In line with the 2014 National Curriculum for computing we aim to ensure that all children:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science,
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, analytically to solve problems
- are respectful, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
At St Mary’s we endeavour to ensure that all children become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Children have the opportunity to gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds.
By the time they leave St Mary’s, children will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum:
- Computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work)
- Information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information)
- Digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully).
The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring a solid grounding for future learning and beyond.
At St Mary’s, computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. Knowledge and skills are mapped across each topic and year group to ensure systematic progression. The computing curriculum is also enhanced by an outside company called Junior Jam. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.