The Cadoxton team use technology as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning and have done for many years. When the Framework was launched we felt we were in a good place to take the new skills on board and enhance the learning already taking place.
We are a digital pioneer school and had been through regular testing of the Framework before release, helping to refine and improve it. So when it launched in Sept 16 we were looking forward to full engagement. As ever though, it wasn’t all straightforward.
The lead teacher began with an Inset session to introduce the finished Framework and a timetable of which areas would be focused on during the year. She then encouraged the staff to take time to get to know it and work with it in their planning. But by October half term, staff were unsure of how to include it and, as happens regularly when new technology or systems are introduced, some were losing confidence and not going near it! It became clear a different approach was needed.
The Digital lead started supporting staff during Preparation, Planning and Assessment (PPA) sessions, encouraging them to understand that many of the activities they taught already were covering elements of the Framework. Also showing them that by tweaking some areas, for example, not just creating or producing digital work but also ensuring that children were planning work and evaluating it, the Framework would be fully covered.
By January, teachers were becoming more confident in using it in their planning but some areas were not being covered naturally as teachers and Learning Support Assistants lacked the knowledge to teach. In Spring term, we focused on the Data and Computational thinking Strand. The Digital lead delivered an inset session on this strand and allowed time for teachers to include data in their planning. She also introduced a grid to plan out an activity that fitted the theme of the term but covered all strands, continuing to support staff during PPA sessions.
We decided as a staff that Citizenship Strand should be taught throughout the year, selecting different elements over different half terms and likewise when we looked at Computational Thinking, we all felt that providing regular activities through each half term would be far more productive than a half termly focus.
A year on from introducing the Digital Competence Framework we feel we are in a much better place. We are still improving and tweaking how we use it so we can support each other and improve digital learning for our children.
Cadoxton Primary School