Posted in Cross-Curricular Computing Links, KS3

KS3 Observation Week

My week within a secondary school was very different to how I remember it. I went to a comprehensive school rather than going back to an independent school and the amount of students in attendance was a big shock. I went to a relatively small independent school so being hit with students, whom many of which were taller than me (even the year 8’s), threw me a little. However, the use of ICT and computing was far greater than what I have seen in primary schools so far. Computer science was on every child’s timetable from years 7-9 and then optional thereafter, but computing was used in many other subjects too.

English, Music and Computing:

It was used in English to create a playlist for characters from ‘A Christmas Carol’ to illustrate whether the students understood the characters and their role within the story. I thought this was a brilliant idea but could have been monitored a bit better than it was as students were allowed to use their phones as a method of finding songs. The use of i-pads could have benefitted the children and allowed them to remain on task for longer.

Geography and Computing:

I also saw computing used within a yr 7 Geography lesson in which students compared ordnance survey maps with google maps and gave directions to their peers using features of maps and those present on the satellite images.

PE and Computing:

Similarly, I-pads were used within PE to take the register and film good trampolining performances for the other children to watch back and analyse. This was an effective use of using i-pads and computing outside the normal classroom. The use of computing within this lesson could have been utilised further as students could have filmed their routines on Coaches eye and analysed them within groups to look an areas for improvement. However, this would have required 15 I-pads being available to use, which unfortunately, they didn’t have the provision for within the school.

Computer Science lesson:

More obviously, computer science threw a lot of information at me that I never learnt at secondary school, such as Bitmap and Vector images and the very confusing binary and hexi-decimal aspects of yr 11 GCSE computer science.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on my KS3 placement and the obvious differences between a KS3 classroom and that of primary school. Similarly, it was interesting to find out how the yr 7’s felt coming to secondary school and how they found the lessons. Many of the children I spoke to had not done much science at primary school and enjoyed secondary because each week they knew they were doing lessons they enjoyed such as PE, music, science and DT.