Why we teach Computing
In a world that relies on technology and is driven by computers, tablets and many other devices, it is important that our children learn the skills they need to access information and embrace the digital age we live in. A computer has become part of our daily lives and so the skills that underpin how to use them have become fundamental from a very young age. Developing computational thinking in learners will help them make sense of and contribute to the society they will live in as adults.
All technology is programmed to operate in a particular way and it is through the teaching of these skills that children can themselves write programs and understand how different platforms interact with one another. Computers allow us to connect and communicate with others around the world, seek information, record and share ideas as well as enhance learning through opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
It is important that children are taught how to use technologies safely and understand the risks involved and so this forms an important part of our learning and also helps children to be critical of information they read online.
How we teach Computing
Our Curriculum Drivers in Computing
As our children learn to take care of themselves, it is important that they understand how they can do this online. In a digital world, our children can be exposed to many different things and it is important that they are equipped with the skills needed to make an analytical decision about the accuracy of what they are being presented with. Children are taught to become independent in their use of technologies, from programming simple robots and understanding how this is done from a simple algorithm - to writing simple programs and moving characters around a screen.
The use of laptops and tablets can be invaluable when completing research - it helps the children to connect to the world around them and explore locations in other countries that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to visit. Through sending emails and learning to communicate with others, understanding protocols for this and learning how to stay connected safely.
Cause, consequence and reasons for change are explored through a process of critical thinking and evaluation of evidence. It is important that children understand how technology has evolved and that although it has enhanced communications in many ways, it has both limitations and risks.
Linking the changes to the everyday lives of the children and how they benefit from what has happened in the past, is also important, giving the children perspective.
Our children develop as scientific thinkers, learning to investigate, compare, evaluate and analyse.
How our curriculum is structured
Our Computing curriculum follows the requirements of the EYFS Framework and the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum programme of study. We help children to develop skills of computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. This is taught through discrete, as well as topic-related, learning opportunities.
Our curriculum is based on the principles of a curriculum that makes links between Science, Mathematics and Design Technology and at its core is the teaching of Computer Science. From this children are supported to become digitally literate, with the skills to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technologies.
Children in Year R learn to recognise that there is technology all around them and that some technologies are chosen for a specific purpose. They begin to explore how computers can be used safely and enjoy becoming independent in simple tasks such as using a mouse/ touchscreen as well as taking photos.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage One builds on the knowledge gained in the Early Years and allows pupils to begin discovering more about computers and how they work. They begin by focussing on how to create simple sequences of instructions to program a floor robot, understanding how changes to the sequence of instructions will result in the robot moving in a different direction.
They investigate how different technology can be used to communicate and practise using a keyboard to type and record their ideas - they then learn how to retrieve content that they have saved. They also explore ways of creating stop-go animations and trying out other hardware such as cameras.
Key Stage 2
Developing children’s independent learning in computing is a fundamental part of our Key Stage Two curriculum and we balance this with ensuring children become aware of their own digital footprint - understanding how important it is to remain safe online. Children use the skills they have already developed earlier on to write more complex codes and sequences to move screen characters around. They use different tools for research to support their learning in other areas and also learn about different ways of presenting information and data.