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Computing at St Robert
We aim to teach computing effectively through providing a rich, broad and balanced computing curriculum fully mapped to the National Curriculum for Computing across Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2.Our curriculum offers pupils a computing education designed for mastery and covers all three strands of the computing curriculum:
Our School vision for computing is that we want our pupils to be creators not consumers of technology. We aim to fulfill this ambition through designing a curriculum that aims to enhance pupils’ enjoyment, resilience, understanding and attainment in computing by empowering and equipping them with the knowledge, understanding and skills designed for computing mastery.
We believe mastery in computing means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. It is demonstrated by how skillfully a child can apply their learning in computing to new situations in unfamiliar contexts.
Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students' lives, Therefore we have designed a computing curriculum that is easy to follow and will equip children with the skills and knowledge they need to use technology safely and creatively. Computing is not just about memorising facts and vocabulary words, it is about solving complex problems, being able to collaborate with others and learn from mistakes. We want children to become independent and to have fun with technology while developing 21st-century skills.
We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology to model positive use and positive online communication and feedback. Through teaching and the integration of digital feedback between teacher and student and peer evaluation we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skillful computer scientists.
We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfill the task and challenge set by teachers.
Through following a termly scheme of work, all computing objectives across the 3 strands will be covered. These have also been linked to previous year groups to ensure there is sufficient progression in skills. In addition to this we feel strongly that computing should be embedded across the curriculum to ensure these skills are applied and developed to enhance other subject area. This offers the staff flexibility in how they teach computing. We know how packed the curriculum can be and how difficult it is trying to fit everything in, which is why we have devised a Long Term Plan that identifies 1 termly computing topic in addition to curriculum enhancers to develop cross curricular links. This means that some weeks computing can be covered by using technology to demonstrate learning in other subjects.
We have decided to implement the Knowsley CLC scheme of work. This is an effective scheme that offers expertise in primary computing education and has the knowledge and practical skills to design an engaging and accessible primary computing curricula. Through this scheme of work we have implemented the following to ensure teaching and learning is effective and progressive:
Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching with pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. Lessons are sequenced so that concepts are developed in logical steps with particular attention given to fundamental concepts. This ensures that all children can master concepts before moving to the next stage, with no pupil left behind. We believe in a curriculum that meets the interests of all learners, with a range of exciting creative activities and open-ended challenges based on the essential requirements of the computing program of study. We also ensure children can build on their understanding, as each new concept and skill is taught with opportunities for children to revisit skills and knowledge as they progress through school.
We like to think of our computing activities like a story with a beginning, middle and an end. We encourage teachers to help the children create their own digital learning journals that record their understanding and tell the story of the content they create with technology.
Digital Learning Journals
The Pupil Learning Journal empowers children to independently document what they are learning at school. The power of asking children to journal their computing work cannot be understated as it plays a big part in improving learners’ attainment and progress. Journaling helps children focus on their learning and take ownership of it. By providing opportunities to record or reflect at different points in the lesson, learners begin to shift the focus from the ‘how’ of computing technology (what tasks to perform), to the ‘why’ (reflecting on their own understanding). From this process they’ll gain a deep understanding of computing concepts by recording their learning in their own words. An essential component of journaling is freedom: children should feel free to use various media and apps, and openly reflect on their own struggles, mistakes and successes as a learner. As a result children will steadily develop a strong sense of metacognition — the ability to understand how they learn as individuals. It helps to provide a clear window into what they understood and how they were making sense of the concepts by building on prior understanding or knowledge.
To work towards deep-level thinking skills when journal we will encourage them to try to think about some of the following:
“I knew I was right when......”
“The thing you must remember with this kind of problem is........”
“Tips I would give a friend to solve this problem are.........”
“I wish I knew more about......”
“Could you have found the answer by doing something different? What?”
“Were you frustrated with this problem? Why or why not?”
“What method did you use to solve this problem and why?”
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Google Drive and Google Classroom.
The progress of our computing curriculum is ultimately demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes. The curriculum is designed to build on prior learning and lessons are sequenced throughout the primary phase for progression where all learning builds towards clearly defined end points. We have clearly defined mandatory and strand specific assessment objectives for each year group, so that progression can be assessed at the end of a termly strand and year group. Key Stage progression can be assessed through the National Curriculum objectives. There is also support within our computing curriculum for the teacher to establish whether a child is working towards, meeting or exceeding each objective within their year group.
Assessment data collected as part of teaching enables each pupils’ progress to be monitored and is based on the mandatory and teaching strand objectives from within each year group. Assessment data allows the teachers to see, at a glance, where pupils are in their learning; to identify any gaps in coverage, knowledge, understanding and skills and to inform the curriculum and future teaching. The assessment trackers include pupil progress trackers for SEND, disadvantaged and greater depth children. Within our curriculum it is intended that all pupils access it to ensure rigor, challenge and inclusion.