At St. Paul’s, we aim to prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students' lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We aim to provide them with an excellent foundation on which they can build their digital knowledge. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this.
We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the joy which technology brings to children and we hope to encompass this joy and use it to enhance their learning. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides many cross curricular opportunities. 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.
Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively and 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 our school we have embedded computing across the curriculum. All children in KS2 are allocated their own Chromebook which they use throughout the year. This provides many opportunities to incorporate computing throughout the curriculum, from Maths, English and Topic.
If a class was covering the topic “The Great Abyss” in Year 4 and we were exploring the layers of the ocean we could set the kids an assignment to create a slideshow or animation to show the layers. First, the children may want to research some more information about the ocean layers which would involve covering some Digital Literacy curriculum goals:
- To know how to use search technologies effectively.
- To know how to explain how search engines work and how results are selected and ranked.
- To know how to demonstrate the strategies I would apply to be discerning in evaluating digital content.
- To know how to describe how some online information can be opinion and can offer examples.
As a school we also run the ProjectEVOLVE online safety framework. This is a wonderful tool to support teachers when teaching online safety. It provides the teachers with opportunities to assess and plan according to the results. ProjectEVOLVE also provides a clear framework to follow with resources that are consistent throughout KS1-KS2. ProjectEVOLVE resources each of the 330 statements from UK Council for Internet Safety's (UKCIS) framework “Education for a Connected World” with perspectives; research; activities; outcomes; supporting resources and professional development materials (ProjectEVOLVE). This ensures the children are given an excellent foundation for developing their online learning, enabling that the following curriculum goals are met:
- 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.
- To use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Pupils are given opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. They can create a video using an app such as Adobe Spark Video or Renderforest® to demonstrate their learning. Or they can choose to research and publish their work on a blog or platform such as GoogleSites. This ensures that the following curriculum goals from Information Technology:
- To use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- To 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
Even though this would be a Science/Geography lesson, we would be covering a fair few 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. In this way we are embedding the computing curriculum across many subjects in order to allow learning to be more accessible and allow learners to be more creative in demonstrating their learning.
Information Technology can be seen throughout the school on a daily basis whenever the children turn on their Chromebooks or charge them. Even when we use out Virtual Reality devices the children are not only learning about the topic covered but also how VR and technology can be used to supplement their learning. When children are taught statistics in Maths (or during science lessons) they children get an opportunity to use digital measuring devices and use spreadsheets to manipulate and analyse their data.
In order to ensure the National Curriculum requirements for Computer Science are covered the children get coding lessons alongside Maths (reasoning & computational thinking) and Topic. The Bebras Challenge is a way to incorporate computational thinking into Maths lessons across both KS1 and KS2.
In KS1 the children get opportunities to use BeeBots® within their Topic lessons as a way to ensure the following Computer Science curriculum goals are met:
- To understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- To create and debug simple programs
- To use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
In KS2 children get the opportunity for an expert teacher to teach them Computing (specifically Computer Science). The use of Turtle Academy, Scratch®, Crumble Kits, Micro:Bits and InoBots ensures the children get a broad computer science coverage in order met the Computer Science curriculum goals:
- To design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- To use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
- To use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and 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. 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.
The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate 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 tools like Google Drive and Nearpod and observing learning regularly. Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.
Knowledge and Skills Map