Rationale- What has informed our curriculum design in computing?
The use of information and communication technology is an integral part of the National Curriculum and is a key skill for everyday life. Computers, tablets, programmable robots, digital and video cameras are but a few of the tools that can be used to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information. Although many of our children are extremely confident when using technologies, we are aware that within our community not all children have easy access to a range of devices. We believe that it is essential that all children are able to develop confidence when using information and communication technology regardless of their access to different technologies beyond school. Furthermore, we are aware that even when children do have access to a range of devices, they may not know how to use these appropriately or safely and as a result, it is important that we target this through our computing curriculum.
We also believe that a high quality computing curriculum which promotes computational thinking, will enable children to recognise problems and approach them is a controlled and systematic way. The development of such thinking skills has benefits across the whole curriculum
Intent– what are our aims?
At Pomphlett Primary School, we recognise that pupils are entitled to quality hardware and software and a structured and progressive approach to the learning of the skills needed to enable them to use it effectively. The school’s aims are to:
- Provide a relevant, challenging and enjoyable curriculum for computing for all pupils which, as outlined in the National Curriculum, ‘equips children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world
- Use ICT and computing as a tool to enhance learning across the curriculum.
- Respond to new developments in technology
- Equip pupils with the confidence and capability to use ICT and computing throughout life
- Develop pupils’ understanding of how to use ICT and computing safely and responsibly
Implementation- how do we teach computing?
Our long term computing curriculum is carefully planned using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Essentials Curriculum milestones to map content for each year group, ensuring coverage and progression. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years and ensure that opportunities to revisit previous learning is planned in regularly across each year. We use Purple Mash as a core scheme to ensure continuity and progression and to assess children’s attainment, but the core learning covered through this is then given breadth and depth through our units of work and cross-curricular approach.
Our scheme of work is planned using the following threshold concepts:
This concept involves developing an understanding of instructions, logic and sequences.
This concept involves developing an understanding of how to safely connect with others.
This concept involves using apps to communicate one’s ideas.
This concept involves developing an understanding of databases and their uses.
This concept involves using a range of technologies to develop and express creative ideas across a range of subject disciplines
Computing lessons are delivered by class teachers through carefully planned units of work. These are taught both discretely, and also across other curriculum areas, where children are able to apply skills learned as well as using computing as a vehicle for critical thinking and problem solving. Our curriculum is progressive. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years, beginning each unit and lesson with teacher assessments of what children already know in order to inform the learning that follows. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills. Continuous formative assessment identifies those children with gaps in learning, so that all children can fully access the learning. Our PSHCE curriculum also has a fundamental role as we teach children to critically evaluate their computer use and stay safe online.
In computing, the children use a range of software packages and Information and Communication Technology tools as they develop and apply their skills in all subject areas and this is constantly assessed and developed to keep abreast of technological advances. The software covers a range of IT skills, all of it specifically designed to be more user-friendly for children. The children already have access to the Internet and will use Electronic Mail (E-Mail) to communicate with others. Coding is used via beebots and laptops with cross-curricular links made to other subjects such as maths and history. There is a laptop trolley that is up-to-date with cutting edge laptops and an increasing number of iPads in classes, all with access to photo-quality colour printers for photography and any other paper-based printing. Every classroom benefits from the installation of an interactive whiteboard that also has an internet link. Class blogs can be found on the Seesaw app and the KS2 pupils engage with these blogs regularly.
Impact: How will we know this?
As a result of our carefully planned and progressive curriculum, learners will work with computing and information technology confidently. We expect to see:
• Competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects.
• The ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity.
• An understanding of the connected nature of devices.
• The ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum.
• The ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively.
This will ensure that when children leave Pomphlett, they are well equipped for the next stage in their educational journey having developed fluid thinking skills. Children will have a sound awareness of how to adapt these as new technologies evolve and will be able to critically evaluate their benefits. Importantly, they will know how to keep themselves safe in a digital world.