Understanding Primary School ICT Policies

ICT Policy for Schools

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

ICT Policy for Primary School

 

ICT capability development learning progression is prevalent throughout the primary foundation to Year 6 curriculum. Therefore, if the ICT policy is to address this then it needs to describe in detail how ICT will be used on a day-to-day basis and articulate the contribution which ICT makes to students’ learning.

 

Your school ICT policy needs to reflect the school’s needs.

 

It is essential to ensure:

  1. Effective design, organisation and management of opportunities for students to develop their ICT capability in a coherent and progressive manner.
  2. Clear communication within a school and between neighbouring schools.

ICT will be used by every student for every lesson so the ICT policy needs to hold together the ways ICT will be implemented in lessons throughout the school.

 

You should be familiar with other relevant documents including school policies on assessment, special needs and equal opportunities just to name a few examples.

 

The school ICT policy is what you do, not what you write. It will be important that you set goals for your colleagues that achievable.

 

A few other points to remember include:

  • ICT policy only works if it is well supported by the senior management team.
  • ICT policy only works well if all those people who are going to implement it, including teachers, teacher assistants and any technician support you may have, feel a sense of ownership, and feel that their voices have been heard.
  • It is perfectly possible to write extremely long and detailed policy documents that nobody takes much notice of, in which case you have wasted your time. Err on the side of brevity.
  • Write your ICT policy in everyday language, avoiding unnecessary jargon.

(Fox, 2003, p. 30)

 

 

Example of ICT Policy for Primary Schools

 

The outline given here by Harrison (1998) is a skeleton on which to hang your ideas and suggestions. It will provide you with a starting point for your own policy and while it is noted that it may be a little outdated, it would still provide you with a strong foundation.

 

1. Introduction

In this section, you should cover the following:

  1. What do you mean by ICT? You may like to refer to this as learning technologies, digital technologies or what ever terminology is more appropriate to your situation. It needs to refer to the work that children do with ICTs in addition to defining what ICT capability is - the disposition of children to construct ICT solutions to problems which are appropriate to the context and are based on the knowledge of the opportunities and limitations offered by the technologies available.
  2. Why ICT? Why do staff believe it is important that children's ICT capability is developed whilst using it to enhance subject learning? What are the aims of staff in terms of developing capabilities in ICT?
  3. Statement of aims - in this section, you will note the school's agreed intent in this area, which is suitable for teachers and governors. It is essential that this is based on the National Curriculum requirements and it also needs to be clear that every child will have access to ICT resources and tools for learning. The statement should reflect the school's ethos and aims.
  4. How the policy has been prepared or what state it is in at present?
  5. What (if it is not clear already) is the purpose of the document? It should be to inform staff, students and governors what is expected of them if you are to make best of and achieve the highest quality standards in ICT capability.

 

2. Implementation

In this section, you should cover the following:

  1. Towards achieving policy aims - you should note the experiences the school intends to give children in order to achieve the above ICT policy aims. It is a good idea to interpret the National Curriculum programmes of study and Attainment Targets. Please note that this is not a scheme of work itself, but "the document does require sufficient detail to ensure continuity of approach and learning progression of work throughout the school" (Harrison, 1998, p.138).
  2. Resources - the ICT tools and resources that the children will have access to by means of the ICT Policy.
  3. Social and cross-curricular outcomes - this may be a good time to remind stakeholders that gaining knowledge is not the only outcome.
  4. Teaching styles - continuity and learning progression in ICT capability is only possible if all teachers agree to the methods that promote and develop ICT capability.
  5. Equal opportunities and multiculturalism - you may wish to refer to other school policies or include this section here that states explicit detail in relation to the equal opportunities which your school offers.
  6. Roles and responsibilities - this will of course contain the names and responsibilities of the persons overseeing the management of the ICT policy as well as its implementation.
  7. Methods of monitoring children’s learning progression and continuity - who is responsible for overseeing the teaching practices in all classes? Who is to ensure the children’s entitlement?

 

3. Schemes of Works for Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Stage 2 

In this section, you should cover the following:

  1. Overview of the Early Years Learning Framework - what will children be given opportunities to. For example, ICT equipment, exploring computer systems and control technology in everyday life.
  2. Overview of the National Curriculum requirements for Stage 1 and 2 - Also, you might include a list of the ICT skills taught; what they will learn about handling information; what they will learn about controlling and modelling. For example, recognising how everyday toys and devices respond to signals.
  3. Overview of the teaching and assessing of the General Capability ICT - how will ICT capability be integrated through the use of digital technologies?
  4. What themes or topics will be covered in year groups?
  5. The way in which ICT will be used to support learning with cross curricula links

 

4. Assessment and Recording of Students' Learning Progression in ICT Capability

List here the purpose of the school's formative assessment strategies and the agreed methods of record keeping and the times by which students will be assessed.

You will also need to state the location of examples of students' work which exemplifies levels of attainment in ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

5. Resources

List the following:

  • List of resources;
  • Deployment of resources;
  • Future purchasing policy;
  • Repair arrangements with ICT equipment.

 

6. Teacher Professional Development

How will you develop:

  • ICT capable teachers?
  • What are ICT capable teachers?
  • ICT capable classrooms?
  • Effective teacher in-service PDs in ICT integration?

 

7. Review/Evaluation of the ICT Policy in Primary School

Always remember that this should never be a static document and that it needs to reviewed and/or evaluated annually if not every 2-3 years. This is to ensure that the school continues to employ technology and strategies which are consistent to the expectations in society at the time.

 

8. Declaration of ICT Policy

This is a declaration of intent.

 

 

ICT policy school

 

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