At Francis Askew Primary School, we strive to deliver a high-quality computing curriculum which allows our pupils to recognise the significance of digital technology in their everyday lives. We explicitly teach pupils the skills and knowledge they need to become creative, digitally literate, computational thinkers. We encourage curiosity about digital technology and encourage our pupils to ask questions about the digital systems around them.
Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make ambitious choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In computing, this is promoted through exploring how technology is used in the real world (and how to use it in a safe and responsible way). We ensure all children are exposed to high quality computing teaching and a range of learning experiences – inviting in experts, providing enrichment workshops from external agencies and visits that demonstrate their learning in real world contexts e.g. visits to the science and technology museums. By teaching computing, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals in an increasingly technological society and in the digital community.
At Francis Askew, the teaching of the computing curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become digital citizens. We use the Teach Computing scheme as a basis for computing planning. Alongside this our subject leaders have carefully worked to create a Subject Progression Document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out towards clearly defined end points. This ensures our pupils are given the required skills and knowledge they need to progress. These progressive objectives also enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills.
Pupils will develop a deep understanding of key concepts as they move through our computing curriculum. Key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in computing. These key concepts are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure that knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within their long-term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school reinforcing our 6 broad curriculum drivers (see overall Curriculum Intent).
Substantive knowledge builds progressively to develop children’s understanding of the following key concepts:
Computing systems and networks: (systems, networks and how they are used, the internet, hardware and software)
Programming: (interpreting, creating and evaluating algorithms, programming to accomplish specific goals, detecting and correcting errors)
Data and information: (collecting, analysing, evaluating, presenting data and information)
Creating media: (design and development, communicating and collaborating online, evaluating online content, respectful and responsible communication, presenting, creating content)
As part of the work on each key concept, children also explore and learn about:
The effective use of tools
The impact of technology
Safety and security
Children will also develop their understanding of identified second order concepts through the computing curriculum. These concepts branch across subjects, creating horizontal links across our whole curriculum. They aim to develop flexible knowledge and skills that children can apply to multiple curriculum areas. In computing children will be develop their understanding of the following second order concepts:-
Responsibility: (being safe online, using social media responsibly and respectfully, privacy, cyberbullying)
Similarity and difference: (making comparisons, finding patterns, noting differences and drawing conclusions)
Cause and consequence: (inputs and outputs, programming)
Significance: (significant inventions, significant figures from the world of computing)
Chronology: (changes in technology over time, inventions, future technology)
Written and oral expression: (Using computing terminology, using technology to support and improve communication, using technology to presenting and interpreting data, digital media)
By the end of EYFS pupils will:
Recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.
Be able to select and use technology for particular purposes. This includes operating and completing a range of simple programmes with an understanding of what they can achieve.
By the end of KS1 pupils will:
Have developed the basic skills of computer science to create simple programmes which employ the use of algorithms, with an understanding of what algorithms are.
Be able to find errors in their programmes and predict outcomes.
Know how to keep themselves safe online in a range of ways including how to respond to inappropriate contact and content.
Have a secure understanding and range of information technology skills.
Be able to locate and handle information from a range of digital sources including the online world.
By the end of Key Stage 2 pupils will:
Have developed further skills to create and manipulate programmes, using elements such as variables and debugging to accomplish specific goals.
Have a secure understanding of the role of algorithms and be able to successfully use them.
Have a secure understanding of how to keep themselves safe online. This includes identity and password security, identifying inappropriate and inaccurate content and being aware of cyber-bullying and knowing how to respond to it.
Have a sound knowledge of how to be a positive and responsible member of the online community.
Be able to select and manipulate software and online resources to create their own digital content.
Have a range of skills including being able to analyse, evaluate and present information on a range of devices for specific purposes.
At Francis Askew, our computing curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan. This outlines when key concepts will be taught and revisited (in each Teach Computing unit) and shows how these concepts progressively lead towards children achieving our identified curriculum end points. The long-term plan also enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support children’s retention of knowledge and skills.
Short term planning for computing is informed by the subject’s long-term plan, the Teach Computing Units and Subject Progression Document. Lesson objectives are clear and sequenced so that outcomes are secure and meaningful. Units are organised into a spiral curriculum to ensure key concepts are revisited regularly as pupils move through the school. This ensures each unit builds effectively on prior learning and ensures connections are made between different units to help children know more and remember more.
Children develop their understanding of key concepts in computing through the following domains of knowledge:-
Data and Information
Design and development
Effective Use of Tools
Impact of Technology
Safety and Security
All children have access to the computing curriculum, with work being tailored appropriately for children with SEND – modifying end points so that they are appropriate but remain aspirational. Any child working below their age-related expectation, will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.
The development of children’s oracy is also given a high profile and is promoted through the use of subject specific terminology and vocabulary in computing lessons. When discussing and presenting new knowledge learned within the computing curriculum, children will be directed to specific and progressive vocabulary.
A typical teaching sequence in computing is designed to teach new skills, practise and refine these and give children the opportunity to use and apply them:
Set the learning that is about to take place within the chronology of pupils learning and skill development to date, starting with what the children know, understand, are able to do and able to say.
Specify key vocabulary / new terminology to be used and its meaning.
Develop understanding of the new knowledge or skill
Use and apply new skill or knowledge to achieve a required outcome
Provide opportunities for children to recall and practise new knowledge or skill
Assess and reflect on the learning and skill development that has taken place
Provide further teaching to address any errors/ misconception
At the beginning of each unit and throughout, children revisit prior learning and link this to new concepts being taught. Additionally, at the end of a learning sequence, children reflect on their new learning and skills and there is opportunity for further teaching when knowledge or skills have not been retained.
A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our computing curriculum. Our teaching sequences allow for regular low stakes assessments of how well children are retaining key knowledge and how well they can apply the knowledge and skills learned.
Formative assessments are carried out regularly by teachers during and after each lesson, which inform future planning. Where learning is not secure, additional learning takes place to address this. Additionally, summative assessments are carried out each term by using an internal assessment tool. As a result of these assessment tools, children’s misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge and skills are addressed and additional teaching and support is provided.
Our subject leaders also monitor the effectiveness of the computing curriculum through carrying out regular monitoring evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Curriculum Lead, Senior Leadership and Governors.
The effectiveness of computing is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.