"Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living." – Nicholas Negroponte
St Mary’s computing curriculum intent takes into consideration:
- The ethos, vision, and values of our school.
- The specific areas of development for our school.
- Relevant national strategies.
- What we want the children to learn.
Our computing curriculum aims to instil a sense of enjoyment around using technology and to develop pupil’s appreciation of its capabilities and the opportunities technology offers to, create, manage, organise, and collaborate. Tinkering ‘with software and programs forms a part of the ethos of the scheme as we want to develop pupils’ confidence when encountering new technology, which is a vital skill in the ever evolving and changing landscape of technology. Through our curriculum, we intend for pupils not only to be digitally competent and have a range of transferable skills at a suitable level for the future workplace, but also to be responsible online citizens.
The curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of Key Stage Attainment targets outlined in the National curriculum and the aims align with those in the National curriculum.
The National curriculum purpose of study states:
"The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems, and a range of content. Computing 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."
Therefore, our curriculum is designed with three strands which run throughout:
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Digital literacy
Our ‘National Curriculum Mapping’ document shows which of our units cover each of the national curriculum attainment targets as well as each of these three strands.
Our ‘Progression of Skills’ shows the skills that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop year on year to ensure attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage.
Our curriculum is organised into five key areas, creating a cyclical route through which pupils can develop their computing knowledge and skills by revisiting and building on previous learning:
- Computer systems and networks
- Creating media
- Data handling
- Online safety
The implementation of computing ensures a broad and balanced coverage of the National curriculum requirements, and our ‘Skills showcase’ units provide pupils with the opportunity to learn and apply transferable skills. Where meaningful, units have been created to link to other subjects such as science, art, and music to enable the development of further transferable skills and genuine cross curricular learning.
Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as unplugged and digital activities. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.
The impact of our curriculum can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson provides an opportunity for teachers to assess pupils against the learning objectives and each unit has a unit quiz and knowledge catcher which can be used at the start and/ or end of the unit.
After the implementation of the computing curriculum, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and be active participants in the ever-increasing digital world.
The expected impact of our curriculum is that children will:
- Be critical thinkers and able to understand how to make informed and appropriate digital choices in the future.
- Understand the importance that computing will have going forward in both their educational and working life and in their social and personal futures.
- Understand how to balance time spent on technology and time spent away from it in a healthy and appropriate manner.
- Understand that technology helps to showcase their ideas and creativity. They will know that different types of software and hardware can help them achieve a broad variety of artistic and practical aims.
- Show a clear progression of technical skills across all areas of the National curriculum - computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
- Be able to use technology both individually and as part of a collaborative team.
- Be aware of online safety issues and protocols and be able to deal with any problems in a responsible and appropriate manner.
- Have an awareness of developments in technology and have an idea of how current technologies work and relate to one another.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Computing.