“Computers are going to be a big part of our future… and that future is yours to shape” - Barack Obama
At St Dennis Primary Academy, we aim to give all our learners opportunities to code, connect, communicate and collect in a range of contexts, to build a wide range of computer skills to understand and change the world.
In line with the 2014 National Curriculum, our curriculum aims to equip children to use computational thinking and creativity. Computing science teaches the children the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
The breadth of study for National Curriculum for computing is followed. Computing is taught in discrete, weekly lessons, where relevant links to other subjects and topic learning are made. The Purple Mash Scheme of Learning is used to ensure that learning is sequential and there is appropriate coverage and progression of knowledge and skills across the school. Children are taught and exposed to a range of programs to develop the knowledge and skills appropriate for their age and stage of learning and these are applied across the curriculum to allow children to deepen them further and to strengthen learning opportunities where appropriate.
Children are confident using digital equipment in the classroom and outside of school to complete work in a range of curriculum areas. There is a consistency in approach due to a common approach across the school, which enables children to build on skills, year on year as they have a familiarity with the programs and teaching methods used.
The impact of the curriculum is measured through the following methods:
- Formative assessment through observations and viewing completed work in lessons and as part of home learning
- Conversations with pupils through pupil conferencing by the subject leader
- Summative assessment through teacher assessment based on focussed assessments on Purple Mash
- Annual reporting to parents
- Assessment of work in other curriculum areas where computing skills have been applied
How does computing link to British values?
Children learn to understand rules and why they are important through using the internet to search and communicate safely. This relates to appropriate conduct and to laws in place in this country regarding such activity. Freedom of speech and the right to make choices are discussed in the computing curriculum whilst at the same time being a respectful digital citizen to remain safe and to respect others. As children move through the school, they learn more about using technology in a positive way and how to leave a positive digital footprint as what they say has an impact on their lives and the lives of others. They also learn about keeping safe and making informed choices and decisions, including what to do if they feel uncomfortable with any online material they see.
We aim to enable all children to achieve to their full potential. This includes children of all abilities, social and cultural backgrounds, those with disabilities, EAL speakers and children with special educational needs or disabilities. We place particular emphasis on the flexibility technology brings to allowing pupils to access learning opportunities, particularly pupils with SEN and disabilities. With this in mind, we ensure additional access to technology is provided throughout the school day and in some cases beyond the school day.
Computing is used to support children with SEND across other areas of the curriculum, for example, some children use laptops to record their work. Others use computer programs that give them the opportunity to complete independent learning at a level to suit their academic need.
Computing lessons are accessed by learners with special educational needs and disabilities in the same ways as their peers as modifications or adjustments are made to aim to ensure this. To enhance the computing curriculum for some children with SEND, peer mentoring and collaborative work are used where necessary. Accessibility options are adapted to suit individual needs, while personal computers with adapted features are used for individuals who benefit from specific features.
Seating positions are considered for SEND learners to they can see and hear the teacher and relevant displays clearly. Alternative approaches for recording are available and the school has purchased software to enable children to record work in a variety of ways.
Where a child is unable to use a particular type of equipment, assessment is based on the understanding of the processes used in computing. This could be elicited through written or verbal responses or through the use of alternative equipment or software.
Supporting your child at home
The school’s long-term plan follows that of Purple Mash. Each child has a username and password in their diaries, meaning that they can access the web-based learning at home as well as at school. The programs and games used in lessons are available to interact with at home. Revisiting computing programs after they have been taught will help to build up a sound understanding of each of the themes delivered through the school year.
BBC Bitesize has a range of Computing lessons and activities to support your child’s knowledge and understanding of computing. These resources range from Year 1 to Year 6.
‘Hour of Code’ has fun activities that will aid children’s learning of coding skills.
Using computers and tablets to engage with other subject areas for home learning will also contribute to developing your child’s digital fluency.