At our school we want our children to love computing. We want to show pupils the links between knowledge, skills and real-life employment opportunities and have no limits to what their ambitions are. We want our children to grow up wanting to be software engineers, video game designers, web developers or IT consultants. We want them to embody our core values and encourage them to dream big!
We work closely with STEM and Teach Computing to ensure that our computing curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their digital capital.
We have made it our aim to ensure that children experience engaging, memorable computing lessons in our school. We want our children to leave our school with cherished memories and the ability to embrace the opportunities they are presented with in relation to computing and IT.
The computing curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas in our school. We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the computing National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. In the Spring term the whole school will celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day’ to reiterate the importance of staying safe online.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities that may normally be out of reach – we believe that this will pique our pupil’s interests and passions. The children will enjoy a range of fantastic, hands-on sessions and will have the chance to work with a variety of equipment to tackle computing-based challenges by participating in some fabulous practical activities.
The Teach Computing curriculum has been carefully considered for our mixed aged groups and the learning opportunities and key milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
We focus our teaching on the three main areas of computing. These areas are revisited in a variety of different ways, where pupils are given the opportunity to progressively build their skills and knowledge. We believe that this way of teaching allows children to more readily use their prior knowledge and understanding to help them to further develop their computing skills and also gives them opportunities to consider where their learning will go next.
We work alongside computing experts from STEM to provide specialist computing teaching to pupils across the school and frequently revisit through PHSE online safety through explicit teaching, themed days and national celebrations such as ‘E-Safety Awareness Day’.
Computing subject-specific endpoints assigned to each year group have been developed using Teach Computing. These characteristics underpin all work in computing and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject-specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. This also allows for Key Skills to be built upon each year and for progression to be demonstrated for each year group.
Computing is also taught in a cross-curricular manner whenever possible and teachers should identify this clearly in their planning. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make. We have a staff base who are secure in their subject knowledge and are confident to deliver high-quality computing lessons to their pupils that build upon prior teaching and prepare them for the next stages of their learning.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every computing lesson. This is based on our progression of key skills. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase are carefully mapped out in the Teach Computing curriculum and broken down for each year group. This means that skills in computing are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use Teach Computing formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment rubric judgements for each topic.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our school monitoring system. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in computing. Monitoring in computing includes: staff audits, work sampling, lesson observations and/or learning walks, and conversations with staff, pupils and parents about the computing curriculum. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
The children are thoroughly enjoying their computing curriculum and are keen to communicate to staff how much they are enjoying their computing lessons!