National Curriculum Purpose of Study
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
At Houghton we recognise that our pupils are growing up in a world where technology is developing rapidly and is quickly becoming embedded within their everyday experiences. Our curriculum has been created around the belief that in order to thrive in their future lives, pupils need to be taught the skills to grow as responsible, confident and discerning users of technology who treat others and their intellectual property with respect.
Within our Computing curriculum, we aim to promote our pupils’ independent problem solving skills and resilience along with their ability to manage risk. We make links within the wider curriculum to create opportunities for meaningful and creative learning which celebrates creativity and originality. We wish to inspire and empower our students to be confident, creative and active participants in the digital age.
We take every opportunity to ensure that our school curriculum drivers of oracy and enquiry remain central to our approach for this subject area and plan opportunities for enterprise where appropriate.
At Houghton Primary School we follow the National Curriculum Computing programmes of study, but aim to develop the children’s computer literacy further by making purposeful and appropriate links to the full curriculum. Our Computing curriculum is focused on a progression of skills in computing science, digital literacy, information technology and online safety. These strands are revisited repeatedly during our children’s time in school to ensure their learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed.
We aim to give the children a variety of online and digital experiences and opportunities within a safe and secure learning environment. We subscribe to the secure cloud based learning platform Purple Mash. This platform allows our pupils safe access to email and blogging facilities: we also utilise the creative software available on the platform to enhance learning and embed computing skills throughout the curriculum – for example using music creation software, animation apps, graphing tools and painting software . The platform also allows the children to securely share their work with classmates through the use of notice boards, enabling further real-life collaborative and evaluative opportunities.
The programming aspects of the curriculum are taught predominantly through the app 2Code in KS1 and Lower KS2; within this the children are given progressingly challenging structured and free coding opportunities using this block based coding program. In Upper KS2 pupils are introduced to other coding programs including Scratch and Micro:bits to develop varied coding experience in preparation for secondary school.
Our school is resourced with PCs, laptops, ipads and a variety of other hardware resources to enable the teaching of computing. Technical support is provided by an external contractor on a fortnightly basis. Teachers and support staff access CPD from our computing lead and external providers.
Investigating how the Internet works!
Assessment of computing skills is ongoing (formative) during lessons. Teachers use the skills statements to assess and use this responsively to support children as necessary.
At the end of each unit teachers assess children’s knowledge through low stakes quizzes and similar activities. Knowledge is revisited over the course of the year to support long term memory and retrieval.
Houghton Primary School
Chapel Lane, Houghton,
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