For computing, the intent is that all children are introduced to and supported to use technology in a variety of ways and for a wide range of purposes. We aim to give the children the appropriate skills they need for computer science, information technology and digital literacy, as well as encouraging these skills to be implemented across the wider curriculum. This allows teachers to teach a wide breadth of the Computing curriculum and discreetly develops their subject knowledge.
There is a large focus on internet safety, ensuring that children are provided with the skills and understanding needed to keep themselves safe whilst using devices both in school and at home.
The children will be able to confidently and safely use devices for a range of reasons: to further their learning and understanding, to be able to use an appropriate programme for a specific goal e.g. word for a written document, and show understanding of how programs and algorithms work and process information.
In Years 2-6, children are participating in weekly computing lessons that follow guidance from Purple Mash and/or iLearn2. Through this scheme of work, children are exposed to a wide variety of technological skills, and the tools that they need in order to become confident in using technology both in school and the wider world. The curriculum is mapped out for each year group to ensure all necessary skills are covered and progression is evident between year groups. Using devices for other subjects across the curriculum is also important to encourage the application of skills that have been taught in discrete computing lessons.
EYFS and Year 1 have dedicated computing areas in each of their classrooms. These offer a range of computing resources, in order to provide the children with experiences that incorporate the features of computing as set out in the National Curriculum for KS1. These include activities and resources related to using logical reasoning to predict behaviour and to solve problems (such as motorised gears), using programmable devices to give precise instructions and debug when they do not work as expected (mouse bots), and using chromebooks to login and produce work, on platforms such as PurpleMash, that is related to their learning.
To help children become independent, creative, safe, respectful and problem-solving digital citizens with broad and transferable skills. We use iLearn2 and/or Purple Mash as the starting point of our computing provision to make computing fun for children, inspiring them to develop skills beyond the classroom and building an awareness of all the opportunities the subject provides.
We plan in this way to allow teachers to cover the three main areas of Computing. Information Technology, Computer Science and Digital Literacy. The Purplemash and iLearn2 schemes help children to cover these main areas in different ways. It allows teachers to teach a wide breadth of the Computing curriculum and discreetly develops their subject knowledge.
Children learn computing skills from the three recognised aspects of computing (below) within each year of their primary education, with progression of skills woven into each of the three aspects:
- Computer Science– this covers programming (both block-based and text-based), including computational thinking using web-based software such as Scratch. children across Key Stage 1 and 2 will write code to program physical and on-screen objects, interactive games and use text-based language, such as HTML and Python by the end of Key Stage 2.
- Information Technology – this covers the use of applications to create digital content, including document creation and editing, video making, digital art, graphic design, animation, 3D modelling and website building.
- Digital Literacy – covers skills to find, evaluate, utilise and share using technologies and the Internet. This includes important e-safety and internet research skills, as well as an understanding of computer networks in Key Stage 2.
- Activity packs (resourced from iLearn2 and/or PurpleMash) with step-by-step, easy to follow video tutorials and challenges for both teachers and children ensure that children can learn computing skills at their own pace, developing independent learning skills with opportunities to continually review and revisit the skills covered.
- Each teaching unit comes with a unique code that teachers make available for children (primarily through Google Classroom). These codes lead to specific activities, meaning children can access resources and content suitable for their individual ability and needs.
- The pupil activity packs are available across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2. KS1 children learn how to apply the skills they learn in the tutorials to their own work. KS2 children apply and develop the skills they learn in the tutorials into their own projects, independently improving and evaluating their work. The video tutorials are compatible with Google Chrome’s Live Caption tool, meaning children with hearing loss can access the video content.
- The Embed page on iLearn2 provides children with cross-curricular projects, helping apply computing skills across the Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculum. The activity packs cover skills for the three most common platforms; Microsoft, Apple and Google. In many packs there are tutorials for all three, allowing children to learn skills regardless of the platform used in the school and to prepare children for all possibilities in the next steps of their education.
- Challenges are provided at the end of each lesson on Purplemash such as a coding project at the end of the Coding unit.
- There are catch-up lessons. (crash courses for some units) The teaching slides support learners to each stage of computing bit by bit. Teachers should be using the previous year scheme of work if the majority of the class are finding it too tricky. (To be explained during CPD in Summer 2).
Children are able to save their work easily which can be accessed by the Computing leads. This is a development area.
The scheme allows children to develop their knowledge in all areas of Computing and there is always a chance to develop the three strands through different means. For example, Information Technology is continually being developed for children as Writing, History and Geography topics lend themselves to researching such as non-chronological report.
Children and parents can view what they have previously learnt in previous years too – when the units have been completed directly through Purplemash.
Each iLearn2 activity pack includes different resources to capture and track pupil learning:
- Optional assessment grid for each activity pack to track pupil understanding of each skill and ‘unplugged’ challenge sheets/cards for children to demonstrate their understanding of key vocabulary and the application of skills.
- The teacher's view of each pack includes advice and tutorials that cover how children can save their work or, in some cases, how it can be captured in the software being used.
The activity packs often ask why and how could a project be improved/adapted, both through class/group discussion and independent critical thought. This helps children reflect on the development of their computing skills to apply their knowledge, solve problems, stay safe and respect others.
Computing in the EYFS
The early learning goals that previously linked to computing (EYFS technology) have been removed from the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2020. There is no mention of the teaching of technology in the education programmes or development matters document either. We understand how important it is that children develop their technology skills and will continue to use a range of technology to support and enhance learning in other areas of the curriculum.
In foundation stage the children...
- Have daily access to a range of technology resources such as torches with switches, remote controlled cars, beebots, talking tins, voice-recording toys, as well as class iPad and interactive whiteboards.
- Use a range of technology resources to support learning in other areas of the curriculum.
- Are taught how to use the resources for different purposes eg ipads to watch videos, play games, take photographs and listen to stories.
If you would like to know more about this area of the curriculum, please talk to Gurpreet Jassal-Okoro.