Computing replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming, rather than operating programs. Developing computing skills are essential in order that children can access the modern world. Technology surrounds us and is developing at an ever-increasing pace. In order to equip our children for this, we must develop their critical thinking skills and encourage an exposure to a range of technology so that they may adapt to new technologies as they arise.
The Computing Curriculum 2014 aims to ensure that all pupils can understand and apply the most important principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. In other words, it gives children the necessary skills to break down a problem, predict what will happen and use logic to find a solution through practical experience.
At Sutton-at-Hone, we are dedicated to helping each child acquire the above mentioned skills. Each class has a lesson a week in our computing suite, as well as access to iPads in class.
The following strands are taught in all year groups.
This involves children being taught Computer Science, which includes the art of programming and coding from Years 1-6 as well as in the Foundation Stage. Computing is taught both explicitly and discretely, where it underpins lessons in other areas of the curriculum.
Computer Science is taught in its simplest form by playing operational games like ‘Simon says’, ‘Everybody do this’, ‘Follow the Leader’, etc. This ensures that children understand the need to follow instructions and listen to commands. They would then progress to looking at physical objects like Beebots in cross-curricular learning. In addition, children will also be encouraged to use iPad apps and computers where the children can progressively apply their computing skills.
Key Stage 1
Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions”, these ideas can be illustrated using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content using apps like Scratch Jnr, and use of equipment like Beebots.
Key Stage 2
Computing is taught through discreet programming lessons using the software ‘Scratch’ and ‘Espresso Coding’ where the children learn about data, algorithms, repetition, iteration and computer networks. Children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and understanding concepts like variables and sequence, selection and repetition in programs. They will be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. This will enable children to develop an understanding of the principles of Computer Science by promoting and developing their computational thinking.
Creative use of IT
This involves children’s purposeful use of digital technologies across the curriculum to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content, as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
This involves the teaching of ‘eSafety’ where children are taught to use technology safely and respectfully, keep personal information private and evaluate the internet content for suitability and report any inappropriate webpages to staff and parents.
Children are encouraged to communicate ideas and information in a variety of forms using equipment and computer software to enhance their learning. The staff and children use a range of technology like desktop computers, laptops, iPads and other IT devices throughout the school.
Supporting the Wider Curriculum
The children are encouraged to use iPads whilst gathering information to support the topics they are learning about. They are asked to consider the reliability of the information they have found, encouraging them to be critical thinkers.
Sutton-at-Hone uses Accelerated Reader to develop and monitor progression of reading. The children complete online quizzes to check comprehension skills. Using IT helps to motivate the children to read regularly, complete quizzes and gain reward points. The teaching staff can quickly monitor progression by using the built-in assessment tools.
The school also uses IT to support the improvement of numeracy skills. Times Tables Rockstars helps the children to develop their instant recall of table facts. Our children receive an individual log-in to this resource. They play online games to develop their knowledge of table facts. Each teacher can set tables appropriate to an individual, and quickly monitor progression. The children find this fun and engaging.