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Computing & Online Safety

INTENT

Our scheme of work for Computing provides full coverage of the primary computing programmes of study (each one broken down into Key Performance Indicators – KPI’s).  Each learning unit aims to deliver a coherent, complete computing curriculum which helps pupils to progress their knowledge, understanding, and skills in computing.  There is a ‘spiral’ approach to sequencing the learning units, with themes recurring year by year. This provides sufficient opportunity for pupils to:

  • consolidate technical skills
  • achieve fluency with a range of key applications
  • develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles that underpin digital technologies and the changing consequences of these for individuals and society.

Each year includes learning units covering the foundations, applications and implications of computing (Key Ideas), ensuring that pupils progress in the computer science, information technology and digital literacy strands of the computing curriculum. It also encourages creativity, collaboration and thinking skills.

 

Computer Science - In computer science, pupils learn to program first with ScratchJr, then Scratch and the micro:bit. This will build on a physical manipulative in Key Stage 1, through a pictorial representation of code with ScratchJr to a virtual, on screen, manipulative in which text-based programming is made more accessible through a block-based language.   It also ensures progression through key programming constructs, with pupils introduced to repetition in ScratchJr, and selection and variables with Scratch and MakeCode for the micro:bit. They develop their computational thinking: the ability to apply programming skills to solve real world problems systematically.

 

Information Technology  - Pupils acquire skills in using core ‘office’ applications to work with text, multimedia presentations and data analysis, as well as a competency with digital media from photography and audio to video, animation and virtual reality. The programme of study for computing at Key Stage 2, helps pupils to ‘select, use and combine’ a variety of software on a range of devices. They work with both numerical data and information across a range of formats including those that combine both words and images.

 

Digital Literacy - Pupils develop an understanding of how the Internet, the World Wide Web and search engines work, as well as learning how to use these and other technologies safely and responsibly.

 

Creativity - Our Computing curriculum emphasises computing as a creative subject. Many learning units involve pupils in making digital artefacts, ranging from programs and presentations to virtual models and movies.

 

Collaboration - Learning Units provide ample opportunity for pupils to learn together: in many units they work in pairs or small groups, and even when working individually there is opportunity built-in for them to give and receive feedback to others. Pupils become increasingly discerning in evaluating online content and their own and others’ work.

 

Thinking skills – We encourage pupils to think about digital technology: computational thinking concepts such as logic, algorithms, decomposition and abstraction are emphasised throughout. Pupils are regularly asked to consider the broader moral and ethical issues raised by the technologies they study.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

North Lakes School uses “Switched On Computing” as a teaching and learning resource, which is structured around six learning units per year group, each of which has six sessions, or a half term’s work. It can be implemented through either weekly 1hr or fortnightly full afternoons. There are many ways to link these units to other subjects’ pupils are studying and suggestions for this are included. Digital Literacy (Online Safety) is embedded into each Learning Unit and is also part of our PSHCE curriculum.  Though Project Evolve, children’s knowledge is assessed and a bespoke programme is delivered to each year group.  This is also supplemented with rich,  quality video content via ClickView.

 

Software and Hardware -  Switched On Computing has been written with multiple software and hardware platforms in mind: iPads, Laptops, desktops and cloud based technologies.  There are step-by-step session presentations and walkthrough videos for the recommended software, but alternatives are also suggested, and the units are designed to be adapted for use with different tools.

 

Challenge and Support - Some pupils are particularly confident in using technology and ideas for challenge are included in all the learning units. These pupils could also go on to use ideas from the units for independent exploration. On the other hand, many pupils will need additional support or scaffolding: step-by-step instructions can be useful, as can focusing on the core functionality of particular apps or programs. Each learning units provide guidance on how additional support can be provided. Assistive technology makes digital tools accessible to many pupils with SEND: speech-to-text and text-to-speech interfaces are increasingly common. Language interfaces and automatic translation can be used to make lessons and technologies much more accessible to those learning English as an additional language (EAL).

 

Online Safety - Online safety themes in the learning units can be linked to a broader exploration of these ideas in PSHCE and relationships education. We also recognise where parents’ permission is needed for pupils to use online services, for filming or photography or to publicly share pupils’ creative work with all parent completing cloud-based learning permission at enrolment.   Keeping children safe online is a key element of our scheme of work, but we recognise that this responsibility can only be fully met through working in partnership with pupils’ parents.

 

IMPACT

  • Our Scheme of work includes a variety of approaches to evaluate the impact of computing lessons and guidance on assessment.
  • All children have a Computing Journal/Portfolio, and we are beginning to introduce Google Drive for online Digital Portfolios and blogging on Frog Learn.  The digital artefacts pupils make provide excellent evidence of their developing skills, clearly demonstrating each pupil’s achievements and progress from one year. There’s no need for work done in the digital domain to be printed off to provide evidence.
  • In most units there is an opportunity for pupils to share their work with their peers and to get feedback on what went well, or what might have been even better. Pupils should be encouraged to be constructively critical in their feedback and use these sessions as an opportunity to assess the product of pupils’ learning using the unit learning outcomes as a guide.

 

Tracking Progress - In order to help assess and track pupils’ progress, each learning unit includes:

  • assessable outcomes which are assessed by the teacher at the end of each learning unit using Frog Progress
  • self evaluation pupils to assess their own work and reflect on their own learning
  • end-of-unit quizzes for pupils, to provide insight into pupils’ knowledge and understanding alongside their practical skills, as well as an indication of where there may be lingering misconceptions that are worth addressing through individual or class discussion.

 

Subject Leader:  Mr M Soulsby

Updated March 2022

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