It is the Digital age, where most aspect of our lives is consumed by technological devices and our Computing Curriculum aims to prepare children for this incredible and limitless age. At Greenmount Primary School, we regard our Computing Curriculum as a fundamental aspect of our pupils’ wholesome learning experience and development; it helps them develop a wide range of skills (reasoning, critical thinking, analysing, processing information etc.) essential for the future.
Computer technology is a vital part of modern day life; therefore, it provides a wealth of learning opportunities, particularly within computing and also across other curriculum subjects. Computing enables children to develop a wide range of fundamental skills, knowledge, and understanding that they will need for the rest of their lives. Computers and technological devices have become an integral part of our everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our daily lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational Thinking’ is a skill children must be taught in order to provide them with adequate skills and knowledge that will enable them to creatively participate and effectively engage in the digital world.
The new national curriculum defines three clear aspects of computing curriculum: Computer Science (CS), Information Technology (IT) and Digital Literacy (DL). Children will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding in each area from the Foundation Stage to Year 6.
The aims of teaching Computing, as outlined in the national curriculum are 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 Greenmount, we use a range of resources to achieve the objectives set out in the national curriculum and each Year groups Age-related Expectation.
In Key Stage 1 the children will learn to understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. They will be taught to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. They will be shown how to use a range of technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school. They will be taught to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. Each of these skills will be taught through exciting half termly units.
In Key Stage 2 the children will design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. They will use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs. Children will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. They will use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Children will be taught to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems, and content that accomplish given goals. They will use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable /unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Progression in computing will be assessed throughout each key stage through the children’s ability to know, apply and understand the matters, skills, and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. We assess the children through:
• Observing children at work during cross-curricular learning which involves computational thinking and resources.
• Questioning the children in relation to their programme of study in order to assess their understanding and comprehension.
• Assessment/marking the work produced by the children and discussion of their next steps.
A report of the children’s progress will be detailed in their annual reports.