At the Three Schools, we aim to prepare our children for a rapidly changing world through the use of technology. Our high-quality computing curriculum is designed to enable them to use computational thinking and creativity to further understand our world. Our curriculum design has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. At the core of our computing curriculum 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, we intend for our children to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Technology is ever evolving and we aim to develop pupils who can use and express themselves, develop their ideas through, information and communication technology at a suitable level for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. Our Computing curriculum aims to develop the heart and mind of every child. Computing teaching at the Three Schools 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.
At the Three Schools, we understand the immense value that technology plays not only in supporting the Computing and whole school curriculum but overall in the day-to-day life of our school. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Computing whilst also providing enhanced collaborative learning opportunities, engagement in rich content and supporting pupil’s conceptual understanding of new concepts which support the needs of all our pupils.
“A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world…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.” National Curriculum.
The aims of our Computing curriculum are to develop pupils who:
• Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
• Know how to keep themselves safe whilst using technology and on the internet and be able to minimise risk to themselves and others.
• Become responsible, respectful and competent users of data, information and communication technology.
• Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
• Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
• Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
• Become digitally literate and are active participants in a digital world.
• Are equipped with the capability to use technology throughout their lives.
• Understand the importance of governance and legislation regarding how information is used, stored, created, retrieved, shared and manipulated.
• Have a ‘can do’ attitude when engaging with technology and its associated resources.
• Utilise computational thinking beyond the Computing curriculum.
• 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 KS1 and KS2. Computing is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum and at the Three Schools, the 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 the Three Schools will deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum through half-termly units. Teachers plan using our Computing Curriculum Map 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 relating to online safety and technology uses all of which are covered at the Three Schools either combined or discreetly. Our Computing Progression Model is supplemented by a scheme of work which we follow from Year 1-6, ensuring consistency and progression throughout the school.
At the Three Schools, teachers use our scheme of work alongside the Computing Progression Model. Computing lessons are broken down into weekly units, usually with two units taught per half-term. Repetition of a unit does not mean pupils are repeating an activity, it simply means pupils are building on established skills whilst also embedding previous concepts. 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 and Email, Databases, Communication networks, touch typing, animation and online safety.
When teaching computing teachers should also follow the children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. Teachers should ensure that ICT and computing capability is also achieved through core and foundation subjects and where appropriate and necessary ICT and computing should be incorporated into work for all subjects using our wide range of interactive ICT resources.
Computing teaching at the Three Schools is practical and engaging and a variety of teaching approaches and activities are provided based on teacher judgement and pupil ability. We have a wide range of resources to support our computing teaching including but not limited to, iPads, laptops, bee-bots, pro-bots, video recorders and digital 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.
Pupils at the Three Schools are fully encouraged to engage with ICT and technology outside of school. Each teacher and pupil at the Three Schools has their own unique Gooseberry Planet and Discovery Coding login and password. Computing work can be stored and saved using pupil log in details and homework can also be set for pupils to access and complete tasks at home that link with their current class learning. Each class has a display board that also displays a range of computing/ICT related work. Parents at the Three Schools are also encouraged to support the implementation of ICT and computing where possible by encouraging use of ICT and computing skills at home during homework tasks and support pupils beyond the classroom by registering with the ‘Class Dojo’.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. Pupils are confident to share and evaluate their own work, as well as that of their peers. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers' future planning, and 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 good progress.
Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at The Three Schools gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.
If you were to walk into computing lessons across the Three Schools, you would see:
- Proficient users of technology who are able to work both independently and collaboratively.
- Computing hardware and software being utilised to enhance the learning outcomes of our children, across the curriculum.
- Clear progression in technical skills.
- A learning ‘buzz’ as children engage in programming, instruct floor robots, prepare online safety presentations, design digital art projects and body confidence video campaigns.
- Confident and supportive ‘ICT Ambassadors’ and pupils who are able to assist children and staff in delivering high quality computing sessions.