LONG TERM PLAN OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
“Computer science empowers students to create the world of tomorrow.”
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Computing is a unique subject in that it is bursting with opportunities to solve problems, evaluate and improve their own work, and demonstrate our core value of resilience. The intent of our Computing offer is to provide a structured curriculum which is accessible to all our students and that is rich with opportunities for a broad, deep understanding of computing and how it links to their everyday lives. It builds incrementally on the skills learned each year until our students become competent, confident, creative and safe users of a wide variety of computing technology.
Computing lessons provide opportunities for children to reflect on the difference between humans and computers, which can help them articulate their own spiritual values and beliefs, particularly in understanding the limitations of computers, as well as awe and wonder at the power of digital tools.
At Grove CE Primary, every child enjoys their regular computing lessons that give them the crucial skills they need to access and expand upon all other areas of the curriculum, and gives them a firm foundation for both their future use of ICT, and their study of computing and computer science at secondary school. Our curriculum is based on the Teach Computing Curriculum, created by subject experts from the National Centre for Computing Education, using the latest pedagogical research. The computing content is organised into interconnected networks, ensuring that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children, as well as links to other curriculum areas. The units for key stages 1 and 2 are based on a spiral curriculum. This means that each of the themes is revisited regularly (at least once in each year group), and pupils revisit each theme through a new unit that consolidates and builds on prior learning within that theme. See Appendix 1 for details of how each unit links to and addresses the Computing subject content of the National Curriculum.
The Teach Computing Curriculum uses the National Centre for Computing Education’s computing taxonomy to ensure comprehensive coverage of the subject. This is summarised in the following ten strands:
■ Algorithms — Be able to comprehend, design, create, and evaluate algorithms
■ Computer networks — Understand how networks can be used to retrieve and share information, and how they come with associated risks
■ Computer systems — Understand what a computer is, and how its constituent parts function together as a whole
■ Creating media — Select and create a range of media including text, images, sounds, and video
■ Data and information — Understand how data is stored, organised, and used to represent real-world artefacts and scenarios
■ Design and development — Understand the activities involved in planning, creating, and evaluating computing artefacts
■ Effective use of tools — Use software tools to support computing work
■ Impact of technology — Understand how individuals, systems, and society as a whole interact with computer systems
■ Programming — Create software to allow computers to solve problems
■ Safety and security — Understand risks when using technology, and how to protect individuals and systems
Our pupils become confident in using a variety of hardware and software, and produce high-quality work with a purpose. They know how to be respectful and responsible online citizens, reiterated and reinforced in our PSHE lessons and other school-wide work on e-safety.
Progression across year groups and key stages
All learning objectives have been mapped to the National Centre for Computing Education’s taxonomy of ten strands, which ensures that units build on
each other from one key stage to the next. Within the Teach Computing Curriculum, every year group learns through units within the same four themes,
combining the ten strands above. This approach allows us to use the spiral curriculum approach to progress skills and concepts from one year group to the next. The 4 themes, which are colour-coded in the long term plan, are:
Year 1 and 2 start their journey by using the physical "Beebots", before moving on to the block-based language "Scratch Jr". KS2 then learn to use LOGO and Scratch.
Year 5 deepen their knowledge using repetition, loops and conditions with the "Crumble" programmable controller, and Year 6 create code to transform Micro-Bits into pedometers and games.
Year 3 use our class set of tablets to create their own animations linked to their history topic, building on photography and digital drawing work in KS1. We compare the benefits and limitations of digital technology over hands-on techniques. Older year groups move on to editing audio, photographs and video, as well as creating presentations and other documents.
Data and Information:
We make use of our mathematical and scientific knowledge to sort, count and compare objects, and then use ICT to create pictograms, branching and flat-file databases, and spreadsheets. We also use data loggers and sensors to collect readings in science.
Computing Systems and Networks
We begin by identifying technology in school and the world around us, and discussing how its responsible use improves our world in school and beyond. Older year groups learn about how digital devices work and how they are connected to make networks. This includes how information can be shared safely on the internet, and evaluating online sources.
Our computing lessons include a range of strategies to deliver effective lessons to our pupils. There are 12 key principles underlined by research, which have each been shown to contribute to effective teaching and learning in computing, that are embodied in our curriculum.
We make use of ICT to enhance our curriculum offering, as well as encourage our children to engage with the wider world and build up their cultural capital. We regularly schedule “virtual visits” including online history workshops with the British Museum looking closely at artefacts, and interactive sessions with authors to encourage a love of reading and writing. Children enjoy creating and recording their own music using digital tools, programming robots and making links with angles and distance in maths, and using physical sensors and logging software in science investigations.
A virtual visit to the British Museum, with
interactive quizzes and a live expert lesson.
Computing and Information Technology are essential tools for inclusion at Grove. They enable children with SEND, whatever their needs, to use technology purposefully in ways that make the wider curriculum accessible, empower those with communication difficulties to engage with others and to fully include everyone in activities and learning. Our children have the opportunity to use information technology to help them access other areas of the curriculum, for example learning to type accurately if they have fine motor skill limitations that impact their writing, using “text-to-speech” for dyslexic children to be able to access the same texts for research in history, science or geography, or making use of motivating and well-sequenced overlearning of phonics or maths facts through games and interactive programs.
By the time our pupils leave us in Year 6, they will:
Every lesson includes formative assessment opportunities for teachers to use and to ensure that misconceptions are recognised and addressed if they occur. The learning objective and success criteria are introduced in the slides at the beginning of every lesson. At the end of every lesson, pupils are invited to assess how well they feel they have met the learning objective which gives pupils a reminder of the content that has been covered, as well as a chance to reflect. It is also a chance for teachers to see how confident the class is feeling so that they can make changes to subsequent lessons accordingly.
In KS1, teachers will observe whether pupils are able to meet the success criteria for each lesson by the end of the unit and if so, they will be judged to be working at age-related expectations. In KS2, each unit ends with either a multiple choice quiz or a rubric which highlights to teachers whether the pupil is approaching (emerging), achieving (expected), or exceeding the expectations for their age group.