At Gislingham, we understand the immense value that technology plays not only in supporting the Computing and whole school curriculum but overall in the day-to-day life of our school. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Computing whilst also providing enhanced collaborative learning opportunities, engagement in rich content and supporting pupil’s conceptual understanding of new concepts which support the needs of all our pupils.
We aspire to provide our pupils with a high-quality education in computing which provides access to an ever changing and expanding digital world. We wish to develop a love of computing and provide children with the ability to enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding through different types of media whilst keeping safety at the forefront of their minds. We believe that this will give our children the tools they need to succeed in a digital world. In regards to online safety, children will recognise what information is personal to them and who and when it is safe to share it. To do this effectively, children must have a clear understanding of the meaning of personal information and recognise their own responsibility in safeguarding this. Children will be taught about their digital footprint and where to seek support and advice should they need it. We believe a strong understanding of these things will enable children to access modern technologies and communicate effectively whilst developing an ever increasing understanding of how to keep themselves safe from evolving dangers in the digital world. We want children to become digitally literate by developing a range of transferable skills which can make them active participants in a digital world and prepare them for the world of work. We aim to encourage children to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through a range of information technology. A core aspect of our computing teaching will be the teaching of 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. We aim to make explicit links to maths, science and design and technology.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in computing, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school and is in line with the National Curriculum requirements for KS1 and KS2 and the Foundation Stage Curriculum in England. This provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each key stage.
Teachers plan using our Computing Knowledge and Skills Progression document. This is broken down into three strands that make up the computing curriculum. These are Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Computer Science underlines the knowledge and skills relating to programming, coding, algorithms and computational thinking. Information Technology underlines the knowledge and skills relating to communication, multimedia and data representation and handling. Digital Literacy underlines the knowledge and skills relating to online safety and technology uses. We use the Purple Mash scheme of work from Year 1-6 as it enables clear coverage of the computing curriculum and ensures consistency and progression throughout the school. This is adapted as necessary to ensure that pupils gain experience in other everyday applications like Microsoft Office, using Excel and Powerpoint for example.
Computing lessons are broken down into weekly units, usually with two units taught per half-term. Repetition of a unit does not mean pupils are repeating an activity, it simply means pupils are building on established skills whilst also embedding previous concepts. Units are practical and engaging and allow computing lessons to be hands on. Units cover a broad range of computing components such as coding, spreadsheets, internet and email, databases, communication networks, touch typing, animation and online safety. In addition to pupils studying online safety units through their computing lessons, every year we also take part in the National Internet Safety Day in February. The Computing lead alongside class teachers will plan additional internet safety lessons and activities to take part in following a specific yearly theme. Internet Safety assemblies are also held as well as parent internet safety workshops. Parents are also made aware of current e-safety issues through regular newsletters.
Pupils are fully encouraged to engage with ICT and technology outside of school. Each pupil has their own unique Purple Mash login and password. Computing work can be stored and saved using pupil log in details and homework or ‘2do’s’ can also be set for pupils to access and complete tasks at home that link with their current class learning.
Alongside our curriculum provision, pupils at Gislingham also have the opportunity to participate in a weekly Coding Club run by the Computing subject leader. This club aims to give children the opportunity to learn to advance their coding skills through projects, creating games, animations and web pages using Scratch, Python or HTML/CSS.
Children will have developed the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them access and use a range of technology in a safe and creative way. Children will have developed skills that equip them to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Children’s skills will have progressed to enable them to not only have met the requirements of the National Curriculum but to also enjoy using technology to develop knowledge and ideas as well as express themselves safely and creatively as responsible citizens.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
Work scrutinies in staff meetings with opportunities for dialogue between teachers
Photo evidence and images of the pupils practical learning
A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes.
Learning walks and reflective staff feedback (teacher voice).