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Computing and Technology

Computing at Merefield School

Here at Merefield, computing is embedded across all areas of our curriculum where appropriate and relevant.  Learner's are given various opportunities to develop computational thinking and attitudes such as sequencing events or instructions (algorithm design), problem solving and mistake correction (debugging) as well as sharing information through different technologies.  Learner's, on a practical level, have access to computers and iPads as well as other devices and applications involving simple programming such as Beebots and iPad applications.

 

Examples of learning activities across the curriculum:

 

  • Sensory input such as computer generated images, lights, sounds and movement allows pupils to demonstrate a variety of responses.
  • Cause and effect activities such as switch operated technology such as fibre optic lights, fans, foot spas and food processors allows pupils to control what happens around them.
  • AAC devices such as TechTalk, BIGMack switches and iPad applications such as Proloquo2go and Gridplayer allows pupils to express themselves or develop communication further
  • Simple devices and application for sequencing such as beebots and 2Simple software as well as sequencing instructions in everyday life.
  • Desktop computer software such as Word, PowerPoint and internet explorer allows pupils to explore and share ideas.

 

Use of Technology at Merefield School

 

Many of our learner’s use assistive technology to enable them to have control of their environment, to develop early language skills, to make choices, to play and have fun, to develop sensory awareness and to be involved with cooperative activities with others.  Some learner’s use technology such as AAC (Alternative and Augmentative communication) devices to enhance their developing communication skills.  Some also access desktop computers with basic software such as art packages, word processing and presentation software to share their ideas.  

 

Each class is equipped with an interactive whiteboard, class camera and class iPad to further enhance all aspects of learning.  This could be reviewing photographs to reflect on learning, activating software on the interactive whiteboards or accessing iPad applications to aid communication.  We also have a sensory studio which makes use of technology to provide an engaging and immersive learning space, a sensory trolley containing sound beam equipment, flasma and various accessible devices such as BIGMack switches and CRICK USB switch boxes.

 
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E-Safety

There are real benefits for learner's use of technology to enhance any aspect of their life such as social communication or interaction, information seeking and supporting learning particularly on the internet.  E-safety refers to the safe use of internet technologies and electronic communications and is a core principle of all school communities.  It highlights the need to educate children the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using these ever developing technologies.

 

Within school...

 

E-safety is referred to in the ICT and Computing p-scale descriptors from P7 and above.  For learners following the informal curriculum pathway (P1-P4), the concepts of stranger awareness and personal safety are supported and modelled by school staff.  Where appropriate, pupils working within the semi-formal curriculum pathway are guided to have an awareness of stranger danger, people who can help and dealing with issues which can make them feel uncomfortable.  These concepts are embedded in the curriculum strands ‘Myself,’ ‘My community’ and ‘How My World works.’  

 

Outside school...

 

Many of our pupils access various technologies for social interactions and leisure time outside of school such as game consoles, MP3 players and mobile phones.  There are steps which can be taken at home to reduce the potential risks of incidents of cyber-bullying, grooming or being exposed to inappropriate content.

 

Please find below a list of external links with useful information regarding E-safety:

Latest online safety guidance - SNAPCHAT

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