The skills in which we develop as part of our key skills policy have been essential in the past year. Through the teaching of key software and skills, every year to our children, it allowed them to be active online throughout the pandemic and continue with their learning as much as possible. This shows us and the children how important technology, computing and the skills they already have are. We aim to continue to develop these skills year on year and keep the channels of communication and learning online open, such as using Microsoft Teams for homework.
Our curriculum aims to inspire children to be resilient when dealing with bugs in computing code, to be reflective and see their growth and learning within a lesson, to develop relationships with other pupils when working within a group or team on a project, and to always take risks - as our classrooms are safe environments, where mistakes are encouraged, learnt from and corrected.
The skills that are developed, nurtured and taught in Years 3 to Year 6 during our computing lessons are cross-curricular and inspire children to use technology and apply previous skills to something which may be new to them. Knowledge and use of the basic skills software, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, allow children to apply their English skills and develop them. Software such as Microsoft Excel and Tinkercad allow children to apply their maths skills, whether it be creating 3D shapes or using formulas to create spreadsheets; children use their knowledge and apply it in different ways. Using physical computing kits, such as Crumble kits, support and develop scientific learning. Knowledge of circuits are developed and applied throughout the physical computing module, as well as maths when in upper key stage 2, when creating code for projects such as the burglar alarm. In other modules, Art and Design skills are used to create, design and review vector drawings, editing photographs and 3D modelling.
Throughout our curriculum, online safety is paramount. Online safety is weaved throughout our curriculum and is not a stand-alone lesson. Discussions around Online safety, being respectful online and being age appropriate are topics which are discussed consistently and within and around computing lessons.
The computing skills and curriculum pathway which is taught at Skegby Junior Academy, pave the way for future learning and skills which are transferrable not only into the wider world, secondary education, but also into the workplace.
National Curriculum Aims for Computing
Pupils should be taught to:
- Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, work with variables and various forms of input and output
- Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
- Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.
- Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
- Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
At Skegby Junior Academy we recognise the value that a high-quality computing curriculum can offer to our pupils and the impact it can have on their everyday lives and their futures. All pupils are entitled to a broad and enriched computing curriculum which covers all three strands in an imaginative and uses real life scenarios to create purpose to their learning. Our curriculum gives the children chance to be creative with technology, be hands on with physical computing devices and develop their understanding of how computers work.
We do have a discreet timetable time for the development of ICT skills, but our approach is to integrate ICT into all lessons: the use of laptops and other hardware such as cameras and iPads is as much part of our learning tools as pencils and pens. Subject specific software, from one-off programmes to learning platforms, support teaching and learning across all years. The Trusts Basic Skills Policy is followed in order to develop areas such as, keyboard skills, saving and printing work. Children also draw pictures, write and use the internet to carry out research. They then progress to more complex skills such as data analysis and coding. Pupils will use technology safely and identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns.
Our curriculum has been developed so that there are resources available for all levels of pupils. Our higher ability pupils are encouraged to develop leadership skills and explore the activities at a deeper level, whether that be through physical computing, coding or understanding the network systems in school.
Our computing curriculum is designed so that all pupils succeed and enjoy their computing lessons. Lessons are differentiated not only by outcome but also through scaffolding and different starting points. We have developed some lessons to be “unplugged”, which means not on a computer or device. These lessons are there to develop children’s understanding of the subject, for example how data is transferred around networks, before then applying their knowledge to the computer. The lessons encourage all children to be reflective of where they started, to where they are at the end of each lesson as each lesson has time built into the end to discuss what they have achieved and what they found tricky, this then leads into a discussion of how we can do this better next time.
National Curriculum Computing Programmes of Study: