Switched-On ICT

I must not correct that spelling error. I must ignore that apostrophe. I must -- Ah, good day to you; thank you for joining me. You have caught me reminding myself that the role of Series Editor does not include the usual sort of proof-reading. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was commissioned some time ago to take on the role of Series Editor for Switched-On ICT, or SOICT for short. This is a new scheme of work for ICT in the primary (elementary) school, and I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to be involved.

(Before I go any further, lest this read like an advertisement, I ought to point out that I don't stand to gain anything financially from this plug (if that's what it is), because I have already been paid. From that point of view, it doesn't matter to me whether it sells a million copies or none. But obviously I would like it to succeed regardless of any personal financial gain or lack thereof. I find it tedious to have to not only declare an interest, but also to declare a non-interest, but it's no doubt better to err on the side of caution in such matters.)

The reason I was delighted is that for a long time now I have been arguing, sometimes as a voice in the wilderness, that there is no reason that a course in ICT should not be exciting, vibrant and relevant within the framework of the existing ICT Programme of Study. Those colleagues who advocate wholesale reform of the curriculum have not, I feel, realised that it's not really necessary, because the existing curriculum affords plenty of freedom to be creative as far as ICT is concerned. The SOICT scheme vindicates that point of view because it is indeed creative, and robust from a curriculum, teaching and learning point of view. Indeed, it not only references the ICT Programme of Study, but Every Child Matters too. Also, as far as assessment is concerned, it addresses the ICT Statements of Attainment, but couched in the terminology of Assessing Pupils' Progress. And as far as software is concerned, schools wishing to make more use of Web 2.0 and other free applications, and those wishing to get more out of their investment in a Learning Platform, will not be disappointed by the applications referenced and the recommendations made in these pages.

Instigated by Dave Smith and his colleagues from Havering, and written by Miles Berry, and published by Rising Stars, the scheme has good parentage. My role has been to contribute to the ideas, to try to ensure consistency and, above all, to try to ensure that the assessment within the scheme is sound and, again, consistent.

The outcome of all the scrutiny, discussion and poring over the ICT Programme of Study is, in my opinion, a scheme of work which is as robust as it is interesting. However, you don’t have to take my word for it: if you email Andrea Carr at Rising Stars she will send you a sample unit of work to try out.