At Great Kingshill, we believe that every child should be given the opportunity to gain and develop real-world skills to enable them to flourish outside of the classroom. Computing is an integral part of our everyday life and will play an immeasurable part in our children’s futures. We will provide all our children with the skills, creativity and enthusiasm to live and thrive in a world increasingly dependent on computers. As computing technology underpins today’s modern lifestyle it is essential that all pupils gain the confidence and ability that they need in this subject to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. Through careful planning and engaging delivery, Computing arms our pupils with the technology-based skills and understanding they need to succeed. We endeavour to link our Computing work with the other subjects taught, and not as a stand-alone activity that bears no relation to the rest of their learning. By doing this we highlight the power of Computing to enhance our lives in a positive way whilst adding value to the teaching point.
As Computing becomes more accessible and prevalent within our society it is of the utmost importance that we prepare our children to be technologically aware. At Great Kingshill we take our pupils’ safety very seriously; therefore, it is vital that we teach children how to stay safe online. Each year group focuses on a particular area of E-Safety and develops a toolbox of strategies they can confidently implement when needed. As well as focusing on a particular aspect of E-Safety Great Kingshill has adopted a drip-feed approach where every opportunity that arises throughout the year is used as a teaching aid. This method reinforces the need to be always safe and responsible, and not just at certain times of the year.
The Computing syllabus follows three strands of learning that each year group must address. These are: Computer Science [CS], Information Technology [IT] and Digital Literacy [DL]. Each strand has two units dedicated to it, and each unit is a half-term long. Together they make up the six half-term academic year.
Computer Science is a relatively new strand that deals solely with the concept of coding and analytical thought. In Year One, they use BeeBots to address the concepts of algorithms and debugging. In Year Two, the physical world is linked to the computer world using software that replicates the coding process used with the BeeBots. Year Two revisit coding later in the year when they use 2Code via the Purple Mash platform. 2Code uses block coding and is taught in every year group. In this way, the children can develop the complexity of their coding through a platform that is familiar to them. At the end of Year Six, we move away from block coding and introduce string coding in readiness for secondary school.
Information Technology involves the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange a wide variety of electronic data and information. During this strand, the children will look at protecting personal information, using the internet safely, how to evaluate information found on the internet, checking T&Cs for online apps (including social media), age appropriateness, issues surrounding online gaming and sharing of photos, safe e-mail use and cookie permissions. The children also look at the hardware involved in computing, blogging, how technology is all around us and how the internet works. We encourage and support the use of collaborative technologies as this reflects Great Kingshill’s philosophy of preparing the children for a productive future.
Digital Literacy is the understanding of how to use the far-ranging software packages available to effectively meet a given goal. At Great Kingshill, we use a wide selection of software such as the MS Office suite of applications, MovieMaker, Paint (both 2D and 3D), simulators, database generators and photo enhancing software packages, but to name a few. In this way, we highlight to the children the potential of what can be achieved using computers both in the classroom and the outside world.
Assessment takes place at the end of one of each of the strands of learning. Pupils will be assessed on their understanding and application of the skills learnt during that unit.
Year 1: E-Safety [IT], BeeBot coding [CS] and Paint [DL].
Year 2: Animation [DL], 2Go coding [CS] and effective online search strategies [IT].
Year 3: Logo coding [CS], database design [DL] and e-mails [IT].
Year 4: Coding [CS], touch typing [IT] and data handling spreadsheets [DL].
Year 5: Touch typing [IT], animation coding [CS] and 3D GKCS logo design [DL].
Year 6: Game coding [CS], blogging [IT] and E-Safety PowerPoint presentation [DL].
These formal assessments are then used to assess progress against the national curriculum statements.
Great Kingshill has invested a significant amount in its Computing resources, and there are now 30 laptops dedicated for use in the Computing lessons. This ratio of one computer for each child enables the individual to work at their own pace and experience the learning themselves. This has greatly benefitted the progress of the children’s learning. There are also 15 iPads which can be used throughout the day to help enhance teaching.
We ensure the children in Key Stage 1:
· understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
· create and debug simple programs
· use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
· use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
· recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
· use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
We ensure the children in Key Stage 2:
· 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.