'Technology is best when it brings people together.'
Here at St. Thomas’ CE Primary Academy, we believe that our ambitious computing curriculum will build children’s knowledge and skills in order to prepare them for the future. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in children’s lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology 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. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. 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 skilful computer scientists. We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. 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 fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
Computing is taught throughout the academic year as a discrete subject in every year group in key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Using a spiral approach, it is taught through the specific concepts of communicate and connect, code and create.
Fundamental Knowledge and Skills within the EYFS
At St Thomas’ CE Primary Academy, we recognise that children grow up surrounded by technology. Their everyday interactions and experiences involve it, whether that is inside their homes, at school, out shopping or playing. Their world is an ever-changing digital world. We owe it to our children to prepare them for living in it. Therefore, in the EYFS the children use technology across the curriculum. They use iPads for taking photos and documenting their independent learning, creating pictures and for playing learning games. They also compare old and new technology. Throughout the EYFS, the children identify key technology in school and at home. Also, the children are equipped with the early skills to know how to keep themselves safe and use technology in a positive way.
Key Stage One and Two Concepts:
Connect and Communicate
Connect means to bring together or into contact so that a link is established.
Communicate means to share or exchange information, news or ideas.
Children need to develop an understanding of how to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity. They need to develop an understanding of how computers and other technology devices can be used to communicate ideas safely and effectively.
The arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program.
Children need to develop an understanding of instructions, logic and sequences. They need to develop a competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes.
To bring something into existence.
Children need to understand how computers can be used to create a range of different documents that are used in the wider world and in the work place. Children need to know how to use a range of programs and tools effectively. They need to be able to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively. Children need to evaluate when a computer program is the best method to use or when an alternative method is more appropriate.
The teaching and learning facilitates progression of skills and knowledge within the three key areas of computer science, information technology and digital literacy in line with the National Curriculum. Each unit always begins with a ‘Big Question’ that is revisited and discussed through the term whilst broadening and widening vocabulary. Children have access to the hardware (laptops, iPads, programmable equipment, including BeeBots) and software that they need to apply their knowledge and skills. Opportunities are taken to use technology in other subject areas in order for children to further develop their computing skills and recognise the transferrable nature of them.
E-safety underpins our entire computing curriculum and is threaded through every lesson. Here at St Thomas’ Primary Academy we have become a National Online Safety school and staff access high quality resources and training through their website. Across all year groups, children learn how to use technology safely, allowing children to become familiar with how to respectfully and responsibly use technology, understand acceptable and unacceptable behaviour online and how to report concerns. Key awareness days are also prioritised within the academic year.
As a result of our ambitious computing curriculum at St Thomas’ Primary Academy, we want all children to be prepared for Key Stage 3 and in later life. Computing learning and I.C.T skills which we teach our children will enable them to embrace changes in technology as they grow. Being digitally literate, being able to program, code, type and use a range of devices will enable our children to succeed in later life with the inevitable technological advances of the future. 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.