St. Paul’s School is pleased to announce that it has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021–2024 for its innovative and consistent use of Apple technology in learning and teaching.
We believe that technology brings unmeasurable benefits to pupils as we prepare them to be global citizens and 21st century learners. We are proud to have a digital learning strategy through which technology is used to support our curricular goals.
Coding at St. Paul's
From the early years, pupils start using bee bots to learn commands and how to apply them in everyday life. They also work on MIT’s Scratch program to build games, animations and quizzes using blocks. Pupils finish Prep 2 already having a good understanding of the logic behind programming and are able to use commands. They then start to work with functions and loops in two ludic environments called Tynker and The Foos. These form part of the 'Get Started with Code' programme in 'Everyone Can Code' by Apple. Pupils use their iPad to work on both apps and use a learning portfolio to register their progress and receive teacher’s feedback. This continues in the senior years when they move on to use the iPad app Swift Playgrounds to work on the more advanced Learn to Code part of the Everyone Can Code programme. Pupils start to use 'SWIFT' programming language instead of blocks, and are now learning much more complex concepts, but still in a ludic and fun environment. Pupils spend their time in lessons engaged in the activities. They are challenged to solve an issue using computational thinking and the many concepts they have learned combined.
Learning visual programming and the use of iPad
Based on Apple Education's "Get Started with Code 1 and 2" book, our pupils were able to understand the language of computers and develop their programming skills. In class, they learned concepts such as sequencing, debugging, functions and conditionals. These are practiced both plugged and unplugged. During the process, they were able to reflect, share ideas and solve problems. Finally, learners performed exercises on the code.org website using their iPad, in which they developed their own programmes and games. We use pupil's Swift knowledge to go further, and we learn to compare this to other programming languages such as python and scratch.
Programming project with CodeSpark Academy
During the Computing lessons, pupils explored programming concepts such as loops, events, conditionals, variables and boolean logic. In order to practice with their iPad, pupils used the CodeSpark Academy app to develop electronic games. During the process, they used game design strategies and drafted, designed, tested the game to correct possible errors, and finally shared their creations with classmates.
Coding with Swift Playground
During Computing lessons, students learn about programming using the Swift Playground language. This project started two years ago with the Learn to Code 1 book. The class worked both individually and collaboratively to pass the various application levels. In both situations, learners’ motivation, engagement and commitment were fundamental for the project's success. Byte became an honorary member of the computing lessons and it also helped us when we started comparing Swift language to other programming languages.
Swift app and the use of drone Parrot
As pupils finish book 1 of Learn to Code, we introduce them to the Parrot drone to explore their knowledge of the Swift language. Our aim is to have pupils using what they learned to control the drone. In the beginning, they follow the instructions of the challenges proposed by the app and thereafter some pupils tried to create their own challenge, not always achieving the required result. This was a very rich learning moment because they had to find the error in their code and correct it.
The use of Answers app
Learning different ways to represent an algorithm, our pupils had a challenge that was divided into three stages. The first one was to write pseudocode; the second was to use a flowchart to illustrate the digit, and the third, and most important for computer classes, was to transfer the learned content into a programming language. For this, students used the Answers app, which is part of the Learn to Code programme. Pupils were delighted to see their pseudocode become a programme. Learners were also encouraged to explore the app and expand their knowledge by building their own code.
Storytelling using the Photon Edu
While working on the topic The Stories We Tell, the PP3 pupils used the Photon Robot to retell one of the stories they had worked on. The children used an iPod Touch and the application, Photon EDU, to practise programming the Photon robot and later built a story map out of 3-D materials on the ground. They then programmed the robot to visit each part of the story and retold the story to their classmates.
Green Screen Project with 5-6 years old pupils
While working on the topic Living Things, the children had the opportunity to research and record their own documentary-style projects. This group chose the emperor penguin and researched and recorded everything independently. They used the iPad and the application Green Screen by Do Ink to include a background that was appropriate for the artic setting.
Book Creator App
Pupils in Prep 5 had to create a narrative based on the theme of freedom. This was also the theme of the topic and they gained much of their inspiration from the core text Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell. Having written their texts, pupils used their iPad and the Book Creator application to display and share their work. This was also joined with an autobiography that the children wrote in Portuguese as they were reading an autobiography about Malala Yousafzai. In the process, they developed their book design skills, thinking creatively about how to capture and keep their reader’s attention throughout the texts they wrote.
I like to have the iPad because I’m able to research when doing a research activity
(Junior School pupil)
Strip Designer App
When learning how to use the features of speech in narrative, pupils formed groups to create dramatic still-frames to capture various moments from a chapter of The Iron Man. Using pictures of their still-frames, pupils used their iPad and the Strip Designer App to add speech and thought bubbles to capture the characters' dialogue and thoughts. This strip was used in the following lesson to write a short narrative, focusing on the features of speech.
iMovie and GarageBand skills
In PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) lessons, our pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. During the pandemic, in one PSHE lessons, our pupils were challenged to create a video to engage our community and keep everyone connected and positive despite the challenging times. They created the concept, the plot, recorded it and edited the video using their devices and the iMovie app. In the Music Department, pupils use GarageBand to create music or podcasts.
I love using iMovie to edit my videos and projects and use other apps to connect with friends and teachers
(Junior School pupil)