Our vision at Birchwood Primary is that all pupils should enjoy Computing and become confident and responsible users of technology both inside and outside of school. Through interesting, relevant and inclusive lessons, they will be able to leave Year 6 with a good understanding of how computers and the Internet work, along with being able to complete tasks on them creatively, independently and reflectively for a range of purposes and audiences.
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 want our pupils to be creators, not just consumers of content and our broad curriculum encompassing ‘Coding & Computational Thinking’, ‘Information Technology’, ‘Computing Systems & Networks’ and ‘Online Safety’ reflects this.
Technology provides accessibility opportunities for our pupils and also allows them to share their learning in creative ways. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their skills creatively which will in turn help our pupils become proficient computer scientists.
Computing skills are taught explicitly, with every pupil receiving dedicated Computing lessons throughout each half-term. Each half-term has a focus on either Information Technology, Coding & Computational Thinking or Computing Systems & Networks with Online Safety lessons also taught using a ‘little and often’ approach during each half-term. The skills acquired are then embedded throughout the curriculum.
Learning is sequenced to build substantive knowledge, disciplinary knowledge and vocabulary. Throughout units of work teachers encourage children to make links between past learning and new content. We recognise prior learning and build on it with memorable learning experiences and provide targeted support where necessary. The units address the requirements of the National Curriculum and are broken down to cover all elements of the different strands of Computing.
Alongside our Computing advisor, we have created a comprehensive curriculum to best embed and cover all elements of the Primary Computing curriculum. The progression builds year on year to deepen and challenge our learners. We use Purple Mash as the core of our curriculum tied with Teach Computing and activities from both Project Evolve and Barefoot Computing to create a comprehensive curriculum providing full curriculum coverage and a variety of skills for our children.
Purple Mash is a child friendly computing system that mirrors a lot of programmes seen in the ‘real’ word. By using Purple Mash we are exposing the children to real-word systems but giving them freedom to explore using a child-friendly interface. Purple Mash is used for most ‘Information Technology’ lessons and also provides a clear progression in ‘Coding & Computational Thinking’ for our KS1 and KS2 pupils through the use of 2Code.
We believe that the Teach Computing curriculum is the best resource for delivering the ‘theory’ element of the curriculum and helping children to understand ‘how things work’ and so we use this for the ‘Computing Systems & Networks’ strand of the curriculum. Some of the Teach Computing Units are also used with KS1 pupils to introduce them to coding robots and to give a physical output for their programs.
Barefoot Computing provides some great ‘unplugged’ lessons for EYFS pupils, and we have utilised this resource by including half-termly activities which introduce our youngest children to the concepts of coding.
‘Online Safety’ lessons are mapped to the ‘Education for a Connected World’ framework and some of these activities are reinforced via PSHE lessons and during assemblies. We have identified Project Evolve as the best resource to deliver our Online Safety lessons and to cover the requirements of the Education for a Connected World framework. Each half-term has a focus on a specific strand of the Education for a Connected World framework, with ‘Online Bullying’ then covered additionally during the week of ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ week in Autumn each year and ‘Online Relationships’ covered additionally during the week of ‘Safer Internet Day’ in Spring.
We carefully considered and then picked these different resources as we believe they best cover and deliver each of the individual strands of Primary Computing. This has helped create a cohesive structure with clear activities that match our progression of skills documents.
Through the explicit teaching of Computing skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the units. To help children get to a deep level of understanding we use quizzes and knowledge organisers that we return to again and again. This is known as interleaving. The knowledge organisers outline what we want the children to know within each unit.
The impact of our Computing curriculum is that we provide pupils with a set of skills to embed a lifelong love of learning and that they build on the knowledge and skills from previous learning. We ensure that every child can become a confident user of technology, while being able to use it to accomplish a wide variety of goals, both at home and in school. Children will have a secure and comprehensive knowledge of how technology works in the world around them and will develop their understanding of how to deal with online situations safely. Children will become confident global citizens.