Year 3 Rationale.
As with previous years, Year 3 start the school year with an online safety unit. The children explore the use of passwords and how to keep them safe and what the consequences are for sharing your passwords. Year 3 pupils use their prior knowledge from Year 2 of communication online to contribute to a class blog with clear and appropriate messages that reach to a wider audience. Pupils begin to think carefully about the reliability of digital content and consider whether everything they read online is trust worthy. To explore this further, Year 3 pupils are given the opportunity to look at “spoof” pages and consider why they exist and how to check if information is accurate. The children end this unit by learning the meaning of age restrictions symbols on digital media and devices and the physical and emotional effects of playing/watching inappropriate games/content. Realising why PEGI restrictions exist and how it helps us to deal with cyberbullying.
Year 3 pupils revisit the spreadsheet unit and enhance their skills in this topic. This unit lends itself to cross curricular opportunities such as creating pie charts and bar graphs with data. The children use ‘more than’, ‘less than’ and ‘equal’ tools to compare different numbers on a spreadsheet and work out the solutions to sums using the ‘spin’ tool. By the end of this unit, Year 3 pupils are expected to be able to describe a cell location in a spreadsheet by using the advanced mode in 2Calculate to specify locations on a spreadsheet and use coordinates.
Following the coding knowledge in Year 2, Year 3 pupils review vocabulary from previous years (Year 1 and 2) such as ‘object’, ‘action’, ‘control’ and ‘event’. Building from this, children use the programme 2Chart to represent a sequential program design and then use the design to write the code for the program. The children then progress on to being able to explain what physical systems are and how their program stimulates this (using a vehicle). Year 3 pupils extend their learning in this unit by exploring ‘If’ commands to introduce selection in their computer program. Children are introduced to the term ‘variable’ in programming and use this to create a timer. Furthermore, the children create a program where an objects repeats an action indefinitely and learn to use the timer to showcase this. The children also explore the repeat command and understand how it differs to a timer. Year 3 pupils finally enhance their debugging knowledge in this unit and start to understand the need to test and debug a program repeatedly.
As the children get older, the use of technology in school increases so it is essential that children in Year 3 improve their speed in typing which is what the touch typing unit provides. This is a short unit but the skills implemented are used in and out of school. Year 3 pupils start off the topic with the basics such as how to sit at the keyboard and how to use the top and bottom row keys. The children get the opportunity to practise using both hands from home, top and bottom rows. Finally, the children practise touch typing with their left and then right hand.
Following on from the questioning unit in Year 2, Year 3 pupils learn about branching databases. They begin the unit by recapping ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions and understand how they are structured. The children move forward with completing a branching database using 2Question. This is done by contributing to class data. The unit ends with pupils getting the opportunity to choose a suitable topic for their branching database. The children learn how to save and select appropriate images for their database whilst also learning how to debug their own and others branching databases.
In Year 3, pupils enhance their knowledge on emails from Year 2. They begin the unit by recapping different methods of communication and use 2Connect to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each mode of communication. Pupils acquire the skill of opening and responding to emails from peers and then writing an email using an address book. In Year 3 there is a focus on email safety and rules will be created regarding how to stay safe via an email platform. In addition to this, pupils are taught how to add attachments to emails whilst learning what ‘CC’ and ‘BBC’ means (differentiating between the two) and explore a simulated email scenario by reading and responding to a series of email communications.
Through the simulations unit Year 3 pupils realise that computer stimulation can represent real and imaginary situations and furthermore give examples of simulations whilst exploring their advantages and problems. In addition to this, pupils progress on to exploring simulations by trying out different options and to test predictions. The children evaluate simulations by comparing them to real situations and considering their usefulness whilst analysing their choices by using a branching database (previous unit). Pupils then showcase their deep understanding of simulations by recognising patterns and make and test predictions. Pupils learn to identify the relationships and rules on which simulations are based on and giving them another opportunity to test predictions. Finally, Year 3 pupils evaluate a simulation and determine its usefulness before creating their very own simple simulation.
The graphing unit works along nicely with children’s previous knowledge on spreadsheets. Through this final unit pupils are expected to enter data into a graph and answer questions. Pupils use their problem solving skills to solve an investigation and present their results in the form of a graph.