Although computing is not part of the latest statutory framework of the EYFS, learning computing in the first years of education is vital. This isn’t solely through children getting access to software like Microsoft Office, or familiarising themselves with a variety of ‘Apps’. In reception, children learn about the use of technology and the logic and processing of computers or ‘Computational thinking’. Associated ‘unplugged’ activities and narratives reinforce the link of Computational thinking to metacognitive strategies that are vital across a wide variety of domains; breaking down complex problems into manageable steps and focussing on possible solutions. We feel this a very effective way of laying a foundation for the National Curriculum- which covers Computing from Key Stage 1.
At Grimley and Holt, we use three strands; computing science, information technology and digital literacy; and use these in an interconnected and practical way to build on children’s learning of the declarative (i.e. programming syntax, functions, logic, formulae…) and procedural knowledge (skills such as programming, monitoring and information acquisition and dissemination).
At Grimley and Holt, we recognise that Digital literacy is particularly important in safeguarding children. This aspect is embedded throughout the curriculum, the values programme, school visits/ visitors and parents/carers educational workshops.
When learning Computing, it is vital that a sequence of learning is developed in a logical, procedural, composite and experiential way. It is also very important to recognise the abstract nature of some of the associated concepts and be prepared to adopt a personalised approach where necessary, so that learners can develop expert knowledge over time.
Computing supports, enriches and accelerates learning through the Mantle of the Expert. However, sometimes a computing skill or an aspect of e-safety doesn’t ‘fit’ into the Mantle commission and requires discrete instruction. In this way, computing at Grimley has a cross-curricular element, but concept driven features may be timetabled separately.
Our program has been designed to provide a well-structured and comprehensive series of lessons to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the objectives of the national curriculum. The content of our program covers a wide range of topics in computing and seeks to create a deep understanding of the subject matter and how it relates to the daily lives of students. The program offers numerous opportunities for students to consolidate their learning, challenge themselves, and experience variety. This approach allows students to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, develop their analytical and problem-solving skills, and gain hands-on experience in using information technology. Ultimately, our program aims to create responsible, competent, confident, and creative users of information technology.
Our digital world is constantly evolving, and it’s essential that children learn the skills to navigate it safely and with purpose. That’s why our lesson plans and resources are designed to inspire pupils to develop a love for technology and its place in their future. Each lesson contains revision, analysis, and problem-solving to build on prior knowledge while introducing new skills and challenges.
In Key Stage 1, our focus is on developing the use of algorithms, programming, and how technology can be used safely and purposefully. As pupils progress to Key Stage 2, lessons still focus on algorithms, programming, and coding but in a more complex way and for different purposes. Children also develop their knowledge of computer networks, internet services, and the safe and purposeful use of the internet and technology. Data Handling is featured more heavily in Upper Key Stage 2.
Resources are designed to support cross-curricular links, enabling children to make connections between different areas of learning. We offer adult guides and end-of-unit assessments, enabling staff to feel confident in the progression of skills and knowledge and that outcomes have been met. An example of keywords has been included, showing the progression of specific language involved in children’s learning so that teachers can also assess understanding and progress through vocabulary.
There is specific sequence of lessons for each class, offering structure and narrative. However, these are not to be used exclusively but will support teachers’ planning. Our aim is to give teachers the confidence they need to teach technology effectively and to inspire children to become confident, safe, and responsible users of technology.
The school aims to promote enjoyable learning of computing across all grades. The teachers are expected to maintain high standards, and the quality of evidence produced by students will be presented in various forms. Children will be taught to use digital and technological vocabulary accurately, while also developing their technical skills. They will gain confidence in working with a range of hardware and software, and will be able to produce high-quality and meaningful products. The students will be encouraged to view the digital world as an extension of their own world, beyond school, and will be taught to make informed choices. They will be trained to be respectful and confident digital citizens, which will enable them to lead happy and healthy digital lives in the future.