Rationale for the teaching of Computing
Computing is one of the statutory foundation subjects within the National Curriculum for key stage one and two. It is an engaging, creative and practical subject, which is an integral part of everyday life. Technology around us is ever changing and that is why it is essential that children develop the skills in order to make a successful contribution to the wider world. IPads, programmable robots, digital cameras and computers are a few of the tools that are used in our school. The children use these tools to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information. At St. Anne’s we ensure that children have the opportunity to explore a range of quality hardware and software through a progressive computing curriculum.
How we teach and learn Computing at St Anne’s
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children begin their computing journey through exploring different technology. They learn that information can be retrieved from computers and learn how to operate simple equipment. Children select and use technology for particular purposes and interact with age-appropriate software.
Computing planning is carried out in two stages: long-term planning and short term planning. At the beginning of the year, teachers map out the key units of work, with online safety taught thoroughly in term 1. Learning objectives are then organised in each unit of work through discrete weekly computing lessons. In addition to these discrete sessions, computing skills are also weaved through other aspects of the wider curriculum.
Lessons are taught as a whole class with regular opportunities for paired, group and independent work. At St Anne’s, we promote the learning character of the resilient tortoise by encouraging the children to tackle a range of problems such as debugging algorithms and testing their own programs. Any digital work is saved on to the shared drive for teachers to access and photos are taken of unplugged work.
The school plans for a range of opportunities to engage the children in computing. This may be by inviting members of the wider community to share their knowledge. For example, by holding 3D printing workshops and arranging opportunities to take part in STEM activities. We also hold further extra-curricular opportunities for the children to engage in computing after school in code club where the children create animations and games.
How we celebrate our Computing learning
The class teacher assesses the children by reviewing the learning objectives each lesson. Through collating documents and photographs, teachers can then report on how a child is progressing through the year. The subject leader also plans an assessment task to evaluate the attainment and progression of computing through the school.
Each year, the school celebrates computing by taking part in an internet safety week where the children engage in a range of activities linked to being safe online. Each year group shares their learning in an assembly for parents to demonstrate their learning based on a current theme. The children also host an information meeting for parents to support online safety at home.
Computing provides opportunities for reflection of awe and wonder about the achievements in computing today and the possibilities for the future. Throughout computing sessions all children consider the effects of social networking and the consequences of cyber bullying, providing a clear moral code as a basis for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school. We actively encourage children to report anything they see or hear online, or see on their technological devices, that makes them feel that uncomfortable.
As part of the computing curriculum children are taught to think and produce work that reflects the needs of diverse audiences within our community and the wider community. As they develop their skills in a range of software they are challenged to work in groups to find solutions whilst developing respect for the ideas and opinions of others in their team. In addition, children are encouraged to develop their team working skills through collaborative work and research. Computing can also help all students to express themselves clearly and to communicate effectively.