At Blenheim, we aim to instil a sense of enjoyment around using technology and to develop pupil’s appreciation of its capabilities and the opportunities technology offers to create, manage, organise, and collaborate.
By experimenting with different software and programs, we aim to develop pupils’ confidence when encountering new technology, which is a vital skill in the ever evolving and changing landscape of technology. Through our curriculum, we intend for pupils not only to be digitally competent and have a range of transferable skills at a suitable level for the future workplace, but also to be responsible online citizens.
We use Kapow’s Computing scheme of work as an adaptable resource to support staff in delivering high quality lessons in line with the aims of the National curriculum. When taught in conjunction with RSE & PSHE lessons, Computing also satisfies all the objectives of the UK Council for Education Safety’s ‘Education for a Connected World’ framework. This guidance was created to help equip children for life in the digital world, including developing their understanding of appropriate online behaviour, copyright issues, being discerning consumers of online information and healthy use of technology.
The National curriculum purpose of study states:
‘The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems, and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world’.
Therefore, our lessons are planned with three strands that run throughout:
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Digital literacy
For greater clarity, they are then organised into fiver key areas, which are revisited as part of a spiral curriculum throughout KS1 and KS2.
- Computer systems and networks
- Creating media
- Data handling
- Online safety
By teaching computing in this way, pupils can develop their computing knowledge and skills by revisiting and building on previous learning. Every year group is taught computing each half term covering one of these key areas, with online safety lessons distributed throughout the year to ensure this is discussed regularly with the children.
Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as unplugged and digital activities. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles.
Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Whilst much of this is provided in Kapow’s lessons plans, teachers make use of continuous assessment to ensure children can access the learning and are being appropriately challenged. At the start of each unit, children will complete a “knowledge catcher” to assess their prior knowledge and they will complete a pupil quiz at the end of the unit to see the progress that has been made. During the unit, teachers assess children on an assessment tracker, that allows them to clearly identify children who need more support and children who need to be challenged further. All these methods of assessment, alongside regular questioning and feedback, allow teachers to make an accurate assessment of the children each term.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust computing curriculum. To support this, teachers are directed to the teacher videos provided by Kapow to develop subject knowledge and support ongoing CPD. Further CPD opportunities are also provided by the subject lead in staff meetings and training sessions. To support the subject knowledge of children knowledge organisers are used for each unit to support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.
The impact of computing is monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each unit includes a corresponding assessment sheet to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives and each unit has a unit quiz and knowledge catcher which is used at the beginning and end of a unit to monitor progress.
After the implementation of our computing curriculum, pupils should leave Blenheim equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and be active participants in the ever-increasing digital world.
The expected impact of following our computing curriculum is that children will:
- Be critical, computational thinkers and able to understand how to make informed and appropriate digital choices in the
- Understand the importance that computing will have going forward in both their educational and working life and in their social and personal
- Understand how to balance time spent on technology and time spent away from it in a healthy and appropriate
- Understand that technology helps to showcase their ideas and creativity. They will know that different types of software and hardware can help them achieve a broad variety of artistic and practical
- Show a clear progression of technical skills across all areas of the National Curriculum - computer science, information technology and digital
- Be able to use technology both individually and as part of a collaborative
- Be aware of online safety issues and protocols and be able to deal with any problems in a responsible and appropriate
- Have an awareness of developments in technology and have an idea of how current technologies work and relate to one
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Computing