It is our intention to provide a broad and balanced computing curriculum, which encompasses the three core areas of computing - computer science, information technology and digital literacy. We want all pupils to be digitally literate and competent users of technology and through our computer science based lessons we also want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving skills by learning how to be effective ‘computational thinkers’. We want all pupils to become confident and competent users of technology who understand how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely.
Therefore, a wide range of computing lessons are taught regularly and build upon previous skills, knowledge and experiences. Our computing curriculum aims to give all pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way. We believe that computing helps to prepare pupils for life in 21st century Britain, encouraging them to develop a greater understanding of technology and the technological world around them. We aim to provide a high-quality computing education to help pupils understand the pivotal role technology plays in their lives and equip them to participate in a rapidly changing digital world.
We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace so we want them to know the career opportunities that will be open to them through computing. We want pupils to become autonomous, independent users of computing technologies, gaining confidence and enjoyment from their activities. A range of technology is used to support learning across the entire curriculum and we aim to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child.
Computing is taught through the framework of the 2014 National curriculum. The principles and content of its requirements have been carefully placed at the heart of the school’s programmes of study in computing but ultimately, our overarching aim is to provide a curriculum that is more ambitious than what is just set out within the National Curriculum Programme of Study requirements.
Our computing curriculum long term plan has been specifically designed to include the highest quality content and resources available, incorporating unit plans from the National Centre for Computing Educations’ Teach Computing Curriculum as well as other lesson resources and content, provided by Barefoot Computing and utilising other published schemes. This ensures that our curriculum offering is based on the latest pedagogical research and also makes best use of a range of resources available online. At the same time, we have also worked hard to ensure that our curriculum is tailored to meet the unique context of our school. Computing lessons are taught discreetly, but our approach is that pupils will develop their learning in computing through a project based approach, utilising cross curricular themes and topics as well as drawing on pupil’s interests and passions to give lessons a meaningful context.
Our computing curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to develop a wide range of digital skills, experiences and competencies. The curriculum overview follows six strands, based around four key areas of computing ‘computing systems and networks’ ‘creating media’ ‘data and information’ and ‘programming’. Key knowledge, understanding and skills are progressively built upon within each year group. All learning outcomes can be described through a high-level taxonomy of ten strands, and these are:
- Computer networks
- Computer systems
- Creating media
- Data and information
- Design and development
- Effective use of tools
- Impact of technology
- Safety and security
These strands are directly linked to the school’s Age-Related Expectations (AREs) in computing for each year group and this allows a consistent application of the curriculum throughout the Key stages.
Each pupil in school has a school administered Google account, with each pupil assigned to their class within Google Classroom. All pupils' work is shared here, enabling easy evidencing of coverage within the subject. A coverage of progression and formative assessment tracker is also kept for each cohort as a reference to where pupils are in terms of meeting these A.R.E statements. This enables the computing teacher / subject leader and class teachers to monitor coverage and identify progress made throughout the lifetime of a cohort in the school. Summative assessment of pupil progress is undertaken against these age-related expectations for Computing and takes into account pupils' final completed pieces of work as well as formative assessment that has taken place (these opportunities present themselves through the use of assessment rubrics and other assessment data such as multiple choice quizzes and written work recorded within computing jotter books). This summative data is then used by the computing teacher / subject leader to evaluate the quality of coverage of the A.R.E in computing and to inform aspects of learning that need to be strengthened to improve the quality of provision and to enhance pupil progress. Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through these pupil outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.
At Our Lady’s, computing is a highly valued and respected subject. All staff and pupils understand the importance of the subject, and as such we constantly look for opportunities that enable pupils to showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work. For example, pupils regularly share their work to a wider audience through the school blog and examples of work done in computing are shared to the school website and the school’s social media pages. Pupils' work is also printed out and displayed around school to highlight the range of high quality work that they produce. The impact of our curriculum can be seen through this and we also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Google Drive and Seesaw and observing learning regularly.