At St. James’ our intent is to provide a computing education that equips pupils with the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need for the rest of their lives. Pupils will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content, while understanding how to use technology safely and respectfully. We aim for our children to have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). Technology in the 21st Century is ever changing, so we want our children to have the resilience and skills that can be used and adapted to a range of technologies.
At St. James’, computing is taught both as a stand alone subject and embedded throughout the curriculum. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics, and have many different opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills. Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. We have a set of Chromebooks in each class and a shared class set of tablets, to ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing links to the current topic motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught, however this is not essential for each computing unit.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon and progressive. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
Internet safety is covered in every year group and the content is delivered in an age appropriate way, with knowledge and understanding built upon in each year group. Internet safety is covered as a Computing unit in each year group, and also as a whole school approach in our e-safety weeks, where the whole school learn about a particular aspect of e-safety. We also have Cyber Ambassadors, who are are children that take a lead role in promoting e-safety to their peers, by being children that others can go to for advice on issues or concerns, as well as being involved in planning and delivering content or key messages for e-safety lessons.
Our curriculum equips children with the skills to become digitally-literate. Children will learn key knowledge and should be able to recall this in everyday life. We aim for children to have a knowledge and understanding of computer programmes through writing and debugging code, children will be able to solve problems using technology and computational thinking is encouraged. Children will build resilience through their work and are encouraged to learn from their mistakes. They will be equipped, not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and for their own benefit, but more importantly – safely. The biggest impact we want on our children is that they understand the consequences of using the internet and that they are also aware of how to keep themselves safe online.
As children become more confident in their abilities in Computing, they will become more independent and key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation become second nature.
Please click here to view the Computing subject overview