The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
In line with the National Curriculum for Computing, our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education which equips children to use computational thinking and creativity. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Learners will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds and to use computing in cross curricular ways – be it linked to literacy, maths, science, DT/Art and researching and presenting history/geography. .
By the time they leave St Peter’s children will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring a solid grounding for future learning and beyond.
At St Peter’s computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Teachers use a variety of resources and schemes, including Barefoot and J2code, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons. These lessons are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. We have a computing suite and two class sets of ipads, as well as laptops, to ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evident in class books and throughout the curriculum through cross curricular links, with clear progression across the primary phase.
Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equips pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at St Peter’s gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.