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National Curriculum

ICT in English


ICT learning

ICT helps pupils learn in English by enabling them to communicate, edit, annotate and arrange text quickly and flexibly.

Using ICT can help pupils to:

  • access, select and interpret information

  • recognise patterns, relationships and behaviours

  • model, predict and hypothesise

  • test reliability and accuracy

  • review and modify their work to improve the quality

  • communicate with others and present information

  • evaluate their work

  • improve efficiency

  • be creative and take risks

  • gain confidence and independence.

ICT can be used to integrate speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enhances interactive teaching and learning styles. It also extends pupils' ability to exercise choice, work independently and make connections between their work in English and in other subjects.

For example, ICT can help pupils:

  • use a wide range of strategies to explore contrasts, comparisons and connections dynamically

  • annotate text in innovative ways

  • enrich or broaden the context of literary study

  • see texts in alternative versions

  • use a wide range of analytical and critical techniques

  • sort and process text and data quickly and efficiently

  • order and arrange text and data experimentally, using combinations of word, image, sound and hypertext

  • save, record, edit and adapt their work quickly and efficiently

  • retain evidence of the editing process so that it can be examined

  • change the organisational structure and qualities of texts to suit different audiences and purposes

  • compose multi-authored texts

  • select from a wider range of audiences, throughout the world

  • exercise choice of medium and design while composing.

ICT statutory requirements

Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning. Here are the statutory requirements to use ICT in the English programme of study.

Key stage 1

En2 Reading: Breadth of study

7a: The range should include print and ICT-based information texts, including those with continuous text and relevant illustrations.

En3 Writing

2b: Assemble and develop ideas on paper and on screen.

Key stage 2

En2 Reading: Breadth of study

9b: The range should include print and ICT-based reference and information materials (for example, textbooks, reports, encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, CD-ROMs, internet).

ICT opportunities

Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning. Here are the opportunities to use ICT in the English programme of study.

Key stage 1

En2 Reading

2a: Use the organisational features of non-fiction texts, including captions, illustrations, contents, index and chapters, to find information.

Note: Organisational features in CD-ROMs and web pages include icons, text with hyperlinks and menus.

En3 Writing

2c: Plan and review their writing, discussing the quality of what is written.

  • Pupils could compare print-outs from two different drafts of their own writing to check revisions and improvements.

Key stage 2

En2 Reading

3a: Scan texts to find information.

3b: Skim for gist and overall impression.

3c: Obtain specific information through detailed reading.

3d: Draw on different features of texts, including print, sound and image, to obtain meaning.

3e: Use organisational features and systems to find texts and information.

Note: Retrieving information on screen includes knowing how to use the search and find facilities to skim and scan effectively, use key words, summarise information rather than print off large sections of text.

Breadth of study

8: The range should include:

a: modern fiction by significant children's authors
b: long-established children's fiction
c: good quality modern poetry
d: classic poetry
e: texts drawn from a variety of cultures and traditions
f: myths, legends and traditional stories
g: playscripts.

  • Pupils could use moving image text (for example, television, film, multimedia) to support their study of literary texts and to study how words, images and sounds are combined to convey meaning and emotion.

En3 Writing

1: Composition

  • Pupils could compose on screen and on paper.

2a: Plan – note and develop initial ideas.

2d: Proofread – check the draft for spelling and punctuation errors, omissions and repetitions.

Note: On screen this includes using the planning and proofing tools in a word processor (for example, thesaurus, grammar checker).

Breadth of study

11: The range of readers for writing should include teachers, the class, other children, adults, the wider community and imagined readers.

Note: Readers could include those contacted through post, fax or email.

Hardware and software

English and ICT have long been linked in the use of word-processing, and this continues to be a major feature of the ICT-English integration. However, opportunities for integrating work done by pupils on PCs with whole-class teaching are provided by data projectors and interactive whiteboards. Software specifically designed for learning English is constantly developing, and often has an interactive element.

The following hardware can help pupils' learning in English:

  • a data projector

  • an interactive whiteboard

  • laptops

  • networked PCs, with internet access.

The following generic software can help pupils' learning in English:

  • word-processing programs

  • spreadsheet software

  • creative software packages, such as desktop-publishing programs

  • recording software.

The following software dedicated to the teaching and learning of English can help pupils' learning in English:

  • online resources - either free access or subscription services

  • CD-ROMs

  • specialist educational software.

The following world wide web resources can help pupils' learning in English:

  • sites directed specifically at teachers, offering resources such as lesson plans, links, ideas for lessons, discussion groups

  • portal sites directed at teachers or learners, either for English teaching in general or particular genres, media and authors

  • sites created by educational or cultural institutions, such as universities and museums, which are dedicated to particular authors or works.

The increasing sophistication of word-processing packages means that the ways in which this technology can be used are changing. As well as searching and replacing, inserting footnotes and endnotes, and using a range of formatting options, such as boxes and columns, recent developments allow pupils to insert hypertext links, annotate with mouse-over comment boxes, and track changes in documents.

The use of generic templates to structure pupils' work can be helpful - all pupils can access a task if differentiated levels of scaffolding are provided by a number of alternative templates (for example, for writing a letter).

Spreadsheet software offers different options in the way information can be arranged and ordered. The ability to create automatic charts from data can add an instant graphic representation of information collected.

Increasing uses are being found for software packages that can incorporate text and images, and produce animations and slide shows to make interaction with text dynamic. There are many creative learning opportunities with this sort of presentational technology.

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

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