How do we teach Computing?
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and 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. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. ‘National Curriculum Computing Programme of Study 2014’
At Highfields Primary School, we understand the immense value that technology plays not only in supporting the Computing and the whole school curriculum but overall in the day-to-day life of our school. Computers are now a part of everyday life and for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, both at home and at work. For our children to be ready for the workplace, they must be able to participate effectively in the digital world. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Computing whilst also providing enhanced collaborative learning opportunities.
Computing teaching has deep links with Mathematics, Science and Design and Technology and our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum whilst ensuring that pupils become digitally literate and digitally resilient. Technology is ever evolving and we aim to develop pupils who can use and express themselves, develop their ideas and use information and communication technology at a suitable level for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The school’s aims are to:
- Provide a broad, balanced, challenging and enjoyable Computing curriculum for all pupils.
- Develop pupil’s computational thinking skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
- Meet the requirements of the national curriculum programmes of study for computing at Key Stage 1 and 2.
- To respond to new developments in technology.
- To equip pupils with the confidence and skills to use digital tools and technologies appropriately and effectively throughout their lives.
- To enhance and enrich learning in other areas of the curriculum using IT and computing.
- To develop the understanding of how to use computers and digital tools safely and responsibly.
The school’s aims are to ensure that all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science, including logic, algorithms, data representation, and communication.
- 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 safe, responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
- Understand and follow the SMART E-Safety rules.
- Understand the E-Safety messages can keep them safe online.
- Know who to contact if they have concerns.
- Apply their learning in a range of contexts, e.g. at school and at home.
- Know where to locate the CEOP button and how to use it.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in computing, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Computing is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum and at Highfields, implementation of the computing curriculum is in line with 2014 Primary National Curriculum requirements for KS1 and KS2 and the Foundation Stage Curriculum in England. This provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each key stage.
Computing teaching at Highfields will deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum through half-termly units. Teachers plan using our ‘Computing Progression Model’, which highlights the knowledge, skills and vocabulary for each year, group and is progressive from year to year. Our Computing progression model is broken down into three strands that make up the computing curriculum. These are Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Computer Science underlines the knowledge and skills relating to programming, coding, algorithms and computational thinking. Information Technology underlines the knowledge and skills relating to communication, multimedia and data representation and handling. Digital Literacy underlines the knowledge and skills of how to best use technology effectively and relating to online safety. Our Computing Progression Model is supplemented by Espresso Coding and ‘Switched on’, which we follow from Year 1-6.
Computing lessons are broken down into weekly units. Units are practical and engaging and allow computing lessons to be hands on. Units cover a broad range of computing components such as coding, spreadsheets, Internet, Databases, Communication networks, touch-typing, animation and online safety.
When teaching computing teachers ensure that ICT is incorporated into work for all subjects using our wide range of interactive ICT resources. We have a wide range of resources to support our computing teaching including but not limited to, iPads, laptops, computers, bee-bots and cameras. Pupils may use laptops or iPads independently, in pairs, alongside a TA or in a group with the teacher. Teachers and pupils are also aware of the importance of health and safety and pupils are always supervised when using technology and accessing the internet.
Alongside our curriculum provision, pupils at Highfields also have the opportunity to participate in computing clubs run by teacher and outside expert support. Examples of clubs ran in the past have been, coding club and Tech Future Girls. These clubs aim to provide additional computing support and enjoyment whilst further challenging pupils who possess exceptional computing abilities.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children receive Quality First Teaching. Any child with identified SEND or who is pupil premium may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a range of opportunities for all children to reach and achieve their full potential.
At Highfields Primary School, we provide a variety of opportunities for computing learning inside and outside the classroom. Computing and safeguarding go hand in hand and at Highfields we provide a huge focus on internet safety inside and outside of the classroom. Additional to all pupils studying an online safety unit through their computing lessons, every year we also take part in National Internet Safety Day in February. The Computing co-ordinator alongside class teachers plan additional internet safety lessons and activities to take part in following a specific yearly theme. Internet Safety assemblies are also held as well as parent internet safety workshops, parent home activities, guest speakers and visits from local PCSO’s. Finally, at Highfields we actively encourage parent partnership within the computing curriculum and outside of school. Parents are made aware of e-safety issues through the school website, links, letters, information newsletters, parent presentations, shared activities and guidance.
Our Computing Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different computational components and alike, other subject’s discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Governor monitoring with our subject computing link governor.
- Moderation staff meetings with opportunities for dialogue between teachers.
- Photo evidence and images of the pupils practical learning.
- Learning walks and reflective staff feedback (teacher voice).