At St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School, we recognise that our world is becoming ever more technologically advanced and the way we live our lives is changing all the time. Our Computing curriculum aims to ensure our pupils are well-prepared citizens of the future, it is the ways of computational thinking that will enable our pupils to interact with and create the technologies of tomorrow. Through a rich variety of digital technologies and hardware, project-based learning, and lesson activities, we aim to provide our pupils with a solid foundation of digital literacy that enables them not only to become competent end-users of technology but to develop independence, creativity, resilience, confidence, responsibility, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills.
By end of Key Stage 1, pupils can recognise digital technology in wider society and begin to explore the use and impact of technology in the world around them. They will have grasped a basic understanding of what algorithms are through programming Beebots and understand the importance of precise instructions. Our pupils also learn how to create, edit, save and retrieve digital content using Microsoft applications as well as online software.
By end of Key Stage 2, pupils are confident in using the Internet safely. They understand the plethora of opportunities the Internet has to offer especially for collaboration and communication but equally understand its threats and risks and know procedures to follow if they encounter inappropriate content or behaviour while online. The children are able to comprehend, design, create, and evaluate algorithms and create software to allow computers to solve problems. They understand what a computer is and how its constituent parts function together as a whole, within a network that retrieves and shares information. The children are also able to select and create a range of media for a variety of purposes including animations, podcasts, films, and webpages.
The NCCE units for Key Stage 1 and 2 are based on a spiral curriculum. This means that each of the themes is revisited regularly (at least once in each year group), and pupils revisit each theme through a new unit that consolidates and builds on prior learning within that theme. This style of curriculum design reduces the amount of knowledge lost. Each lesson is sequenced so that it builds on the learning from the previous lesson, and where appropriate, activities are scaffolded so that all pupils can succeed and thrive. Scaffolded activities provide pupils with extra resources, such as visual prompts, to reach the same learning goals as the rest of the class. Exploratory tasks foster a deeper understanding of a concept, encouraging pupils to apply their learning in different contexts and make connections with other learning experiences. As well as scaffolded activities, embedded within the lessons are a range of pedagogical strategies which support making computing topics more accessible.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a relevant, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evidenced on an online platform called Padlet. Leaders and teachers will use a range of information to assess the impact of our Computing Curriculum through analysis of pupil and teacher voice, work samples and learning walks. By the end of Year 6 at St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School, pupils should feel confident in using a range of technology. They should be able to recognise how to keep themselves safe online, and they should understand the importance of being an exceptionally good digital citizen. Pupils should have a sound knowledge of up-to-date technologies and how they can be used to enhance their learning and the curriculum.
Pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology including Beebots, iPads, laptops, cameras, crumble kits and interactive whiteboards which allow them to continually improve and develop their ideas and skills. The sequence of learning develops pupils’ understanding of how digital technology and other computational systems are designed, programmed, and operated. As pupils progress through the school and build upon their computational thinking skills they then feel confident in drawing upon familiar and unfamiliar technology and software.
At St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School, we also believe that Computing enhances our teaching and learning in invaluable ways and so we aim to use our computing skills in as many subjects as possible. Through allowing computing to be used in creative ways across the curriculum, pupils recognise the benefits of becoming digitally literate for both their present and future selves. Not only are the ideas of Computing applied to the wider curriculum, they are also applied to the understanding of real-world systems and products. We encourage pupils to be creative, innovative, purposeful, and resourceful in all of their endeavours – we believe that being critical thinkers who are digitally literate will empower our pupils to strive for all of these traits.
From EYFS through to KS2 the pupils of St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School are taught how to use digital technology safely, respectfully, and responsibly. Younger pupils are regularly taught what to do if something makes them feel uncomfortable whilst using technology. As our pupils progress through the school they learn the importance of keeping personal information private. We pride ourselves in our pupils’ ability to recognise differences between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour online and how to approach this. Pupils learn from EYFS where they can go for help and support when they have concerns about content. KS2 pupils are able to recognise a range of ways to disclose concerns about content and uncomfortable experiences when using technological devices.
From the moment the children enter the EYFS setting they have the opportunity to use a range of technology, from using iPads, to scanning QR codes to listen to stories and using the interactive whiteboard to showcase their learning. The pupils in EYFS also have access to talking tins, which enable them to listen to instructions from the teacher, as well as recording their own ideas/ stories to aid with sentence writing. We also provide pupils with defunct IT equipment to encourage them to construct their own imaginative role-play scenarios. Pupils in EYFS are also given the opportunity to use programmable toys to enhance multiple areas of the curriculum. Through exposing pupils in EYFS to a range of digital technology, we are ensuring they understand the world around them whilst ensuring that they are building skills to aid them in key stage learning.
Pupils continue to recognise digital technology in the wider society and they begin to explore the use and impact of technology in the world around them. They gain an understanding of what algorithms are, how they are used as programmes on digital devices and the importance of precise instructions. With this knowledge our KS1 pupils create and debug simple programs, they also programme robotic toys while predicting the outcome of simple algorithms. Our pupils also begin to learn how to create, edit, store, and retrieve digital content using apps and online software.
In KS2 pupils are confident in their safe use of the internet, and they understand the opportunities the World Wide Web offers for collaboration and communication. They learn about the various search engines available to them and how these computing networks communicate with each other and the user. Pupils acquire a secure understanding and ability to engage with a range of programs, software, devices, and websites through lessons that are underpinned with the principles of Digital Literacy and Online Safety with safe and best practices referenced whenever appropriate.
Pupils also continue to develop and expand their knowledge of computational systems and digital technology. Pupils in KS2 design, write and debug programmes that have specific goals and target audiences. They use sequence, selection, and repetition in programmes and understand how variables, inputs, and outputs can affect the programmed algorithm. Pupils further build on their logical reasoning skills to decompose problems into smaller, more manageable parts in order to both build their program, recognise problems, debug, and correct errors in code written by both themselves and their peers. KS2 pupils are able to evaluate their work and recognises ways to improve.