Computing

Pupils should 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.

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous of instructions
  • create and debug simple programs
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about context or contact on the internet or other online technologies
  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
  • understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content, that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
  • Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact

Gawthorpe context:

We know that the children in our community have limited access to a wide variety of technology, predominantly using it for gaming. Online Safety is a high priority for us as this has historically been a concern in our community. We are aware of a digital divide due to our community been mostly low income households.

Computer is not a device anymore.  It is an extension of your mind and your gateway to other people- Mark Shuttlesworth

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid: humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination- Albert Einstein.

Computing Statement of Intent

We have created a comprehensive progression document for staff to follow to best embed and cover every element of the computing curriculum. The knowledge/skills statements build year on year to deepen the understanding of our learners. All staff are aware of their year group expectations, and what comes prior/next in order to maximise pupil progress. In order to reduce teacher workload for non-specialist staff, we use the ‘Twinkl’ unit of work from Year 1 to Year 6 to meet the aims of the National Curriculum in the form of a long-term plan as well as planned iPad sessions that expand learners knowledge. In addition to the core teaching of computing skills, further opportunities to utilise technology are carefully planned into the wider curriculum to ensure children recognise how technology can enhance their schooling e.g. using word processing in English, using spreadsheets in science and using online platforms to record, and reflect upon, their work. To provide early experiences of technology, children within the Early Years Foundation stage are provided with opportunities to handle technology purposefully such as using BeeBots and tablets as an early opportunity for programming and the iPads/interactive whiteboard to capture and display their learning. As children progress into Key Stage 1, weekly lessons are timetabled which allow children to explore the computing curriculum from the ‘Twinkl’ unit of work. This introduces them to a more formal approach to the curriculum that introduces them to the three strands of computing: digital literacy, computer science and information technology.  At Gawthorpe Community Academy, we feel the majority of computing should be embedded across the curriculum. Each week, we aim to provide, an ‘Explicit Computer Science’ lesson or ‘A Tinkering Session’. The computer science part of the computing curriculum will often, but not always, need a more explicit approach, but that is not to say it can’t be embedded across the curriculum. A ‘tinkering session’ looks at introducing a new app or tool and giving children opportunity to experiment and familiarise themselves with the different elements and tools before it can be applied in a more focused approach across the curriculum. For example: If a class were covering Victorian’s in Year 6 and exploring how the Victorian era was a time of huge industrial change, I could set the children the task of creating a video explaining this. First, the children may want to research some more information about the industrial revolution. This would involve covering some Digital Literacy: Managing Online Information: – • I can use search technologies effectively. • I can explain how search engines work and how results are selected and ranked. • I can demonstrate the strategies I would apply to be discerning in evaluating digital content. • I can describe how some online information can be opinion and can offer examples. If the pupils were to then create a video using an app such as Adobe Spark Video to demonstrate their learning, they would be covering some of the Information Technology: Video Creation – • I can create videos using a range of media – green screen, animations, film and image. If the pupils were to then upload or publish their work on a blog or platform such as Seesaw, we would also be covering this objective from Information Technology: Word Processing objectives – • I can publish my documents online regularly and discuss the audience and purpose of my content. Even though this would be a History lesson, we would be covering a large variety of computing objectives therefore if we need to spend more time on other subjects that week, we are still covering computing without having a timetabled computing session. This is the way we want computing delivered in our school, embedded to allow learning to be more accessible and allow learners to be more creative in demonstrating their learning.

Implementation

At Gawthorpe Community Academy, we feel the majority of computing should be embedded across the curriculum. Each week, we aim to provide, an ‘Explicit Computer Science’ lesson or ‘A Tinkering Session’. The computer science part of the computing curriculum will often, but not always, need a more explicit approach, but that is not to say it can’t be embedded across the curriculum. A ‘tinkering session’ looks at introducing a new app or tool and giving children opportunity to experiment and familiarise themselves with the different elements and tools before it can be applied in a more focused approach across the curriculum. For example: If a class were covering Victorian’s in Year 6 and exploring how the Victorian era was a time of huge industrial change, I could set the children the task of creating a video explaining this. First, the children may want to research some more information about the industrial revolution. This would involve covering some Digital Literacy: Managing Online Information: – • I can use search technologies effectively. • I can explain how search engines work and how results are selected and ranked. • I can demonstrate the strategies I would apply to be discerning in evaluating digital content. • I can describe how some online information can be opinion and can offer examples. If the pupils were to then create a video using an app such as Adobe Spark Video to demonstrate their learning, they would be covering some of the Information Technology: Video Creation – • I can create videos using a range of media – green screen, animations, film and image. If the pupils were to then upload or publish their work on a blog or platform such as Seesaw, we would also be covering this objective from Information Technology: Word Processing objectives – • I can publish my documents online regularly and discuss the audience and purpose of my content. Even though this would be a History lesson, we would be covering a large variety of computing objectives therefore if we need to spend more time on other subjects that week, we are still covering computing without having a timetabled computing session. This is the way we want computing delivered in our school, embedded to allow learning to be more accessible and allow learners to be more creative in demonstrating their learning.

Impact

We encourage our children to enjoy the curriculum we deliver. We want learners to appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style.  At Gawthorpe, 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. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to embed and understand this. The way pupils share and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through Seesaw and observing learning regularly. Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes.