Our children must be prepared for the rapidly changing world we live in. Some of the jobs that our children may be applying for in the future may not even exist yet, but we are certain that technology will play a pivotal role within these jobs. This is a challenge that we aim to prepare our children for with our computing curriculum. Where possible, we aim to incorporate computing with other subjects throughout the curriculum, such as maths, literacy, science, history, geography and design and technology, where relevant. Most importantly though, we acknowledge that these technological skills must mainly be taught in full computing lessons, which the children participate in each week by progressing through the Purple Mash scheme of learning. Each strand of the computing curriculum is important for our children to access and become competent in, and so this year specific scheme of learning is integral in developing these skills as the children move up the school.
Computer science is integral for our children to understand and use programming effectively so that later on in school they are able to debug and use programs that achieve specific goals.
Information technology is built upon this foundation; we aim for our children to build and develop a good understanding of computer networks, including the internet which plays such a prominent role in most of their lives. This will enable the children to use information technology effectively.
Digital literacy is essential for our children to know how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. We strive to make our children aware of how their digital footprint could affect their prospects in the future when applying for jobs and that when we use technology we should be implementing our Gospel Virtues into our behaviour as we would outside of technological communication.
The three areas of the computing curriculum are covered both discretely and cross-curricular. In Key Stage 1, children are given the experience of using technology and are taught the basics of the curriculum. They are introduced to algorithms through coding and given ample opportunities to debug and create programs through the Purple Mash scheme as well as practical activities within other subjects, developing their problem solving skills. They are taught about how to use computers safely and responsibly, as well as how a computer network can help and support their learning in other subjects.
In Key Stage 2, the development continues as the children design and debug programs with increasing purposes through the year-specific Purple Mash lessons and activities within other subjects. The children use computer networks and programs to research and present some of their own work to others and they build their understanding of digital literacy so that they have strategies to use when faced with an online safety issue, for example; online bullying through gaming and social media.
In regards to EYFS, there are lots of opportunities of the children to develop their knowledge and experience of technology. Children are given lessons on how to use technological equipment safely and how they can be used to find information or access age-appropriate programs. They are then given access to use said equipment within the classroom, for example laptops, tablets, interactive whiteboards and bee bots. Purple Mash also offer an EYFS version called Mini-Mash which is used where relevant within class.
Having spoken to the children at Christ the King, it is clear that they enjoy computing. We aim to preserve this enthusiasm. Our children are becoming more confident to use technology to aid their learning, both at school and at home, particularly after the periods of home-learning during lockdown. The children’s understanding of digital literacy is developing well and is very prominent when discussing how to use technology with the children during pupil interviews and class discussions. The children are using technology in school and at home more often, both in computing and in other subjects, and this has helped to develop their knowledge of how to use it responsibly. There is a clear progression of skills over the Key Stages demonstrated within each year group’s individual assessment goals. The more computing is taught within a class, the more competent the children become in all three strands of the computing curriculum. Moving forward, we as a school need to gather more resources for each class, such as laptops, and ensure that computing is implemented into other subjects where possible, to enable this impact to continue.
Progression of Skills
As a school, we use the Purple Mash scheme to deliver our Computing curriculum. Please see Progression of Skills PDF above, to find out about how the computing skills progress through each unit and year group.