Technology has revolutionised the way we live, study and work and truly underpins today’s modern lifestyle. With this in mind, we believe it is essential that all children gain the confidence and abilities within this subject area, in order to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world and be able to embrace a digital world. It is our intention that the study of Computing will enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum. Our children will develop skills enabling them to embrace a digital world. These include the knowledge and abilities to communicate in a variety of ways, solve problems logically and create and correct algorithms, using a wide range of digital technology, understand how to enjoy the benefits of modern technology whilst knowing how to keep themselves safe online.
The aims of our Computing curriculum are to develop children who:
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
- Know how to keep themselves safe whilst using technology and on the internet and be able to minimise risk to themselves and others.
- Become responsible, respectful and competent users of data, information and communication technology.
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- Become digitally literate and are active participants in a digital world.
- Are equipped with the capability to use technology throughout their lives.
- Have a ‘can do’ attitude when engaging with technology and its associated resources.
- Understand and follow the SMART E-Safety rules.
- Know who to contact if they have concerns.
At Abbots Farm Infant School, we aim to provide children to an enriching, diverse and creative curriculum that balances all the aspects of computing.
In the Early Years the approach is through cross-curricular learning with an emphasis on hands on experiences and is assessed through the Understanding the World, Early Learning Goal. Teaching is through context-based and role play experiences using many resources such as iPads and programmable toys. We use Mini Mash to support this.
In KS1 we follow the Purple Mash scheme of work, which covers all the requirements of the Computing national curriculum in a way that’s intended to develop children’s’ understanding of the concepts, practices and perspectives that underpin Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Computer Science underlines the knowledge and skills relating to programming, coding, algorithms and computational thinking. Information Technology underlines the knowledge and skills relating to communication, multimedia and data representation and handling. Digital Literacy underlines the knowledge and skills relating to online safety and technology uses. Furthermore, Purple Mash provides ample opportunity for creative and collaborative project work in which children can acquire the information technology skills they’ll need.
The Purple Mash scheme of work is split into year groups. Computing lessons are broken down into units, usually with two units taught per half-term. Units are practical and engaging and allow computing lessons to be hands on. Units cover a broad range of computing components such as coding, spreadsheets, internet and email, databases, communication networks, touch typing, animation and online safety. Teachers ensure that computing capability is also achieved through core and foundation subjects and where appropriate ICT is incorporated into work for all subjects.
We have a wide range of resources to support our computing teaching including but not limited to, interactive TV, iPads, Chromebooks and bee-bots. Children use Chromebooks or iPads independently, in pairs, alongside a TA or in a group with the teacher. Computing work can be stored and saved using pupil log in details and ‘2do’s’ can also be set for children.
Technology is used to support our children with SEND and allows them to access our curriculum independently. As well as this, technology is used to provide children with a range of opportunities to stretch their thinking in order for them to reach their full potential.
Computing and safeguarding go hand in hand and we provide a huge focus on internet safety inside and outside of the classroom. All children study an online safety unit through their computing lessons and we participate in internet safety weekly each year. At Abbots Farm Infant School we also have two children from each class who are part of our online safety council. They are appointed to the role to be ambassadors for how to be safe online. We also believe that it is important to engage with parents over online safety. Therefore, parents are informed when issues relating to online safety arise and further information/support is provided if required.
Our Computing Curriculum is progressive and builds on and embeds key skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and also on vocabulary which also form part of the units of work.
If children are achieving the lesson intentions, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Discussions with children about their learning (pupil voice).
- Coaching with teacher focusing on children’s work saved in pupil files on their Purple Mash account and photo evidence and images of the children’s practical learning (particularly in EYFS).
- Coaching with teachers focusing on planning to ensure that all classes have a consistent coverage of the curriculum.
- Coaching with teachers in lessons to continuously improve our teaching of the computing curriculum.
- All coaching provides opportunities for professional dialogue between teachers and computing lead which is reflective.
- Progress is measured through regular teacher assessments. These take place at the end of each unit of work taught and judgements are made against the planned objectives. The Purple Mash emerging, expected, exceeding indicators are used to ensure consistency of assessment across all year groups. This allows for data analysis to identify any gaps of knowledge or skills. This can then be identified for teacher’s future planning.