Our vision is to support children in becoming creative, independent learners and ensure they develop a healthy relationship with technology. At our school we value and recognise the contribution that technology can make for the benefit of all pupils, staff, parents, governors and society. We strive to provide safe opportunities in computing to motivate, inspire and raise standards across the curriculum. Everyone in our school community will be equipped with the digital skills to meet developing technology with confidence, enthusiasm and prepare them for a future in an ever-changing world.
We want our children to be creators and innovators not just mere consumers of digital content. The idea of the children as digital creators is what underpins our planning and computing units. Our children are taught to understand that technology is an integral part of modern life and the key to the future is to harness and understand technology’s potential. Computing is a constantly evolving subject that involves solving complex problems, being able to collaborate with others, learn from mistakes and refine solutions.
We believe there are core digital skills that children must possess if they are to meet our school’s vision of independence, creativity and a healthy digital life.
- ‘All children must have a basic understanding of coding and how the web works.’
- ‘All children must be able to evaluate online information and be social media savvy.’
- ‘All children must understand online safety rules and know how to report and block.’
- ‘All children must be proficient with word processing and able to use cloud storage.’
- ‘All children must be able to create visually engaging content/presentations in order to present learning to others.’
- ‘All children must have experience of online collaboration and using communication tools.’
- ‘All children must be taught the concept of personal archiving and possess their own digital portfolio of work.’
At our school the requirements of the Computing Curriculum are taught through half-termly units, where the children have access to their own computer/laptop or iPad. The curriculum at our school is carefully mapped out to ensure that pupils acquire knowledge, vocabulary and skills in a well-thought out and progressive manner, with each teacher following the Knowsley Computing Scheme of Work and progression document. The Knowsley scheme highlights the knowledge, skills and vocabulary for each year group and is progressive from year to year. New learning is based upon what has been taught before and prepares children for what they will learn next. Every unit has a clear end point and an end product which children work towards on their learning journey. The teaching style that we adopt is as active and practical as possible although at times we do give children direct instruction on how to use hardware and software. We teach computing both discretely and cross curricular when clear links with other subjects are present.
Our Computing units and progression model is broken down into four strands that make up our computing curriculum. These are Essential Skills, Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy.
Essential Skills: ensure the children have the core basic skills to use multiple devices, this is designed to promote independence.
Computer Science: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to computational thinking, coding, algorithms and networks.
Information Technology: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to digital communication, creating multimedia content and data representation/handling.
Digital Literacy: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to online safety and technology in society.
We participate in annual events such as national Computing week, safer Internet day, anti-bullying week and technology themed competitions.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evident on Twitter. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, and as a topic-based approach continues to be developed, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.
Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at St Gerard’s gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.