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Our Computing Curriculum

Computing Intent Statement:

In line with the 2014 National Curriculum for Computing, our aim is to provide a high-quality Computing education which equips children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and how technological developments contribute to society.

By the time our children leave Birches First School, they will have gained key knowledge and skills in the 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) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring a solid grounding for future learning and beyond. Children leave Birches First School confident and competent to use their skills to further their learning and widen their opportunities. They know the importance of Online Safety to themselves and others and how to keep themselves safe.

Computing Implementation:

At Birches First School, Computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their Computing units. Teachers use a ‘Purple Mash’ Computing scheme, published by 2simple, as a starting point for the planning of their Computing lessons, which focus on progression of skills and ensures vocabulary is built upon through each unit, year by year. Children have access to laptops and Ipads to ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs. Where appropriate, cross curricular links are made.

The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.

The quality of children’s learning is evident on the children’s online creative space within the Purple Mash, a platform where pupils can share and evaluate their own work.

Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our Computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them at Middle School, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, Computing at Birches First gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.

Children are assessed using the Purple Mash assessment tool which assesses each learner against National Curriculum objectives. The outcome of these assessments are used to judge a child’s attainment at the end of a unit and at the end of the year as well as informing next steps and future planning.

Impact:

  • Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality Computing education. It is evident through discussion with the children and in their online creative space on Purple Mash that children are engaged with their learning.
  • Children will be confident users of technology, able to use it to accomplish a wide variety of goals, both at home and in school.
  • Children will have a secure and comprehensive knowledge of the implications of technology and digital systems. This is important in a society where technologies and trends are rapidly evolving. Children demonstrate their skills confidently and competently.
  • Children will be able to apply the British values of democracy, tolerance, mutual respect, rule of law and liberty when using digital systems.