Information Communication Technology
"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." John Dewey
St. Mary's School has always prided itself on being innovative in the classroom, and our use of technology is instrumental in meeting this objective. We continually strive to ensure that our students are digitally fluent, adaptable and confident to use technology in ways that enhance their learning and life skills.
We believe in making ICT fun as well as informative. Learning how to create music, design a cartoon and begin to build a website is only part of what we teach here at St Mary's. ICT aims to be exciting, suitably challenging and rewarding for all. Gaining an understanding about how Information Technology has and is changing our world is a central theme of this subject.
St Mary's houses an ICT suite equipped with 20 computers, 30 iPads together with an interactive white board, situated in the Hamilton Building. Programs available to use include Microsoft Office, Podium, Scratch, Acid Express and an array of web-based educational software.
Each child in Form 3-8 attends a weekly lesson in the ICT suite as well as being able to use the computers with their subject teachers and during supervised prep and boarding slots.
Pupils in Kindergarten and Pre-prep visit the ICT suite with their class teacher. The core skills of logging on, using the keyboard and locating and opening software are fundamental to their work. Thereafter the children gain confidence in using a computer through fun, educational programs.
In the Middle School, pupils learn to use their school-based email account and explore web-based touch-typing, literacy and numeracy programs. Topical project work using Microsoft Office Word, Publisher and PowerPoint allows the children to gain confidence in creating and presenting information.
As pupils move into the Upper School ICT becomes paramount in supporting the Upper School curriculum with projects in Geography and Latin, for example, featuring throughout the year groups. Pupils also learn to create databases, use spreadsheets and to code web pages using HTML. The use of Scratch, Acid Express and Podium allow opportunities to gain skills in programming, music technology/sequencing and podcasting.
All children have their own password-protected account which they can access from any networked computer in the school. Great emphasis is put on the need to use computers securely and safely.
Access to the Internet is heavily filtered and monitored through our secure webmaster. Children are allowed access only to sites approved by staff. Each term, children are taught about the safe, responsible use of computers, the internet and email. All pupils must sign a ‘responsible use of computers’ agreement with this being countersigned by parents.
The ICT department uses the www.kidsmart.org.uk and www.ThinkYouKnow.co.uk websites as resources.