“The new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need the rest of their lives. Through the new programs of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computing systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.” (NAACE Computing in the National Curriculum)
All pupils in our Schools have the right to have rich, deep learning experiences that balance all the aspects of computing. With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. We aim for our children to confidently and independently use and apply information technology skills to support and extend their learning. We develop a culture where the use of ICT (information, communication and technology) becomes second nature to our pupils, thus ensuring they are ready and able to embrace the technological advances of the future.
In our schools the core of computing is Computer Science in which pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology– at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Our vision is that these technologies will enrich the experience of all members of our community including pupils, staff, parents and governors and that these resources will help to provide an environment without boundaries, where opportunities can be explored in safety and confidence.
We teach a curriculum that :
- offers a high-quality computing education that equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
- begins to teach pupils the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
- teaches pupils to use information technology to begin to create programs, systems and a range of content.
- gives opportunities for pupils to express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology.
In our schools, computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Teachers use a variety of strategies and software as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. We ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. There is clear progression between year groups and key Stages. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
Our Computing curriculum coverage is well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun and engaging computing education. Evidence from lessons is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, where teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make progress.
In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
- Children are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
- Clear learning for each term which demonstrates progression across the school;
- Pupil discussions about their learning;
- Children use the VLE safely at home to communicate with their class and teachers, demonstrating what they have learnt.