At Our Lady’s RC Primary, we provide a high-quality computing education that equips our pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world around them. Our curriculum aims to prepare the children for life in the 21st century by encouraging them to develop a deeper understanding of technology and enabling them to participate effectively in this digital world.

Being based in Manchester, the city responsible for inventing the first computer and playing a pivotal role in code breaking during WW2, we endeavour to foster a creative approach to computing and critical thinking.

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. Our computing curriculum long term plan therefore, has been specifically designed to include the highest quality content and resources available. We follow the National Centre for Computing Educations’ Teach Computing Curriculum and supplement this with other lesson resources and content, provided by Barefoot Computing and Project Evolve, where appropriate. This enables us to provide our pupils with high-quality, cross-curricular lessons that equip them with foundational skills and the knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need for the rest of their lives. The Teach Computing Curriculum is structured through the National Curriculum Framework to ensure the children have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, experiences and competencies within technology.

We have an Online safety policy that provides guidance for teachers and children about how to use the internet safely. Every year group participates in lessons on online safety and pupils are taught about how to stay safe when using technology. Each half term, we focus on a different strand(s) of the Education for a Connected World framework, utilising the Project Evolve platform, to deliver online safety activities tailored to the needs of each individual class.

With the main focus being on Computer Science, pupils are taught about how computers and computer systems work, how to design and build programs, how to develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. By introducing pupils at an early age to simple programming, we support them in strengthening their logical thinking and problem solving skills which in turn support their mathematical development.

As pupils gather more experience in designing simple programs, they understand how to better plan and organise their thoughts, skills which are generally transferable and are particularly helpful when developing good writing skills.    

By ensuring our pupils are competent in using ICT equipment effectively, we facilitate opportunities for them to enhance their learning across the National Curriculum, through being able to conduct research, analyse information and present their thinking and creativity.  

Pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate and are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology– at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

The teaching of our Computing curriculum will give our children a head start in acquiring the required level of digital literacy to become full and active participants in an ever more digital world.


Computing Curriculum Implementation

All of our computing sessions are planned and taught by a recognised computing specialist teacher, allowing for a consistent application of the curriculum throughout the Key Stages. High-quality computing sessions allow for the development of skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas such as; Science, Mathematics, English and Religious Education. In all Key Stages, we teach a curriculum that enables children to become effective users of technology who can:

  • Understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation;
  • Analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
  • Evaluate and apply information technology analytically to solve problems;
  • Communicate ideas well by utilising appliances and devices throughout all areas of the curriculum.

Our Computing curriculum is taught through weekly, timetabled discrete lessons, using either iPads or laptops, and in a cross curricular / thematic way, whereby pupils, as accomplished computer users, apply their skills to develop their learning in other curriculum areas. in EYFS, children’s direct teaching of programming a programmable toy, links to their maths by using counting skills, using positional and directional language; links are made to geographical and to their communication and language skills by developing their speaking and listening skills, clarifying thinking; to their personal, social and emotional development by working collaboratively with peers and listening to others ideas. Further up the school explicit links are developed between Computing and other curriculum areas, for example in year 6 children study WW2 and the cracking of the Enigma code, which links to their computing unit, code breakers.

In the EYFS, pupils are provided with the opportunity to interact and explore their environment using a range of multimedia equipment, including programmable and interactive toys, digital cameras, laptops and iPads. As part of some of their first activities, early technology experiences will include remote control devices, musical keyboards, televisions, cash registers, microwave ovens, tills, scanners and interactive books, as well as laptops and tablets. In the EYFS, continuous provision draws on these common uses of control technology for children to experience first-hand and to explore their uses through play. This may include the use of programmable toys like remote control cars or Bee-Bots, or it could be demonstrated through children ‘programming’ friends by telling them how to move around like a robot, children are also encouraged to role play with toy representations of every day technology such as washing machines, telephones and computers.

In Key Stage One, pupils 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. They are taught to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. They discover 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. They are taught 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 Two, pupils design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems and to solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.  They use sequence, selection and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs. Pupils are also taught to understand computer networks, including the internet and how to use search technologies effectively, in order to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Pupils are taught to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals. They use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly, recognising acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

In school, we provide the opportunity for children to have access to laptops, iPads, interactive boards, digital cameras and devices to gain physical computing experience, including Codeapillars, Bee-Bots, Micro:Bits and Crumble controllers. All laptops and iPads are equipped with the appropriate software, and pupils have unique logins and passwords to access the school system. We also have technical support, which we can call upon to help monitor and maintain the equipment across the school.


Curriculum Impact

Our Computing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression of knowledge. During the units, self and peer-assessment is carried out, for example, pupils can work with a partner to review, and help correct, algorithms and programs, or by providing critical, constructive feedback on digital content.

When teaching the selected units, formative assessment strategies are used to help acquire feedback from children to adapt the session and inform future plans.

Key Stage 1 pupils are set up on the Seesaw platform and at the end of each unit of work, pupils add their work to the relevant Computing unit folder. This enables staff to view the work that has been completed within each half term. In Key Stage 2, pupils are given a school administered Google account, with each pupil assigned to their class within Google Classroom. Again, pupils work is shared here, enabling easy evidencing of coverage within the subject.

Summative assessment of pupil progress is undertaken against 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 used 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 enhance pupil progress.

Our innovative, creative and ambitious approach to computing is reflected in the expectations of our children, to at least achieve the standards set out in the Early Years Curriculum by the end of Reception and the National Curriculum for Years 1 to 6.



Get in touch

Our Lady's RC Primary School

Whalley Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8AW

Head of School Anna Ward and Executive Head Catherine Gordon

0161 226

Student Login