At Thorney Close Primary, we value the computing curriculum. We believe computing is a crucial part of children’s learning, as technology is now essential to our lives. We aim to equip the children with ‘computational thinking’ skills, so as to enable them to participate effectively in this digital world and provide them with all the necessary tools to achieve their highest potential in adult life. Computational thinking provides insight into many areas of the curriculum and allows us to solve problems and design systems.
We believe that children who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future. The national curriculum outlines the three strands of computing that children should be taught: computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Within computer science, children at Thorney Close learn the main vocabulary, including programming, algorithm, debug, repetition and coding. In each year group, they practically explore writing code and creating programs, as well as using logical reasoning to explain how algorithms work.
Information technology is the strand that focuses on understanding the internet, using search technologies efficiently and collecting, evaluating and presenting data and information.
Finally, within digital literacy, we aim to provide children with the tools to stay safe online. In a world where any information is accessible at all times, and any information can be posted and shared by anybody, we value strongly the importance of equipping children at Thorney Close with the knowledge and tools to discern reliable facts from ones that are not. We believe it is crucial that children understand the importance of sharing information online and are able to consistently make safe choices online.
How we Plan and Teach Computing
Children learn how computers and computer systems work, as well as design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. Computing is a practical subject and at Thorney Close we value its aspects of invention, resourcefulness and resilience, which are thus encouraged. Computing lessons take place either in our ICT suite or in classrooms using Chromebooks. As well as computing lessons, children are regularly accessing computing equipment during the day, including reading books online, completing cross curricular tasks and presenting their work in a digital form. Teachers plan a different unit of work for each half term and coverage of all three strands of the computing curriculum is ensured. Some aspects of digital literacy, with a focus on e-safety, are covered in PSHE lessons as well as whole school assemblies.
How we evaluate Learning in Computing
The impact of our computing curriculum can clearly be seen in projects that children create as well as presentations created as digital content. Teachers review children’s learning in each lesson to evaluate strengths and plan for next steps. Programs that children write code for are saved digitally and accessed by teachers to ensure achievement of learning objectives and progression through the curriculum. Children have the opportunity to self-assess the content they have created, as well as peer-assess. In each year group, children use past learned skills and apply them to new software and coding programs that they are exploring.
We used Probots and programmed them using special commands to draw different shapes.