At our school we want pupils to be MASTERS of technology and not slaves to it. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students' lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad, knowledge rich curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. It is therefore imperative that online safety is taught throughout the school in a cross-curricular manner. Progressively building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative and immersive use of technology. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways, which encourages aspirational ideas. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skillful computer scientists. We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative, accessible and embed it in long term memory. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfill the task and challenge set by teachers.
We have created a comprehensive progression document for staff to follow to best embed and cover every element of the computing curriculum. The knowledge/skills statements build year on year to deepen and challenge our learners.
As with most of the ideas, we feel the majority of computing should be embedded across the curriculum. As well as a timetabled Computing session each week we aim to embed it throughout the wider curriculum. We hope this approach will allow for flexibility. The timetabled computing session focus on one of three elements: An Explicit Computer Science lesson, A Tinkering Session or a D.A.R.E.S project. The computer science part of the computing curriculum will often, but not always, need a more explicit approach. That is not to say it can’t be embedded across the curriculum. A tinkering session looks at introducing a new app or tool and giving children opportunity to experiment and familiarise themselves with the different elements and tools before it can be applied in a more focused approach across the curriculum.
Do you have to have a timetabled computing lesson each week?
Not necessarily. We know how packed the curriculum can be and how difficult it is trying to fit everything in. Therefore, some weeks computing can be covered by using technology to demonstrate learning in other subjects.
For example: If a class were covering World War 2 in Year 6 and we are exploring how the Second World War started, I could set the children the task of creating a video explaining this. First, the children may want to research some more information about how the Nazi party rose to power. This would involve covering some Digital Literacy: Managing Online Information –
• To know how to use search technologies effectively.
• To know how to explain how search engines work and how results are selected and ranked.
• To know how to demonstrate the strategies I would apply to be discerning in evaluating digital content.
• To know how to describe how some online information can be opinion and can offer examples. If the pupils were to then create a video using an app such as Adobe Spark Video to demonstrate their learning, they would be covering some of the Information Technology: Video Creation –
• To know how to create videos using a range of media - green screen, animations, film and image. If the pupils were to then upload or publish their work on a blog or platform such as Seesaw, we would also be covering this objective from Information Technology: Word Processing objectives –
• To know how to publish my documents online regularly and discuss the audience and purpose of my content.
Even though this would be a History lesson, we would be covering a fair few computing objectives therefore if we need to spend more time on other subjects that week, we are still covering computing without having a timetabled computing session. This is the way we want computing delivered in Primary schools, embedded to allow learning to be more accessible and allow learners to be more creative in demonstrating their learning.
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel the way we implement computing helps children realise the need for the right balance and one they can continue to build on in their next stage of education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Google Drive and observing learning regularly. Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.