Together we inspire one another to love learn respect and forgive, rooted and built up in Christ, so that every member of our school community can develop and flourish; united in mutual respect with a sense of belonging.
Intent of the teaching and learning of Computing
We teach computing so that our children can analytically solve computational problems, communicate in a digitally literate world and become competent and confident users of information technology. The children in our school can access and communicate in a safe and competent manner using digital technology. We want to start to prepare our pupils, for a world where IT literacy, is increasingly essential in work and life more generally.
Implementation of the teaching and learning of Computing
Computing is taught on a weekly basis, following the Lancashire Grid for Learning scheme, using Purple Mash as the primary teaching tool. Children are taught to solve a variety of computational based problems, use technology safely and respectfully, write computer programs to solve problems, understand which software can be used and for what purpose and recognise technology outside of school. Early on, children should be given the opportunity to explore different devices and hardware, so that they are familiar with the functionality, as well as some of the subject-specific vocabulary.
Computing within the Lancashire grid is intertwined through the different topics, thus, the skills are taught whilst the relevance of the topic learning is maintained for the children. There are computing units within all schemes of the Lancashire grid, examples of which are: computer science, programming, online safety, data handling and creating, managing and manipulating digital content. This continuity means that learning is ongoing throughout the year, building on previous learning both within the same year and year on year. Opportunities to revisit previous learning are abundant and similar themes, set in different contexts, are an advantage of the Lancashire scheme.
Purple Mash has lots of apps and resources that fit the Lancashire scheme and the additional ability for children to easily access and save their work, whether at school or home. This means it should be the teacher’s first port of call for planning. It should be used to teach parts of all units, as well as being used for the in-built monitoring and assessment tools. Teachers may feel, however, that they may want to source resources elsewhere for certain elements of the teaching, if they feel that these fit the learning objectives more readily. For this purpose, BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy are websites that also have suitable resources, others are mentioned within the Lancashire schemes. Additionally, children should be given opportunities to use prevalent programs such as Microsoft Word/PowerPoint/Publisher/Excel and also be taught to use a ‘qwerty’ keyboard. Where appropriate, ‘unplugged’ computing lessons will also be taught to help to underpin the concepts behind what the children are asked to do on computers/devices. Opportunities to use different programs, and for unplugged lessons are suggested in the Lancashire scheme. Computing can also be taught in a cross-curricular way, such as carrying out research in Geography and History lessons, using online Music software or playing maths games such as Times Tables Rock Stars, helping to reinforce key skills.
Online safety runs throughout all the schemes, so that it is at the forefront of thinking with any teaching of computing. Children will learn how to stay safe online, how to recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviour online and understand how to report any concerns or anything inappropriate. This is also reinforced during “Internet Safety Day”, at the beginning of February each year. Staying safe online has taken on extra significance with the recent emergence of blended learning and is something that all staff should be acutely aware of, in line with school policy.
Impact of the teaching and learning of Computing
Work produced on the school computers or iPads or at home is saved on the individual class areas in Purple Mash. Each individual class also has their own area on the school server where other work, such as that produced in Windows, should be saved. This work can be accessed by all staff and pupils can see each other’s work that is on the server. Work on the server is only accessible to anyone whilst inside the school building. Purple Mash work is available for all teachers to see, but not children. Teachers may choose to share examples of children’s work saved in Purple Mash as examples of good practice. All work can be assessed from these places and monitored accordingly. Assessment of computing is conducted in an on-going and formative way.
Children leaving St Joseph’s will have had a thorough and well-rounded education in computing. They will understand that digital literacy skills are important for all aspects of living in the digital age. They will understand that computational thinking will enable them to be able to solve problems, knowing that there may be more than one solution, or that some problems are difficult to solve, building resilience in the process. They will know that they should work online safely and understand their responsibilities whilst working online – particularly with the feelings of others in mind. They should understand, at an age appropriate level, that the internet has malevolent content and know what to do and who to go to, should they ever experience anything they feel unsure of. St Joseph’s pupils will be able to move forward using digital equipment and the associated skills with confidence.
Mr P Challoner (Subject Lead)