A curriculum or syllabus
This is the ICT knowledge and capabilities that have to be taught and
learnt. Examples include the ICT national curriculum and the examination
syllabi for GCSE.
A scheme of work or curriculum plan
This will show the progressive development of pupils' knowledge, skills
and capability over time. These are set in a time frame such as annual
or termly plans. They show in more detail what parts of the IT curriculum
are to be taught, when and in what order. Sometimes this might include
the level of difficulty such as the national curriculum level. They
often focus down to identifying specific tasks which are set in the
time frame used. Often, in primary schools they would be called medium
or long term plans.
ICT as a subject with its own knowledge, skills and capabilities which
need to be taught. ICT is different in that it is not only something
which has to be taught as a subject or topic but is also part of the
work in other subjects or topics. ICT should be a component of the curriculum
and scheme of work for most subjects. However it should still be treated
as a discreet subject. What is different is that ICT could be taught
and learnt in other subjects as well. Clearly, the use of ICT in other
subjects will reinforce learning about ICT.
Short term or lesson plans
These will be plans for lessons or for weekly or daily plans. They will
expand the detail of the medium term plans. They should identify what
is being learnt and how gains in pupils learning will be identified.
They should also identify more detail of the teaching and class or group
management strategies and identify the resources and preparation required.
The Planning Process
It is possible to start first by creating a scheme of work for ICT which
sets out the overview of what will be taught and when it will be taught.
Alternately, it is possible to start by developing detailed activities
and then fitting them into a framework which links them together over
a longer time period.
Which is sensible depends on circumstances. If you have just taken over
as an ICT coordinator in a primary school where teachers are used to
using ICT in their work and carry out a number of activities with a
significant ICT element it would be sensible to take these and try to
fit them together into a coherent framework. You could then look to
see if this covered the ICT national curriculum successfully and create
further activities to fill the gaps. You would then need to ensure there
was good progression and the work built upon previous work so pupils
were always challenged and their standards of attainment continued to
rise over time. However, if you are creating a scheme of work from the
beginning as, for example, you might be in a secondary school, it would
be sensible to create an overview of what is to be taught and when.
In this way you will start by ensuring you have full coverage of the
curriculum and that there is a good progression. Alternately, you might
be using a pre-created scheme of work such as that from the QCA which
shows what is to be taught and when. Such schemes should ensure full
coverage and clear progression. Whatever the circumstances, when you
have a clear overview you would then start to plan individual lessons
or units of work.
You need to plan specific activities which all pupils will be able to
access and which will stretch the more highly attaining pupils. You
should also have other activities which some pupils access such as extension
activities for those that complete work successfully before others.
ICT coordinators will face a wide range of planning challenges. Some
work will only have ICT learning within it and the lesson or activity
will be entirely about ICT. Some curriculum planning will have elements
of other subjects within it. Here, it is essential to work with the
specialist responsible for that area to ensure relevance and accuracy
for both subjects. In other cases the ICT will be entirely or almost
entirely to support work in another subject. Sensitivity to the needs
and approaches adopted in that subject is essential.
It is very useful if, in this lesson planning, you have sufficient detail
for these activities to allow new/other teachers to use them. This ensures
that there is detailed consistency from class to class and year to year.
In an area like ICT where many teachers have less knowledge than they
do in other subjects and where they often lack confidence it is often
the detailed lesson planning which ensures they can teach successfully.
This is essential would be when colleagues teaching ICT are unsure of
the subject themselves. It might occur in a primary school where you
are helping colleagues in other classes or in a secondary school where
non ICT specialists are asked to teach the subject.
Within the planning thought should be given to how the logistics of
teaching these tasks will be managed. For example, whether the teaching
will be to small groups or the whole class and the links to learning
in other subjects.
As individual lessons or units of work are planned it is important to
review (or "audit") coverage of the curriculum to ensure it is complete;
for example by identifying which part of the programme of study or syllabus
is being covered. It is also useful to identify the national curriculum
or other levels available within each task. In this way better progression
can be planned by looking at the levels offered as pupils move from
task to task. This will for an integral part of the scheme of work (medium
term or curriculum plan).
As the scheme of work develops it is important to review progression
over the whole time frame. This is likely to be a team or year. When
brought together, such schemes of work will provide a clear picture
of IT teaching and learning within the whole key stage. It will provide
the information necessary to ensure effective progression from key stage
to key stage.
For progression both within and between key stages to be really effective
a structure for clearly identifying (or assessing) the level each pupil
attains needs to be in place. In some instances, such as at GCSE and
increasingly at key stage 3, more formal assessment procedures will
provide this information. However, teacher assessment will usually provide
equally valid data. This can be built into the planning by identifying
what knowledge, skills or capabilities are demonstrated by the pupils
as a result of the teaching. Good lesson planning should always contain
clear learning objectives which identify what the learners should learn
from the lesson. At the end of the lesson or unit of work of which each
lesson is a part some record of each pupils progress needs to be kept.
This routine record keeping, for example in a teacher's mark book, can
be summarised at the end of the term or year to identify overall progress
for each pupil. It may be appropriate to ally this process with a more
formal testing regime where, in some activities, a level is recorded
on a pupil by pupil basis. This could be generated via or test or through
teacher observation. In either case, it is important to ensure that
levels are identified for all areas of the curriculum or syllabus. This
will ensure that reports of pupils progress are based on work from all
these areas. In addition, it will provide the data necessary to report
accurately on attainment.
Features of good lesson or short term planning
Remember, this is for a lesson or "unit" of work. It should be a logical
unit with a clear start and end point. Where something completely new
is started you need to start a new lesson or short term plan.
It must have…..
learning objectives - what the learners should learn from the lesson.
It should have…..
details of the activities which will take place within the lesson(s)
to ensure the teacher and pupils are always clear what to do and what
timeline which shows how the lesson(s) will unfold and approximately
how long will be spent in each part of the lesson (for example introduction,
resources identified and available to ensure each learner can work effectively
national curriculum or other level at which the activity or activities
about how pupils working at a level above and below this will be provided
to ensure that more highly attaining pupils are challenged.
understanding (and guidance if the lesson(s) is to be delivered by other
teachers) on how effective learning will be identified.
It may have…..
links to learning in other subjects
objectives for other subjects
of any particular setting or grouping which changes what is taught in
overall title for the lesson
identified homework or follow up done away from the classroom