Intent: what are we trying to achieve with our curriculum?

Through our computing curriculum at St Edward’s we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in order to flourish. We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace and we want them to know the career opportunities that will be open to them if they study computing.  We want children to become autonomous, independent users of computing technologies, gaining confidence and enjoyment from their activities. We want the use of technology to support learning across the entire curriculum and to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child.  Not only do we want them to be digitally literate and competent end-users of technology, we also want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving as well as critical thinking skills.  We want our pupils to have a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community but also as members of a wider global community and as responsible digital citizens.

Implementation: how is our curriculum delivered?

At St Edward’s, computing is taught in discreet computing lessons on a weekly basis. The computing curriculum is delivered through our own scheme of work based and developed with the support of the Wessex scheme of work. Every lesson in our scheme has been individually planned so that it can be effectively taught using the infrastructure we have in place at school and so that it can meet the needs of all our pupils. Our scheme has been closely referenced against the 2014 National Curriculum attainment targets in order to ensure progression and coverage.  Having discreet lessons means that the children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Topics are carefully planned across the year and across year groups to allow pupils to revisit the skills taught at different points. Online safety is taught under the umbrella of PSHE and closely linked to specific events in the academic year to raise the profile of specific issues, such as online bullying with anti-bullying week to allow the pupils to see the connections of what they are being taught in the real world. Where appropriate, meaningful links will be made between the computing curriculum and the wider curriculum. In computing lessons, the children will use either the ipads or the computer suite in order to access a range of apps and software. On occasion, ‘unplugged’ lessons will also be taught so that the pupils understand the wider implications of computing. Discreet computing lessons will focus on the curriculum skills of information technology, digital literacy and computer science. Pupils are also given many opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge to other areas of the curriculum, for example, when producing presentations, using QR codes or researching using the internet at several points across their weekly lessons. Children’s progress is assessed termly against our formative assessment tool. Children are given feedback and ways to improve their work either verbally or through written feedback in their books.

Impact: what difference is our curriculum having on pupils?

Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evident in the pupil’s books and in their folders on the network. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ assessment and future planning. The curriculum has been designed to allow teachers are to revisit skills and knowledge and build upon it, ensuring progression and bridging gaps, when necessary.

Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in computing lessons equips pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces, as well as providing them with the tools to cope with the pressures of a fast-paced and ever-changing digital society. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools, digital resilience and critical thinking, computing at St. Edward’s gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests, careers and vocations in the next stage of their lives.

Changes to the Computing Curriculum

The 2014 national curriculum introduces a new subject, computing, which replaces ICT. This represents continuity and change, challenge and opportunity. It gives schools the chance to review and enhance current approaches in order to provide an even more exciting and rigorous curriculum that addresses the challenges and opportunities offered by the technologically rich world in which we live.
Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.
Why is computational thinking so important? It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in. Pupils 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.
Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes computing an extraordinarily useful and intensely creative subject, suffused with excitement, both visceral and intellectual.
You can find out more about the new computing curriculum here
You can find out more about the computing Curriculum at St Edwards from the documents in the table below.