I have been looking at ways to better engage pupils, whilst still covering the requirements of the KS3 NC. In earlier posts in this blog I deconstructed the attainment targets and then rebuilt them into something that I found more manageable. It was also very important that I could use the levels in a context which was more modern than for when they were written. This is still a work in progress which you are more than welcome to contribute to. The relevant shared google spreadsheets are:
KS3 Topics – a spreadsheet of the topics that I want to cover, broken down into quite small detail. Here, I have also been adding the relevant attainment targets to ensure that each topic allows each pupil the opportunity to achieve (not yet complete)
KS3 ICT Curriculum Map – a spreadsheet showing the topics that I want to cover in each age group (by no means fixed in stone) and the levels that the pupils would have the opportunity to reach (may move from a three year curriculum to a two year)
Whilst looking at the KS3 curriculum, I have also decided to introduce the iGCSE from September starting in Year 9 (rightly or wrongly we are making ICT an optional subject from Year 9 – not my decision). This means that I need to cover the KS3 curriculum in 2 years rather than 3 (hence the spreadsheets above are not set in stone). To this end, I have been thinking about how best to do this and have come up with the following mind map (using iThoughtsHD on my iPad):
KS3 ICT mindmap for 2012 (click on link to open a PDF of my mind map)
The idea is to introduce a project theme for each topic and then allow the pupils far greater flexibility to engage with the required software and actually use it in a more realistic context. The ‘better’ pupils will be encouraged to learn new skills independently in order to fulfil the project, whilst the ‘weaker’ pupils will still be encouraged to learn idependantly but may not require as many complex skills to complete their work and may need a little more direction.
I realise that I have a lot of work still to do in terms of researching how to set the project problem and how best to word it so that the pupils have an idea of where they are going but the route they take is down to them! I would also like to ensure that the work covers a variety of work practices and that small group work is encouraged. I am very keen to make ‘getting things wrong’ acceptable as long as it on the way to learning something new.
I want to ensure that I am not too prescriptive. I feel that I should show what a completed project looks like, but then again, I don’t want the pupils work to be just a copy of mine.
I very much welcome comments and would love to here of examples or further reading that I could look at. Thank you!