‘Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.’
At St Mary’s we aim to prepare our children with the skills and knowledge required in an ever-changing digital world through a high quality-computing curriculum. With technology being everywhere and pivotal to our everyday lives, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. Our computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, information technology and computer science to ensure learning and skills required for adult life are successfully developed and embedded. Computing lessons at St Mary’s also provide children with an awareness of how to communicate and behave safely and respectfully via technology through detailed e-safety lessons to ensure that they become responsible users. At St Mary’s our intention is to support children’s creativity using technology and cross curricular learning to become creators not only users in the modern world.
At St Mary’s, computing is taught in discreet computing lessons weekly and developed further through cross curricular and topic learning. We teach the National Curriculum using both the Purple Mash and Teach Computing schemes of work, adapting and evaluating lessons to best suit the needs of our children. To implement this and encourage creativity and motivation, our children have access to a wide range of resources, including a class set of Ipads and Laptops, enabling them to access a variety of apps and software.
Within the academic year, our children will study computing in blocks with spaced repetition between units, ensuring appropriate progression and development on skills taught in previous years. At St Mary’s we teach a balance of the three key strands of computing, as laid out in the National Curriculum; Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Each strand is taught in every year group with the subject knowledge and skills becoming increasingly in depth and complex as the child moves through the school.
As part of Information Technology, children learn to use and express their ideas through writing or presenting as well as exploring art and digital media. We use a range of different software to develop children’s skills from stop motion animation, picture editing studios and Microsoft Powerpoint. Within Computer Science children are taught how to read, write and create algorithms and solve computational problems with practical experience in writing computer programs. Development of skills starts from using Beebots to experience algorithms in a practical setting to using Scratch to write and debug their own codes. In Digital Literacy children develop an understanding of safe technology use; applying these skills when being safe on the internet, looking at computer networks and using emails.
At St Mary’s we are aware of both the benefits and risks of technology which is why e-safety lessons are taught on a half term basis to prepare our children to stay safe online. Online safety is also communicated with all staff and parents to ensure good practice both at school and when at home.
Our computing curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and provide a fun and engaging computing education. This children’s learning in computing is evidence on both Seesaw and the schools network drive. Children’s work is evidence used by staff to assess children and evaluate and inform future planning.
The computing curriculum at St Mary’s ensures that children leave as competent, safe users of technology as well as with an understanding of how it works. The subject knowledge and skills developed through our curriculum equips the children with experiences, which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces, allowing them to pursue a wide range of interests in later life.