacy Skills, Technical Skills, Media and Communication Skills, and Project Management Skills. These skill areas form a useful framework for building core ICT competences and lead in well to the assessment scheme at KS4. The use of formative peer and self assessment also form a significant part of the way that students work at this level with specific rubrics for tasks being developed, often by the students themselves. The combination of these assessment mechanisms is valued as an effective learning strategy. Students are beginning to develop e-portfolio evidence of their work over the year.
The IE Award in Applied ICT qualification is accredited through the Cambridge International Exam Board. The assessment extends the core competences assessed in KS3. A copy of the assessment rubric can be found here. Students evidence their work through an e-portfolio which forms the basis of reporting.
The BTEC Interactive Media qualification is available to students who enrol on the Advanced Diploma Program at Island School and is awarded by Edexcel. The specification for this course can be found on the Edexcel website.
Since January of 2009 Island School has begun a phased introduction of 1-2-1 computer access for all students starting with Year 8. The rationale behind moving towards this level of access is centred on the firm belief that students in the 21st Century will continue to grow up and develop in a technology saturated world and the school has its share of responsibility in educating students in the use of technology as a learning tool. Additionally, as the nature of learning changes and the definition of skills appropriate to a digitally connected world changes, access to information becomes central to success.
All users of Island School network and systems are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the latest copy of which can be found here.