We recognise the increasing importance of digital literacy, particularly coding and logical thinking, to the future skills our children will need to realise their full potential. As such, our computing curriculum is taught in such a way to enable the children to develop the skills and understanding to apply computing technology throughout their learning. Our cross-curricular approach has been conceived to help foster children’s creativity in line with the aims of the National Curriculum that children:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- 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 responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
Online safety is taught frequently, in both PSHE and computing. At the beginning of the year, KS1 and KS2 take part in a lesson around the acceptable use policy, after which they all sign the agreement which is then continually referred to throughout the year.
Online safety learning begins in Early Years, where the children are taught to make healthy choices which involves reducing screen time. In key stage 1, pupils learn which websites are appropriate for them to use, what they can do if they have any concerns online and what is and isn’t suitable to share online. In key stage 2, pupils learn how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and recognise acceptable and unacceptable online behaviours. They also identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Computing in EYFS
Whilst computing is not taught explicitly in EYFS, the skills needed for later computing lessons are developed in a variety of ways. For example, learning positional, directional and ordinal language such as behind, next to, forwards, backwards, first and last in early years will feed into the children’s programming skills in key stage 1. Children are also regularly exposed to hardware such as interactive whiteboards and iPads.
Computing in Key Stage 1
Children Key Stage 1 have access to a variety of different digital devices and software including tablets, robots and computers. Class teachers work creatively to weave use of digital technology throughout their lessons to support the wider curriculum. Where this is possible, programming (including creating, debugging and predicting programs) is taught through applications such as Scratch Junior in learning projects linked to other subjects. For example, children may use coding for animation to support their sequencing of narratives in Literacy. At the earliest stages, children engage most effectively with computer science – logic, abstraction, algorithms – when learning is supported by practical activities and role play. Our unplugged lessons, or teaching using robots, allow the children to explore this effectively in discrete sessions.
Children in key stage 1 are also taught how to use search engines to find information and are exposed to a range of software and hardware that they can use to express their creativity and to support them in completing tasks. For example, using hardware to take photographs and combining these with texts to create a story sequence or collecting data and recording it on spreadsheets. Doing so, they continue to make links to other subjects such as using online maps for geography.
Computing in Key Stage 2
In key stage 2, pupils are taught to use digital devices to design and create a range of content. This includes using Microsoft programs such as PowerPoint to present and Excel to create spreadsheets. Throughout key stage 2 the children collect, analyse, evaluate and present data and information in a range of formats that will prepare them for the ways in which they will use technology later in life.
As well as this, pupils learn to use search technologies efficiently and to evaluate the content they find. They grow in their understanding of the internet and world wide web and the variety of opportunities for communication and collaboration.
Pupils also develop their programming knowledge to understand sequence, selection, repetition and conditional statements which build upon their knowledge of debugging and sequencing in key stage 1.