In KS1 students are taught what an algorithm is using terminology they will understand. They create a simple chain of instructions and apply them to various situations. To begin with they plan and then walk using a grid system, checking if their plan works and if they need to adapt their instructions to get them to their desired location. Once the students are confident they move on to using Bluebots. The children create their algorithms, test it, and then debug their instructions to make sure they work. In addition to using the Bluebots the children apply their knowledge of algorithms to create Scratch junior projects.
KS1 children have become confident in their use of digital devices as they use them every day at school and at home. In Royal Dubai School we use Seesaw so the children can celebrate their work with their peers and their family. To do this the children have become proficient in uploading files, taking pictures, organising their work and working collaboratively. In using Seesaw, the children have a greater understanding about how technology is used both in school and at home and upon the impact it can have on their everyday lives.
At GEMS Royal Dubai School, the safety of our pupils is paramount. This is not only in the physical world but in the virtual world as well. At the start of every school year the children are taught and remined how to be a good digital citizen and how to stay safe when online. GEMS Royal Dubai School has subscribed to National Online Safety. This enables staff to take a training course in online safety and make sure they are up to date with all the changes in technology. This make sure pupils are taught and advised with the most up to date information. We also have school assemblies in both KS1 and KS2 during the year to remind the children about the importance of being good global citizens and how to be safe when online.
In addition to KS1 the children in KS2 develop their knowledge of algorithms and start moving away from concrete to the abstract. To do this the children work on Scratch, creating quizzes and make animations using a string of instructions. The instructions the children use is a simple form of coding which will lead them on to more sophisticated coding and algorithms as they get older.
At Royal Dubai School we have access to some great digital learning aids. The children who wish can go on to extend their knowledge of algorithms and coding by using Lego Wedo and Lego Mindstorms. This can be done in extra circular clubs, both school run and externally run. The children last year created and coded their own robots to host a club version of robot wars.
Our digital learning aids are not just used for computing lessons, we integrate them into our everyday lessons in the classroom to enhance lessons. We have used Spheros to demonstrate the relationship between predator and prey in science. We have also used them as Viking invaders to show how invaders had to plan and think about which paths to take to give their army the best chance of success.
This year also saw the addition of our Classroom VR Headsets, this has allowed our pupils to go on virtual journeys to let them experience their learning in the virtual world. So far we have had virtual trips to The International Space Station, the rainforest and some exciting views of Dubai. The trips have been used to show the children what it is like to be in these different areas and help them with their writing and understanding of topics.
The children in KS2 use Seesaw and Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams allows for greater collaboration inside and outside the classroom. At GEMS Royal Dubai School the learning never stops. The children, if they choose, can continue their projects at home working on their own or in groups. In their projects the children will use Microsoft word, PowerPoint or Sway, while using the internet for research thus allowing them to use different types of programmes to achieve their goals and develop their learning.