CCEA is creating a framework to integrate digital skills across the different stages of the Northern Ireland education system, building thinking skills into the process of learning about digital devices and creating qualifications that are unique to Northern Ireland.
The CCEA framework addresses all the statutory requirements for Using ICT in Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 through a new optional Digital Skills curriculum for primary schools.
This curriculum is delivered through three strands and will be supported by the publication of teaching and learning resources for different types of ICT and a progression of skills appropriate for each key stage in primary.
The strands are called:
The names of these strands come from recommendations in the House of Lords Select Committee report “Make or break: The UK’s Digital Future” (2015) and the UK Digital Skills taskforce’s definition of different level of digital skills.
You will find that the current Using ICT activities that you carry out in your school all fit into one or more of these three strands. You may also find that there are new types of activities that you can start to develop that up to now have not traditionally been part of Using ICT.
As CCEA provides more resources and guidance about this digital framework, you may want to consider how your current Using ICT activities can address the different strands and also think about covering activities that up to now have not traditionally been part of Using ICT, for example understanding how digital devices are designed and built and how the internet works.
Becoming a Digital Citizen
This means developing skills that will be useful to anyone who wants to take part safely and effectively in the digital aspects of society. In this context pupils should learn about how to use the internet productively but with an understanding of how to stay safe, and what are the social norms and legal implications of their actions online.
Becoming a Digital Worker
This means developing skills that will be useful to anyone who will work or for use in their future learning. In primary this can means developing an understanding of office based products like word processing programmes, presenting and data handling software as well as understanding how to access, managing and save work in a digital environment. Using digital collaboration tools to safely collaborate with others to create and improve their work is also an important skill to develop.
Becoming a Digital Maker
These are the skills relating to designing and building technology.
There are two aspects in primary that continue into post-primary and for CCEA qualifications
Logical & structured options
This includes pupils exploring coding and programming through interaction with different types of languages and devices.
Creative technology options
This includes Using ICT ‘Express’ types of ICT such as digital storytelling through film, animation, working with images, e-books, publishing and presentation software, digital audio (music and sound activities).
CCEA are producing a range of Primary resources to support teachers to develop children’s skills in these three areas. In an attempt to consider the three areas holistically and how they can relate to all areas of learning, these resources will focus on teaching and learning activities which will highlight a connected approach to using digital technologies in the classroom and which will provide progression ideas across Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
The resources will cover the following areas:
- Digital Storytelling (Presenting/Film/Animation)
- Digital Publishing (Print/Online)
- Digital Audio (Music/Sound)
- Digital Art & Design (Images/Interactive Design)
- Digital Problem-Solving (Programming/Computational Thinking)
- Digital Data (Using/Managing/Handling Information)
In order to ensure that children also develop their wider understanding of the digital world and the application of digital technology in life and learning, Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities will be explicitly promoted throughout these resources.