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Creating opportunities

Find out how to use ICT to support writing-related activities, which include using it to support pupil progression, matching pupils’ needs to appropriate tasks and encouraging active learning.

Progression in both ICT and English

You can support progression equally between ICT and English by.

  • having your own understanding of how progression in ICT works
  • referring to functional skills and expectations for progression at levels 1 and 2
  • understanding the prior ICT and English knowledge that pupils are bringing to the work
  • collaborating with ICT teachers
  • applying the same criteria to progression in the ICT work as in other work, for example using the functional skills areas: complexity, technical demand, familiarity and independence.

Matching pupils’ needs to the task and ICT use

These strategies can help you match pupils’ ICT skills with appropriate writing tasks.

  • Focus planning primarily on the learning objectives for English, using ICT as the tool for learning.
  • When pupils have developed ICT skills through core lessons or extensive use at home, concentrate on how they can apply rather than develop these skills. You can also find challenging ways to enhance skills in both ICT and English.
  • Set tasks that won’t be affected by a lack of ICT competence, because some pupils may:
    • work more slowly with a computer (so you might avoid longer writing tasks using ICT)
    • need to develop keyboard skills
    • need to be reminded of what they have learned and what your expectations are
    • mask poor-quality content with professional presentation.

Using ICT for active learning

These strategies can help pupils use ICT to become more engaged with their learning.

  • Regard ICT as a normal part of at least some English lessons.
  • Use ICT for collaborative tasks as well as independent, individual research or writing.
  • Provide a wide range of writing contexts for ICT use.
  • Using focused questions and problems rather than large, vague research or projects encourages pupils to engage actively with material and subject matter.
  • Encourage the use of word processing for tasks beyond recording content, for example to:
    • manipulate pupils’ own writing
    • edit and draft text
    • store and retrieve writing at various stages of composition
    • to highlight, annotate and take notes
    • compose on screen, promoting reflective writing
    • use spelling, punctuation and spell checkers.
  • The simple, strategic use of word processing functions can help pupils improve writing. Functions such as the spelling and grammar checks, and opening two files at the same time, offer a range of possibilities for working on words, sentences and whole text.