The use of technology is an important part of every child’s education. The computer is used as a tool in classroom activities and wide reaching applications in all other areas of the curriculum.
We have an air conditioned, well equipped computing suite which accommodates 32 pupils. This facility enables whole class teaching of computing skills.
We use computing in many different purposes;
I.T. : Still – text and image, video, animation(story), presentation(ideas)
Computer Science: Manipulating hardware and software.
The term ‘coding’ is commonly used within this area of the curriculum
Digital Literacy: Databases presenting and calculating data
Internet safety will be taught within a new topic at least twice a term and children will be reminded how to stay safe online when researching a topic.
As you can see, computing, as in all aspects of education, the progression and continuity are of major importance. As children mature, they are encouraged to expand their knowledge and consider the moral and safety issues which arise with the use of technology.
At St Francis RC Primary School, we aim to prepare our learners for their future, by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills, that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. Knowledge and understanding of Computing is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment.
Our Computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, computer science, information technology and online safety to ensure that children become competent in safely using, as well as understanding, technology. These strands are revisited repeatedly through a range of themes during children’s time in school to ensure the learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed. Our intention is that Computing also supports children’s creativity and cross curricular learning to engage children and enrich their experiences in school.
The teaching and implementation of Computing curriculum at St Francis in Key Stage 1 and 2 is based on the National Curriculum and is supported by the ‘Rising Stars – Switched on Computing’ and ‘Plan Bee’ schemes of work, ensuring a well-structured approach to this creative subject.
Computing in the Early Years is delivered through the Technology strand of Development Matters. Teachers plan for this through provision inside and outside of the classroom, using a broad range of age appropriate resources.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision, which aims to enable all children to flourish. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
To ensure a broad range of skills and understanding, Computing is taught across three main strands: digital literacy, computer science and information technology.
- As part of information technology, children learn to use and express themselves and develop their ideas through Computing. For example, writing and presenting, as well as exploring art and design using multimedia.
- Within digital literacy, children develop practical skills in the safe use of computers and the ability to apply these skills to solving relevant, worthwhile problems for example understanding the safe use of internet, networks and email.
- In computer science, we teach children to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. Additionally, they are taught to analyse problems to computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
- We also teach a progression of Computing vocabulary to support children in their understanding.
At St Francis, we give children access to a wide range of good quality resources and provide cross curricular opportunities for children to apply their Computing knowledge and skills (PC, iPads and other devices such as BeeBots). Computing supports the teaching of all areas of the curriculum, teachers plan for purposeful computing opportunities across all lessons. The use of Purple Mash both in school and at home, enables the use of computing to support all areas of learning.
The teachers assess the children’s progress and attainment through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of the different topics before and after the unit is taught.
- Use of AFL throughout the lesson.
- Monitoring work submitted; saved on the server or completed on Purple Mash.
Online safety is taught within each Computing lesson, as a short starter activity, as well as being taught as a unit each year. Online safety procedures are communicated with all staff and parents. We also support parents with online safety by hosting workshops and sending letters home with advice on parental controls and other safety tips.
The implementation of this curriculum ensures that when children leave St Francis, they are competent and safe users of computer with an understanding of how technology works. They will have developed skills to express themselves and be creative in using digital media and be equipped to apply their skills in Computing to different challenges going forward. It is intended that when pupils leave St Francis they will have met the attainment targets in the Computing programme of study.
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 St Francis gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.