At St John’s Catholic Primary School, we recognise that technology is evolving all the time. We therefore strive to exploit the opportunities that technology brings to engage children’s learning in all subjects, as well as ensuring they are well equipped with key computing skills needed for their digital future.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. 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, express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication.
Computing teaching is practical and engaging. A variety of teaching approaches and activities are provided based on teacher judgement and pupil ability. Computing is taught throughout the school using our fully-equipped computer suite. The children are given every opportunity to apply skills they have learnt across the curriculum e.g. creating an animation (using code) about the Ancient Romans. We have iPads in the school supporting children's learning in all subjects using a range of apps and online learning portals.
We provide all pupils across the school with key computing skills such as coding and presentation. We aspire to develop a technically curious child: One who can use basic programs confidently but also creatively express their own ideas via technology in it’s various guises.
Children are given real life experiences in the computing world through our ‘Digital Leadership Programme’ supported by local tech company UK Fast. Each year a group of children have the opportunity to meet with other teams from local schools with the mission to raise the profile of digital literacy and e-safety both in their school and the wider community:
Our ‘Digital Leaders’ run a weekly Code Club. This is a very popular lunch-time club where children have the opportunity to enhance their coding skills.
We take internet safety very seriously at the school. Through assemblies and lessons we ensure that all children know their rights and responsibilities and teach them how to stay safe when using the internet. Pupils are always supervised when using technology and accessing the internet.
Computing and safeguarding go hand in hand and a we provide a huge focus on internet safety inside and outside of the classroom. Additional to all pupils studying an online safety unit through their computing lessons, every year we also take part in National Safer Internet Day in February. The Computing co-ordinator alongside class teachers will plan additional internet safety lessons and activities to take part in following a specific yearly theme. Internet Safety assemblies are also held as well as parent internet safety information.
The Computing Curriculum at St John's
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in computing, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Our implementation of the computing curriculum is in line with 2014 Primary National Curriculum:
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
• can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
• can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
• can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
• are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets].
Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
• understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
• create and debug simple programs
• use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
• use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
• recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
• use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to:
• design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
• use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
• use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
• understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
• use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
• select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
• use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Our Computing Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different computational components and alike other subjects discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work. We inspire our children to use technology creatively to change the future of the digital world and make a positive contribution to the real world.