At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, it is our intention that children develop a set of skills necessary and essential to equip them for the ever-evolving use of computing. It is our aim to make sure that children leave St Mary’s being computer literate and able to apply their computing skills to a range of problem solving activities whether it be on a digital platform or not. Our computing curriculum is built around the key strands of Information Technology, Computer Science, Digital Literacy and E-Safety. We also look to implement the wider curriculum into computing and find opportunities to apply our computing skills when covering maths, science and English to name a few.
Our scheme of work covers a wide range of topics in computing suitable and catered to the needs of the children from Early Years until their final year in Year 6. Lessons are meaningful, challenging and, most importantly, allow children a chance to work through trial and error creating their own programmes and/or finding bugs in them. Google Classroom is one of the many platforms we use in order for children to store and save their work.
Our children begin their journey with technology in Early Years, with access to iPads and BeeBots, as well as some time spent in the computer room to familiarise children with a desktop setup. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with challenge and modelling how to use the equipment carefully and safely. Children begin to learn the process of coding through simple algorithms to be practised and then applied through the ‘Bots.
In Key Stage 1, children continue to practise and apply their skills with coding, moving on to the idea of problem solving via ‘debugging’ certain codes across a variety of programmes. Towards the end of Key Stage 1, children begin to learn the process of refining their use of search engines and learn about e-safety. E-safety is paramount within the computing curriculum and reflects the values of St Mary’s in terms of the children acting as responsible students. Children begin to learn how to deal with material or content they find online that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Key Stage 2 sees the children move on to more advanced coding as they enhance their understanding of coding and look to develop more detailed sequencing within their programming. Their digital literacy skills are combined with English, science, history and geography, as work is word-processed and presentations are created using a variety of different platforms such as PowerPoint. As mentioned in Key Stage 1, children continue their understanding of how the internet works; we challenge them to refine their search results more specifically, explain the internet and further their understanding of email and the various other ways of communicating online. With their options to communicate becoming more accessible and frequent as they get older, so too does their understanding of e-safety. Our scheme of work rigorously applies the principles of safeguarding and teaches the children how to make good decisions when using the internet. We also teach children how to actively help others who have found themselves victims of cyberbullying in a safe and secure way.
Children at St Mary’s will show themselves to be confident users of technology and able to apply their computing skills to a variety of problems. We expect children to comfortably be able to talk about their digital literacy and explain key vocabulary that is present across all key stages. Our assessment carefully monitors their progression throughout their time at school as we record their work on various digital platforms. For computing work done within the wider curriculum, children will be confident to talk about how their skills of research supplemented their achievement within the task. With the unpredictable information displayed within some content online, children will learn how to use the internet appropriately and enjoy it too. If they come across unexpected material, children will be able to deal with it appropriately. Children will always be given a chance to reflect on their learning and discuss any needs for improvement, or challenges, with their teacher.