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ICT has now become Computing

The DFE have just published the response to the consultation on changes to the subject of ICT. The report, published on the 3rd of May, confirms that the subject will be changing its name as well as confirming the temporary disapplication of the National Curriculum.

It is envisaged that the new subject title will reflect appropriately the content included in the revised programmes of study for the subject which are more ambitious and rigorous than the existing (and now disapplied) programmes of study for ICT, and place much greater emphasis on teaching the principles of computational thinking and practical programming skills. Changing the subject name to computing is in keeping with the views of the largest group of respondents to the consultation and of key organisations such as the Royal Society, BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, Microsoft and the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

Read more: ICT has now become Computing

New Service Catalogue Launched

ICT brochureWe are excited to announce that the new ICT services catalogue for schools has been launched. The new services have been developed as a result of extensive consultation with schools about what they need.

The catalogue Sunderland ICT Services to Schools sets out our plan to deliver a whole new range of services alongside the familiar services you have come to rely on. New services include the ability to buy additional service credits for the services of our new Learning Technolologies Inoovation Team. These can be bought as blocks of days and used for the team to run CPD sessions for staff, lessons with learners or work with leadership and management to develop the strategic vision for using technology for learning in your school.

Some schools have already begun to make use of the Learning Technologies Innovation Team. Recently we have been involved in:-

 

  • Providing advice and support for schools looking to make use of Facebook and Twitter to improve parental engagement
  • End to end support for the deployment of iPads. From initial advice, through support with procurement, to CPD for staff and examples of classroom use.
  • Delivering e-safety training to staff and students
  • Supporting schools in producing a vision for using technology for teaching and learning
  • Support with applying for the ICT Mark
  • Design development and planning of school websites
  • Providing advice on imporving wireless connectivity

The team are also responsible for coordinating the Primary and Secondary ICT groups and providing information to schools via the Learning Hub.

We will shortly be contacting you with a survey. We are trying to find out whether anyone has any planned spend for subscription services (Education City, Espresso etc.) or hardware (PCs, iPads, wireless etc.) the aim is to look at combining purchasing to get a better deal for Sunderland schools.

We hope you will set aside time to read the catalogue and consider which services you feel would be of value to your school. Pricing for services is contained in the LA SLA document.

Want to use YouTube in the Classroom?

youtube

Many teachers have expressed an interest in using YouTube and other more "Social" sites in the classroom but have felt that our filtering system prevented tem from doing so.

Whilst YouTube was never "blocked" it has always been restricted as there was a feeling by schools that having unrestricted access could cause disruption in the classroom.


The ICT unit now has a workaround for teachers in schools on the corporate network, which allows teachers to show YouTube videos in lessons.

Full details of the new YouTube proxy are available by contacting the ICT helpdesk on 5532010 or via the contact form here.

The proxy is set to allow access to other sites like Facebook and Twitter too and we are having a discussion in the Primary ICT group about what other sites could be added.

Is your website working for your school?

 
Website Example

A good website can work wonders for your school. We want all schools to have a site that not only provides statutory information to parents and the local community but also provides a vibrant showcase for life in the school.

For many years we have been looking for a website solution that allows schools to design a site that meets their individual needs.

We settled on an open source content management system - the same one that powers the Learning Hub - because of it's rich features and capability to be customised. What are you currently using for your site? Could you be due an update?

Ask yourself if your site does the following:-

  • Includes DFE Key information
  • Is flexible enough for your to decide exactly what features you want
  • Can be updated from anywhere with web access without the need for specific skills or complicated software
  • Has a calendar to help people keep track of what is happening
  • Has a blogging area where each class can learn together and showcase what they are doing
  • Has a photo gallery with slide-show that gives a real window into life in the school
  • Can be updated when you are out and about from any device - How about from Derwent Hill using your phone?
  • Is capable of integrating with social sites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter
  • Your learners can write content but it doesn't go live until it has been checked
  • Every member of the school community can take a role in updating and maintaining the site
  • The look and feel of the site can be changed in an instant
  • Key documents that you send out can be delivered via the site
  • Hides your school email address away so you aren't plagued with SPAM
  • Provides a map so people can find you easily
  • Articles can be added by anyone in the same time it would take you to write an e-mail

If it doesn't then you may want to consider having a site through us.

We appreciate that every school is different and you all have unique needs. We will work closely with you to plan and develop the site, design your template, train key staff and when you are ready help you to launch the site to the outside world. We can even help you get teachers and learners on-board to develop content too.

We already have a number of schools who are using the system like St Anne's Primary and Seaburn Dene Primary both sites are really good examples of how schools have used the system to make their sites a vibrant showcase for the school community.

There are other benefits too one school office manager commented:

"Since having the site calls to the office for information have been seriously reduced. Although it took me time to put the information up the site is now saving me time."

For an informal demonstration of the website features contact the ICT unit and book a meeting with a member of our Learning Technologies Innovation Team.

 

St Anne's 50th Birthday Celebrations

St Annes LogoThis year marks the 50th Year since St. Anne's RC Primary School, in Pennywell,  was opened. To mark this special event, the Headteacher, staff and Friends of the School are planning to have lots of activities in the week beginning 12th March. The Headteacher, Christine Lynch, is hoping that LOTS of past staff members will be able to join in the celebration at a special event during this week. If you are a past staff member (or could pass this message onto know someone who was) please contact school for further details. Telephone: 0191 553 6860

Sunderland University Recruitment Offer

If you would like a visit to your school from the University of Sunderland Student Recruitment team or would like to book an On Campus visit for your school, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0191 515 3000.

Free course in digital storytelling with iPads

We are pleased to announce that via our status as an Apple Regional Training Centre we are able to offer Sunderland schools free places on a Digital Storytelling course from our friends in South Tyneside.

Tuesday 4th December 9.00am 4.00pm

Venue: OpenZone CLC, Temple Park Road, South Shields, NE34 0QA

Audience

Educators who want their students to use an I pad to create a story.

Read more: Free course in digital storytelling with iPads

Free Microsoft Technology Event

MiicrosoftlogoAs you may be aware, Microsoft are running a free event at Harton Technology College on December 7th alongside David Miliband called “Exciting Learning in the North”.  We have David Miliband and Sir Paul Edwards speaking at this event, and we have a great line-up of partners and Microsoft Specialists that will be on hand to demonstrate Windows 8, Office 365, Kinect in Education and much more!

 

This is completely free and a great opportunity to see and touch some of the huge changes in Microsoft technology and understand what this means for schools.

To reserve your place, all you need to do is email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your place.    This is a first come, first served basis so if you would like to come, and you would like to reserve your schools a place, then please act quickly.