Our aim is to provide a varied, enjoyable, and challenging Computing curriculum for all children at Gastrells, which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum programmes of study for Computing. The Computing Subject Lead and leadership team support staff to deliver an engaging, progressive and positive experience of computing education, which is both relevant to pupils’ experiences and also aimed to equip them with key skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject, upon which they can build after leaving the school.
The National Curriculum for Computing (Department for Education 2014) 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, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
The Computing Scheme of Work is aimed to ensure that, by the time they leave Gastrells, children will have developed knowledge and skills across all 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)
- Digital Literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely).
As part of the broad and balanced education provided for pupils at Gastrells, the regular experience of using lap tops and ipads in teaching and cross curricular learning activities is aimed to provide children with varied opportunities to experience and explore a range of software packages in practical applications of their developing computer skills and knowledge. Our aim thereby is to enable children as independent learners with confidence to participate positively in a rapidly-changing world in which all aspects of daily life are being constantly transformed by technology.
Computing is taught both through discrete Computing lessons, targeted to deliver the learning aims and objectives set out in units of learning in the Computing Scheme of Work, as well as cross curricular activities and applications of ICT, which serve to further develop and enrich children’s computer literacy, skills and understanding in the subject. Teachers at Gastrells use the Computing Scheme of Work published by Knowsley City Learning Centres to plan Computing lessons. The Scheme of Work is also used to ensure coverage of Computing Curriculum objectives when linking the use of computers, or computational and sequential thinking, to enable and enrich learning in other subjects. This also means that teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in Computing when teaching other curriculum areas, and supports varied paces of learning, ensuring that all pupils make good progress.
The Scheme of Work sets out plans and activities for the delivery of the Computing Curriculum for an academic year for each year group across Key Stages 1 & 2, from EYFS to Year 6, and ensures progressive learning that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum requirements for Computing. The implementation of the curriculum through the Scheme of Work ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Children will have experiences of all three strands in each academic year, with progressive development in skills and knowledge throughout their time at the school.
Pupils and teachers at Gastrells have access to both laptop computers and iPads to enrich their experience of Computing and learning across the curriculum. Through this access, pupils gain a broad experience of different operating systems and a variety of software and applications. Pupils have opportunity to complete homework and project work using ICT, and to email projects in electronic form. All teachers regularly share learning experiences and celebrate achievements on class internet blogs, and pupils are encouraged to interact and exchange from home using web-based programs, such as Times Table Rock Stars, Charanga Music and Code.org, encouraging parental involvement and enhancing pupils’ confidence in the subject.
Our approach to the Computing curriculum results in a positive, engaging, and broad ranging computing education. Pupils at Gastrells are confident and enthusiastic in using ICT, and leave the school able to apply their experience and skills in computing to support them as independent learners. Computing at Gastrells gives children a foundation in the subject to build upon, that will enable them to engage positively and safely in the modern, digital world in the next stage of their lives. Knowledge developed in computing lessons at Gastrells equips pupils with experiences which will be increasingly essential in secondary school, further education and employment: critical thinking, sequential analysis, and problem solving; use and application of presentation and creative software tools; applying computer technology as a means to develop, research and communicate ideas and information.