At Barley Lane Primary School, we believe that computing is an essential part of the national curriculum. Computing is a fundamental part of modern day life and therefore provides a wealth of learning opportunities, explicitly within computing and also across other curriculum subjects.
Through the study of computing, children are able to develop a wide range of essential skills, knowledge and understanding that they will need for the rest of their lives. Computers have become a part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our daily lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational Thinking’ is a skill children must be taught in order to provide them with essential knowledge and skills that will enable them to participate effectively in the digital world.
Our computing curriculum fits within our wider curriculum intent in aiming to make connections with other subjects and to empower and develop children’s understanding of the digital world. Our overall curriculum aims for our children to become resilient, well-rounded individuals with a strong sense of self and purpose. Within the intent of our computing curriculum, we endeavor to prepare our children for a digital world that is constantly changing and evolving.
The aims of teaching Computing, as outlined in the national curriculum are 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
At Barley lane, we use a scheme of learning called ‘Rising Stars – Switched on Computing’ in order to achieve the aims of the national curriculum. A range of three to five Units is taught depending on the progression of skills expected throughout each year group. Computing is taught once a week for an hour in one of our two Computing Suites. The national curriculum defines three clear aspects of computing curriculum: Computer Science (CS), Information Technology (IT) and Digital Literacy (DL). Children will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding in each area from the early years till they reach Year 6. At Barley Lane, we believe that a cross-curricular approach is important when it lends itself, so when possible we will match our topics and activities with Computing.
In Key Stage 1, the children will
- learn to understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
- learn to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
- learn how to use a range of technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
- learn to 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.
In Key Stage 2, the children will
- design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
- learn to use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
- learn to understand computer networks, including the internet, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.
- learn to use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.
- learn to select, use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals.
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly, recognise acceptable /unacceptable behaviour and identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Progression in computing will be assessed throughout each key stage through the children’s ability to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. We assess the children through:
- Observing children at work during weekly computing sessions.
- Questioning the children in relation to their programme of study in order to assess their understanding and comprehension.
- Assessing the work produced by the children and discussion of their next steps through verbal feedback.
- Monitoring class folders on our server.
An age-related assessment will be given to parents/carers through annual reports.