Computing is taught through clear sequential learning mapped out from the Early Years to Year 6. This equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
The Computing Curriculum Map sets out the central knowledge and stipulates the core vocabulary. The Long Term Plan determines the teaching sequence. The Learning Graphs demonstrate progression through concepts and skills. In order to learn some of those concepts and skills, pupils need prior knowledge of others, so the Learning Graphs show which concepts and skills need to be taught first.
Our computing curriculum provides equality of opportunity to all pupils, enabling them to develop their natural enthusiasm for and experience of computers in a way that enables them to be happy, safe and effective users of technology. Alongside technical learning, social, moral and cultural elements are considered, it aims to empower pupils, enable them to build resilience and develop positive behaviours for the future.
The computing curriculum builds through key elements of computer science, digital citizenship and digital literacy with the aim of putting children in control of the devices they use, enabling them to be active users of technology rather than passive consumers. These are introduced throughout the child’s school experience and revisited in successive years in a process which consolidates and deepens understanding.
Children are taught how to program computers and to give instructions to a range of devices and applications. They understand the formal logical language of programming and what happens beneath the surface of the applications and devices they use. They use video, audio and graphical applications to enhance and develop their work and learn to select appropriate technology for the aims they wish to realise.
It recognises that many, but not all, children come with pre-existing experience and knowledge of technology and aims to provide them with the tools to develop that knowledge through a clear progression, as well as delivering opportunities to those who may not have access to technology outside of a school setting. The curriculum encourages all pupils to see computers, electronic devices and apps as connected and empowering; not isolated devices or merely entertainment.
It is the intention to encourage children to question the technology that they use, understand how it is implemented and how they can create, change, control and refine the programs and devices they encounter.
For further detail, refer to the long-term plan.
The TEACH Computing programme written by Raspberry Pi Foundation on behalf of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) is used to deliver the computing curriculum. Each year group completes 6 units per year. These units cover 4 themes: Computing systems and networks, Creating media, Data and information and Programming.
Lessons are delivered weekly by class teachers. Medium Term Plans (Units Overviews) provide a brief overview of each individual lesson. Individual lesson plans include the preparation of high-quality resources. Teachers ensure that their planning guides the acquisition and retention of new learning through a range of strategies rooted in cognitive science such as the use of retrieval practice. Learning is reviewed regularly with the use of retrieval practice based around practical tasks and challenges, in order to assess and address gaps in knowledge which could hinder children’s progression.
Each unit leads to a culminating project or activity which enables children to apply the knowledge and skills learned.
The most essential content is delivered through reference to real-world examples of software and hardware that children may be familiar with from their daily lives, including video games and social media platforms, alongside model applications and scenarios. It enables reference to first-hand experience of technology as well as ensuring all pupils, irrespective of background, have the opportunity to access appropriate, up to date technology.
Key concepts and skills are introduced with the specific vocabulary required to communicate in a wider world, and sequenced to build on existing knowledge. The use of formal, key vocabulary is established from the Early Years and repeated with common definitions throughout the curriculum in order to facilitate retrieval and progression.
Cross curricular links are used frequently, not only in underlining the potential for the use of technology in other subjects, but for the relevance of history, geography, mathematics and English in computing, and to develop an understanding of the use of technology in the real world.
Frequent discussion enables pupils to reflect critically on their own experience of technology, to speak about their concerns and to become confident, responsible and safe digital citizens. The social, moral and cultural implications are considered where relevant and time is given for pupils to actively discuss and reflect on these.
The impact of the computing curriculum is that children learn the knowledge, concepts and skills laid out and are prepared for the next stage in their education. They make outstanding progress over time across the key stages. Children are expected to leave our school reaching at least age-related expectations in computing.
To make assessment judgments about pupils’ ability to recall and apply taught content, teachers:
- capture the work children complete
- annotate work with conversations/ discussions had
- photograph work children complete
- evaluate pupil self-assessment