We aim to teach all our children the skills, knowledge and understanding that they will need to question and understand concepts and phenomena that occur in the world around them and which will equip them with the motivation to seek explanations for them. Children are to learn the skills required for safe and fluent computer practices and will begin to appreciate the way that technology is an integral part of their future on a personal, national and global level.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Clowne Junior School intends to cover these curriculum aims through the development of a bespoke curriculum which is both exciting and rigorous addressing the challenges and opportunities offered by the technologically rich world in which we live. This includes many key areas of focus highlighted in the UK Council for Internet Safety – Education for a Connected World 2020 document as well as the responses ascertained as part of the i-vengers whole school survey 2021:
The school has organised Computing units into termly blocks covering the three core principles of Computing: computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Each lesson is also underpinned by certain key computer skills outlined by Barefoot Computing at School computational thinking skills and will use a variety of teaching and learning styles including whole-class teaching, individual / group activities and some team-teaching where appropriate. Teachers encourage the children to answer as well as ask computing questions, while also trying to make the subject relevant and relatable to children in the technology-rich age in which we live. Computing is taught both through regular use of laptops, Chromebooks and iPads as well as through unplugged activities where they learn and apply principles of computer science and key aspects of online safety. The children have the opportunity to use a variety of secondary sources of information such as photographs, videos as well as conducting their own independent research.
We recognise that we have children of differing computing ability and understanding in all our classes and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways:
The impact of Clowne Junior School’s computer planning and teaching will be assessed in many different ways. In order to achieve the school’s aims within the subject, assessment is termly and relevant to each particular unit focus: as discussed in CAS Computing in the national curriculum: a guide for primary teachers p22, ‘There are certainly some challenges to assessing computing.
• It’s hard for teachers to judge pupils’ knowledge and understanding based on the outcomes of practical tasks alone.
• If pupils work collaboratively, it can be hard to identify each individual’s contribution.
• If the teaching of computing is embedded in other subjects, it’s often difficult to separate attainment in computing from that in the host subject.’ In spite of these challenges, Computing at Clowne will be assessed in the following ways:
- Asking open-ended questions to assess and grasp pupils’ knowledge and understanding of concepts.
- Having discussions both whole class and individually with pupils to ascertain their understanding of key computing principles. As is outlined in the Overview document, children’s questions should become steadily more relevant and precise; their experiences of the online world will also increase over time, which should shape and direct their conversations. Questions and discussions should show evidence of prior knowledge being used and connections being made in the children’s thinking. Computing should be encouraging them to think and act logically.
- Children should show increased confidence understanding and using key language relating to computer science as they will feature at the start of each lesson.
- The children’s ability to conduct research and process their results independently. Computer fluency skills should progress through the school, building towards more independence and efficiency in the information-technology process.
- Monitoring each child’s individual progress during computer science modules using the Code.org progress tool.
- The quality and content produced during project-based learning modules.
- Year group, whole school and subject leader / SLT work reviews to compare and collaborate to tailor computing teaching between classes and across all four year groups with a view to maximise teaching and learning opportunities.
- Comparison with other schools, from different areas and with specific needs (e.g. Stubbin Wood), at cluster meetings where examples of work are shared.