Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Millennium Integrated Primary School has a very clear and distinct vision for the use of ICT throughout the school. As you walk around the premises, you will notice that the one thing that sets the school apart from a lot of schools of a similar size is the lack of an ICT suite. We firmly believe that the use of technology should be embedded into the teaching and learning within the school as opposed to the idea of children being timetabled to visit a suite. This vision of ICT ensures that the children and teachers see ICT as an integral part of the curriculum and not as an addendum.
On top of this, we have also decided not to be ‘pigeon-holed’ into a single path of ICT direction. To this point, the school has a ‘dual-device’ strategy in the deployment of equipment throughout the school. This means that in the P2, P4 and P6 classes, iPads are the primary device used by teachers and pupils. In P3, 5 and 7 classes the primary device is a window 10 tablet – either Acer or Windows Surface tablets. By taking this approach, the children in the school will be exposed to (and be comfortable with) a range of devices and approaches to ICT that will support them regardless of the school they move to after P7.
There is a carefully chosen pathway of skills for the children to learn as they move through the school and this is recorded in a ICT skills booklet. As well as this, the teaching staff’s planning reflects the needs and assessment criteria of the Northern Ireland Curriculum, ensuring a smooth progression of skills development. We are always looking at new ways to challenge the children to improve themselves and their skills.
Recently, the school has been using a variety of equipment to enthuse and encourage the children. Throughout the school, there are many examples of good practice.
- Foundation Stage children use BeeBot and other floor robots to investigate number, journeys, direction and many other things.
- In Primary 4, children are encouraged to build Anderson Shelters in Minecraft to reflect the work going on in their World War 2 topic.
- In Primary 5, children make their own movies and talking books using MovieMaker and PowerPoint to record many areas of the curriculum.
- In the upper school, children revisit Minecraft by recreating the Titanic for their project or investigating Egyptian farming techniques. As well as this, there is a renewed interest in coding and programming through a variety of means – including Sphero, Scratch and MicroBits.
In recent years, the school’s work on progressing ICT has been recognised through Microsoft Showcase School Status as well as the 2016 Digital School Awards – one of only two primary schools in the whole of Ireland to be recognised in this way simultaneously. We hope to continue this work in an ever-changing environment to help prepare our children for their future careers.
- Four of our teachers are Microsoft Innovative Experts (MIE), recognised for the work they have been doing in embedding the use of OneNote in their practice.
- Two of our teachers have gained recognition for the work they have been doing using the SeeSaw app to improve communication between school and home, and have been made ambassadors for SeeSaw to encourage the development of the app amongst other schools and the community.
- Our Principal is a Microsoft Fellow in Education – the highest accolade awarded by Microsoft – in recognition of the groundbreaking work that has been going on in the school. He has represented Northern Ireland on the world stage a number of times and was worldwide runner-up in the Innovative Use of Technology in the Community in the Microsoft Awards in 2010, held in Cape Town.