What does Computing look like at High Ercall?
Through teaching computing at High Ercall Primary School, we equip our children with the substantive and disciplinary knowledge needed to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. Children will increase their substantive knowledge in computing by developing an understanding of how to safely use technology, how to be computational thinkers and how to program. This will support the development of disciplinary knowledge by allowing children to interpret and apply their substantive knowledge in the creation of original digital content.
Computing is embedded across our curriculum due to its deep links with mathematics, PSHE, science, and design and technology. Computing at High Ercall encourages resilience, one of the key drivers that underpins the ethos of our school. Through a cross curricular approach and diverse range of contexts, children become confident, independent and positive participants in the digital world. Children will understand and know how to use computers in an effective, informed and safe way. The children are encouraged to develop the 5Rs when studying computing and are supported to become responsible and respectful citizens who reflect upon their behaviour in a digital world. They will also develop an understanding and appreciation of how to use technology as a resource to support their wider learning.
What do we want children to be able to do by the end of Year 6?
We follow the National Curriculum expectations for computing and expect that our pupils will have met or exceeded the expected standards for Year 6 pupils. The computing curriculum is made up of three main strands, which are linked together and are of equal importance:
- Computer Science, the core of computing, 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.
- Information Technology is the application of skills. Pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
- Digital Literacy ensures that pupils can use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology, ready for the future workplace.
By the end of Year 6, children will have developed skills in all three strands of the curriculum, as well as having a secure understanding of E-Safety and how to protect themselves online.
How will this support the children in lifelong learning?
Computing at High Ercall brings the National Curriculum Purpose of Study into a flowing curriculum of discrete computing sessions that develop lifelong skills and substantive and disciplinary knowledge, alongside information that integrates into the wider curriculum to ensure purposeful application and understanding of appropriate use within digital literacy. The computing skills are taught within context, using technology to both create and assist learning in all subject areas. We believe a high-quality computing education equips our pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
How is the curriculum for Computing organised?
To ensure coverage, depth and balance in the computing curriculum, teachers plan in a variety of ways:
- The KS1 and KS2 two-year rolling programme for long term planning contains details of particular units relevant to computing and when they should be taught
- Elements of computing are delivered to the Reception children, through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (Knowledge & Understanding of the World) and are incorporated into the termly topics.
- Each class will have one discrete lesson per week teaching the fundamentals of computing.
- Further opportunities for use of technology will link to other areas of the curriculum and be encouraged as often as possible/relevant.
- Pupils have access to technology across the curriculum to enhance their learning and are encouraged to use these resources as and when they need them. This includes use of laptops, ipads, cameras and digital recording devices.
- These aspects are taught as and when necessary and are added to individual medium and short term planning at the time
- The progression of skills document is used to inform teachers long-term planning to ensure coverage and a development of skills and knowledge across the three strands.
How do we teach Computing?
A variety of methods are to be employed in the teaching of computing, which will afford pupils access to a range of resources and ensure that they are encouraged to develop their potential to the full.
Teachers utilise many differing techniques and approaches to ensure that the computing curriculum is interesting, interactive and alive. Teachers ensure progression of knowledge and skills in their long-term planning which builds on children’s prior knowledge. They develop a sequence of lessons to engage learners and develop their digital literacy alongside the fundamental skills needed for life in the digital world.
We recognise discussion and debate as a key aspect of effective learning and embrace the principles described by ‘Blooms Taxonomy’. Using this structure, it is possible to offer sufficient challenge for children, encouraging higher order thinking skills.
These may include:
- Knowledge given by the teacher
- Use of retrieval questions which are regularly revisited to support children to know more and remember more
- Creative activities – building webpages, blogging, using control devices
- Application of skills to problem solve
- Use of video and films
- Using outside speakers
- Visits to places of relevance to the topic
- Use of relevant books, pamphlets, leaflets, maps, postcards, atlases etc.
How do we review learning in Computing?
We assess children’s work in computing by making informal judgements and giving verbal feedback as we observe them during lessons. Teachers use mind maps and quizzes to assess understanding each lesson and build a picture of each unit of work in computing, enabling them to see progress in skills and vocabulary. An assessment is recorded in the pupils’ end of year report. Learning is reviewed through pupil conferencing and feedback to staff. Governors, senior management, the subject lead and class teachers are responsible and play a role in measuring the impact of Computing at High Ercall.