Technology is changing the lives of everyone. Through our computing curriculum, we aim to give our pupils the life skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in order to become resilient, responsible, respectful and engaged digital citizens to participate in a rapidly changing world increasingly transformed by technology.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
KS1: Pupils should be taught to:
- Understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
- Create and debug simple programs.
- Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
- Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
- Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
- Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
KS2: Pupils should be taught to:
- Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
- Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
- Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
- Understand computer networks, including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.
- Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.
- Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
- Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
We meet National Curriculum expectations for Computing through our own scheme of work. This scheme of work has been broken down into the three core strands: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science. A yearly overview breaks up these strands across all three terms to ensure even coverage throughout the year. Teachers are able to use the scheme of work developed to meet the national curriculum guidelines in a variety of creative ways.
Digital Literacy ensures children are able to use technology in a responsible and safe way in an ever-changing digital world and is at the forefront of every single Computing lesson.
Digital Literacy is taught in a variety of ways across the school from stories, songs, discussions, debates and videos to allow children to understand the essential ways to stay safe online, allowing them to express themselves and in turn create respectful, resilient and responsible digital citizens. We use an array of excellent resources from the leading websites on E-Safety including SMART rules to teach children the basics of E-Safety as well as using videos and stories from Digi Duck and The SMART Crew.
Throughout the school year, we invite local policemen/police women into school to discuss the importance of staying safe online with the children and any key online issues they are faced with at that current time.
In addition to this, the computing lead regularly attends E-Safety training and reports back to staff and children on current ever-changing issues. These current issues are addressed with children throughout their E-Safety lessons, which ensures children remain up to date with technology and any current threats.
Information technology is all about selecting, combining and presenting content in the most appropriate way. Our children have access to desktop computers, laptops and IPADs regularly so they are able to use a range of technological equipment to practise a variety of skills.
We have a selection of programs in school for the children to apply their Information Technology skills. We use Microsoft Word as well as Microsoft Publisher and children are able to compare each program looking at the positives and negatives of each. Children also use Microsoft PowerPoint to create presentations and within these lessons, learn to hyperlink to the internet and other slides.
Children are also able to create EBooks using IPADs. This array of opportunities enables children to become confident technology users and gives them the skills and knowledge to decide which program is best to use for individual tasks.
As a school, we also use 2Simple for a variety of different activities and Excel for KS2 children to demonstrate the importance of organisation and storing and presenting data in a fluid manner.
Computer Science is all about helping our children understand how computers work. Coding is all around us. It is in the games that we play, the apps on our phones and appliances we use in the house. Therefore, it is vital for children to learn how to code successfully to understand how technology works in the world around us.
In order to ensure children understand the basic concepts of coding, we teach many ‘unplugged’ activities to show children what coding actually is. Children will hear many technical terms such as algorithms, which is a sequence of instructions and these unplugged activities provide children with the opportunity to give instructions to their partner to direct them around a maze or give instructions to BeeBots etc. Within these lessons, children learn the importance of perseverance, problem solving, decomposition, debugging and team work. These lessons then help children in KS1 access BeeBot apps and Scratch Junior and children in KS2 to access and use Scratch effectively. Each year group has their own set of objectives to meet.
Whole School Events, Trips and Visitors
As a school, we celebrate important Computing events such as ‘Safer Internet Day, ‘National Coding Week’ and ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ where E-Safety and online bullying plays a paramount part in the week.
Our curriculum is further enriched by trips to ‘The Word’ in South Shields for KS2 children. Children are able to use green screen technology to enhance their curriculum as well as building on their coding skills even further by coding robots, creating music using coding and many other experiences.
Key Stage 1 children also enjoy visits from ‘Techy Tots’. These visits allow younger children to understand coding in a simple yet fun way and further develop their Computer Science skills.
As part of their Computing Curriculum, Year 6 children created films when they visited ‘The Word’ in South Shields. Here they used green screen technology to create documentary style films about their recent trips to Nissan and Thurston.
Please click the link below for a yearly overview of our Computing curriculum below:
We measure the impact of our Computing curriculum with various formative methods of assessment including self and peer assessment. Children assess each other’s work and suggest constructive developments. E.g. Children find bugs in one another’s coding and with perseverance, debug and progress further. Children’s work across all three strands are saved in folders for each term. This evidence includes pictures and a description of unplugged activities, Word documents, Publisher documents, Excel documents, PowerPoint documents, 2Simple folders and any work completed on E-Safety, including posters, photographs and evidence of discussions, spider diagrams etc.
The Computing coordinator monitors the teaching and evidence of Computing through observations and work and planning scrutinies. We use our Computing Passport to revisit and revise prior learning and assess how the children have retained their learning and refer to our skills progression document to ensure all children are progressing across the different year groups.
As well as assessing the skills, knowledge and understanding that children have developed in the subject, we also consider their level of enjoyment and engagement. This allows us to download more up to date apps and base the children’s learning on topics of interest. This also allows us to discover those children who have a flair in computing and help develop their talents even further.