Computing, Modern Foreign Languages and Music
An introduction from Mr King (Deputy Headteacher)
At Longlands, the teaching of Computing, Modern Foreign Languages and Music is done during teacher’s Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time. This occurs once a week for approximately half-a-day and typically in an afternoon session. PPA for children in KS1 (Yrs 1&2) occurs on Tuesdays, Lower KS2 (Yrs 3&4) on Wednesdays and Upper KS2 (Yrs 5&6) on Thursdays.
From September 2020, we have taken the decision to provide all of our PPA sessions using members of staff already known to, or directly employed by the school instead of using externally sourced companies. Computing will be taught by myself, Modern Foreign Languages will be taught by Mrs Cumpson and Music will be taught by Mr Power - who we are delighted has joined us full-time this year.
Due to current guidance aimed at tackling the spread of COVID-19, children will receive a complete afternoon’s teaching in one of the PPA subjects for an entire term and this will then be rotated on a termly basis.
The primary focus in computing for all children this academic year will be to develop and grow their understanding of programming. The children in KS1 will learn basic programming through developing instructions for programmable toys; whilst the children in lower and upper Key Stage 2 will be using existing programs such as Scratch Jr. and Scratch to create algorithms for short animations and simple games. The children will gain a deeper understanding of the function of programming, together with how we use coding to create commands for a range of different functions. They will also become familiar with terms like ‘debugging’ and understand that an error within a program is created by what is coded into the algorithm and how to identify and rectify ‘bugs’.
In addition to programming and coding, the children will use a variety of different software packages for a variety of tasks, including digital illustration, photography, video recording and designing and creating presentations for different audiences.
All Computing teaching will take place in classrooms, using a bank of 30 Google Chromebooks, generously funded by the Longlands Primary School Parent’s Association.
Modern Foreign Languages
This year, we are excited to be introducing Spanish to our MFL curriculum here at Longlands!
Initially, there will be an emphasis on speaking and listening, having simple conversations by asking and answering questions, as well as playing games and learning songs. We will also be focusing on the foundations of language learning: greetings, numbers, colours, parts of the body, days and months and clothing.
The long-term aim for this academic year is that we are working towards being able to describe ourselves by giving our names, ages, where we live and how we are feeling. Additionally, there will also be opportunities to learn more about Hispanic culture finding out festivals and famous artists.
This year, KS1 will develop their knowledge of in music will through a variety of topics. They will learn to differentiate between the beat of a song and rhythm by developing their rhythm skills with percussion instruments. The children will also start to learn about how musical instruments are grouped into musical families, whilst also learning how to identify which family an instrument belongs too.
KS1 will also develop in their love of singing by practising ways to develop how they perform as singers to give themselves confidence. They will also use music as a way to develop their English writing skills by spending time together writing a song. As classes, we will be dissecting how different songs are written and then have an opportunity to create their own lyrics and show off their creativity whilst also having a brief look at musical history and learning how some of their favourite songs came together.
All of KS2 will be looking at percussion instruments this year, with a specific focus on how to differentiate between tuned and un-tuned percussion. They will be looking at old and new percussive instruments to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the phrases. Their rhythm skills will continue to grow as we use Chime Bars to develop their ability to play more precisely and as a class. The children will also be looking at song writing this year through various methods. They will take skills previously learnt to write their own songs to a piece of music and will study different video clips with the aim of composing lyrics to fit the theme of the clip. Both upper and lower KS2 will have a recap of their singing abilities as LKS2 look at how to be more precise with finding the right note to sing; UKS2 will look at harmonisation.
Additionally, LKS2 will be looking at Music Theory this year by looking at different scores of music and considering how to identify notes on those scores, together with the length of the note. Meanwhile, UKS2 will be look at music history and specifically how society influenced the journey from the music of the last century to the music of the present day.