In Computing, our children are offered a structured sequence of lessons to ensure coverage of the skills required to meet the aims of the National Curriculum. They are given a broad learning experience that covers the three strands of Computing: Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology.
In our world, technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, therefore, we want to model and educate our children on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. E-safety is paramount in our teaching. As well as being covered within the PSHE curriculum, in Computing, we teach an e-safety lesson at the beginning of each half term. Each lesson that follows, begins with an e-safety reminder and we celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day’ as a whole school each year. If issues regarding e-safety arise, then these are dealt with immediately following the correct protocol.
Here at SSMJ, our children can access Bee-Bots, Chromebooks, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practise the skills they have learnt. We also link with our local Computing Hub to arrange the loaning of extra devices when necessary. We recognise that technology can allow children to share their learning in creative ways and our curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for children to apply their knowledge creatively. This also links well with Mathematics, Science and Design and Technology. Staff are encouraged to embed technology across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible to all.
Our children begin their journey in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), through the use of Computational Thinking, which helps to teach our children the necessary problem-solving skills needed for everyday life. These can include the concepts of logical reasoning (anticipating and explaining), patterns (comparing, spotting similarities and differences) and algorithms (instructions and sequencing). Computational Thinking also includes the approaches of tinkering (playing and exploring), collaboration (playing and working collaboratively) and persevering (not giving up). EYFS also have access to Bee-Bots and iPads, where teachers will model how to use the equipment carefully and safely, whilst facilitating children’s curiosity with challenges ready for their transition into Year 1.
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we have weekly Computing lessons which help children to build on prior knowledge, at the same time as introducing new skills and challenges. Through each sequence of lessons, we aim to inspire children to develop a love of the digital world and to see its place in their future. At the start of each unit of work, the strand of Computing focus, unit name and purpose are introduced, as well as key vocabulary and the definitions shared. As well as a timetabled Computing lesson each week, we also encourage the use of our devices to be used for children to apply their learnt skills in other areas of the curriculum
In Key Stage 1, we begin to focus on developing the use of programming and how technology can be used safely. Children continue their journey with the Bee-Bots, using them more precisely. They learn how to program a Bee-Bot to reach a destination and begin to debug when something does not work out the way they imagined. Coding then progresses from Bee-Bots onto a computer-based program called ScratchJr, where children learn how to program a variety of sprites (characters). When starting to use a Chromebook, they learn how to log on and off using their own username and class password. Children also begin to develop their digital writing skills, using the trackpad, keyboard and word processing tool bars correctly. We begin to look at creating media through different forms, learning about and using a range of technology and how data and information is grouped and used. The children learn about e-safety and talk about their trusted adults, what to do if they encounter something that makes them feel uncomfortable, as well as what personal information is and why it is important that we do not share it.
KS1 teachers use formative assessments and the Computing progression of skills maps to help support their judgements on pupil outcomes in this subject.
In Key Stage 2, children have their own username and password and can log in at home or at school. In this key stage, we still focus on algorithms and programming, but in a more complex way. The children’s coding journey also continues using Scratch, although now it is used for different purposes, not only making the sprites (characters) move, but interact with each other. As children progress higher up the key stage, the coding becomes more complex and they are able to create basic games with code. Their digital literacy skills are combined with other subjects and work is word-processed and presentations are created. Creating media can be taught in various ways through animation, photo editing and video production, whilst using a range of technology. We learn about how data and information is grouped and best shared to help with everyday life. The children are also taught e-safety throughout the year. They know how to keep themselves safe online and what to do if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Key Stage 2 children are taught the importance of reporting something they experience happening to themselves or another person.
KS2 teachers use formative assessments, summative assessments and the Computing progression of skills maps to help support their judgements on pupil outcomes in this subject.
Children enjoy Computing lessons and we want them to reflect and appreciate the impact Computing has on their learning and development. We want them to develop a deeper understanding of how they can use the skills they have learnt in their future and to also know that finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, we want the children to have a very clear understanding of what it means to be safe online and how to report their concerns. Awareness of their digital footprint and to recognise early signs of cyberbullying is also very important.
Teachers have high expectations of all children and we want to encourage the way our children display, share and celebrate their work. Evidence of the children’s skills and knowledge is presented in a variety of forms through the use of work books, online documents, print screens, photographs, diagrams, videos/QR codes, etc. Children will be able to use key vocabulary accurately and will be more confident using a range of hardware and software. At SSMJ, our children will see the digital world as part of their world and they will be confident and respectful digital citizens now, and in the future.
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