With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘Computational Thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.
- To equip children to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology.
- Enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information.
- Develop skills that allow children to be able to use information in an effective way and allows them to develop digital, enterprise and employability skills.
- Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and It is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.
At Fringford Primary 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 topics. Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics.
We employ cross-curricular links which motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught. 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.
In Key Stage 1, the children will learn to understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. They will be taught to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. They will be shown how to use a range of technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school. They will be taught to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. Each of these skills will be taught through exciting half termly units.
In Key Stage 2 the children will design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. They will use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs. Children will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. They will use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Children will be taught to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals. They will use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact. We also encourage children to achieve the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) – an international programme that helps children to develop digital, enterprise and employability skills.
Even our children in Early Years provision will be exposed to the understanding of internet safety as they explore the world around them and how technology is an everyday part of their learning and understanding of the world.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. At Fringford Primary School, we use a tracking system (based on the objectives in the 2014 National Curriculum) to determine children’s understanding and inform teachers planning. We ensure that children are equipped for the digital world safely.