All pupils at Gretton Primary School 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. At Gretton, the core of computing is Computer Science in which pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, 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. Through teaching Computing, we equip children to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. It is our intention to enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way. We want children to know more, remember more and understand more in computing so that they leave primary school computer literate. Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.
Computing is taught throughout the year, following the National Curriculum Objectives, but also making use of supporting resources such as ilearn2.co.uk which help to ensure a clear progression in learning.
In Key Stage 1 children are 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
In Key Stage 2 children are 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
Our curriculum planning encompasses two phases (long-term and medium-term). Our long-term topic plan maps the computing topics studied in each term in each class and the medium-term plans provide the details of each unit of work. Apart from in Foundation Stage/Reception, we have mixed-age classes, so we do the medium-term planning on a two-year rotation cycle for Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6 classes. In this way we ensure that children have complete coverage of the National Curriculum and aim for the topics covered to reinforce and build upon children’s existing knowledge and understanding.
To ensure each class has suitable access to iPads, a timetable has drawn up with each class having priority for two weeks per half term in the afternoons in order to ensure the Computing curriculum is covered but they are also available in the mornings on an ad hoc basis to support the teaching of literacy and mathematics. Where resources are limited, for example with the teaching of controlling or simulating physical systems, we may bring in outside experts to run workshops ensuring that the children receive a rich and memorable experience such as with the Eagles’ K’Nex workshop.
We recognise the importance of computing and technology across the curriculum and aim to enhance lessons wherever possible with the use of computing technology for example using Google maps and Digimaps within Geography lessons, using Charanga to support the teaching of music and various interactive manipulatives used in mathematics.
The teaching of this subject will be adapted as required to enable children with SEND to access this area of the curriculum, in line with their individual needs and through liaison with the school SENDCo.
The impact of children’s progress and attainment in Computing will be measured through:
- Pupil Conferencing – pupils’ enjoyment, interest, participation, confidence, preferences, opinions about lessons, resources and opportunities;
- Observations – teaching skills, pupils’ learning, curriculum coverage, curriculum progression, teachers’ skills audit;
- Planning scrutiny – curriculum coverage and progression, adaptation to pupils’ needs;
- To what extent is Computing used to support learning in other subject areas;
- Audit and use of resources available to children for lessons other than Computing.