The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
At The Lea, we follow the National Curriculum using the Rising Stars ‘Switched on ICT’ and ‘Switched on Computing’ schemes as our spine to ensure we are covering all of the NC objectives across the key stages, and supplement this with resources from STEM and code.org.
We have a fantastic network that supports 32 pupils’ laptops (16 KS1 and 16 Lower KS2); 16 iPads for cross-school use; and a suite of 16 Chromebooks for Upper Key Stage 2. All classrooms have access to additional PCs and laptops to promote the use of technology to support everyday learning. We believe that learning how to navigate different software is really important and that ICT is seen as a key tool. During the first half of the Autumn Term, we focus carefully on the basic skills needed to use a variety of programs, e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Google Classroom, and develop keyboard and mouse skills to strengthen the children’s use of equipment to support their learning. These skills are mapped out from Early Years to Year 6 to ensure progression and the opportunity to embed skills securely.
E-safety is taught across all year groups as part of our Computing curriculum, and through PSHE lessons. We want all children to be confident and creative users of ICT and understand how to stay safe on the Internet, both at school and at home. The importance of being respectful and responsible for our own actions online is also a key focus as the children become increasingly aware of a variety of social media and online gaming. We ask parents and carers to support our work in this area, so children receive the same, positive message and guidance from home and school. Each year group elect Digital Leaders at the beginning of the year who are responsible for promoting e-safety in every lesson, become ‘experts’ on the skills being taught so they can support others, and trialling new software or web applications before they are introduced/purchased for the rest of the school.
The importance of having a deeper understanding of coding is highlighted in the National Curriculum and we believe this gives the children huge opportunity to develop resilience in computational thinking as they work through problems together. Ensuring the introduction of concepts such as algorithms are taught in small, sequential steps to embed learning across the Key Stages, building on previous learning supports this and gives the children great confidence. We use web-based applications, like Scratch and Kodu, to develop games and animations; investigate drawing shapes using logo; and send our ‘team’ of Bee-Bots (floor robots) on missions to develop and create our own programs. A recent purchase of 15 crumble kits also allows the children to put their coding into practice and see the results. We are planning to add more components to our class kit soon.
If you would like to know more about how crumble kits can be used in school: