At Sandridge, we follow the NCCE Teach Computing scheme, which enables children to access, practise, develop and master a range of computing skills throughout their time in our school. We have chosen this scheme because the Teach Computing Curriculum uses the National Centre for Computing Education’s computing taxonomy to ensure comprehensive coverage of the subject. All learning outcomes can be described through a high-level taxonomy of ten strands including, algorithms, computing systems, creating media, data and information, design and development, effective use of tools, networks, programming, safety and security and impact of technology. Each computing unit addresses areas of the National Curriculum as well as the NCCE taxonomy ensuring that each year group has full coverage throughout each year. Our new set of 32 Chromebooks has also opened up a whole new online world for our pupils; the benefits for efficiency and productivity and the opportunities to learn how to work using web-centric computers are fantastic and have completely enhanced our computing teaching and learning.
Each key skill of the curriculum is revisited throughout each school year to enable children to consolidate and then develop their understanding of the various skills they are covering. The units for key stages 1 and 2 are based on a spiral curriculum. This means that each of the themes is revisited regularly (at least once in each year group), and pupils revisit each theme through a new unit that consolidates and builds on prior learning within that theme. This style of curriculum design reduces the amount of knowledge lost through forgetting, as topics are revisited yearly. It also supports children to revisit and develop prior learning that may have been missed during school closures and the times of curriculum recovery.
During their time at Sandridge, our aim is that children are able to meet the National Curriculum statements as briefly outlined below:
- to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- to analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- to evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- to be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
Children need to understand what algorithms are and how to use them to design, write and debug programmes, as well as working with variables and forms of input and output. They need to use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs. They should 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. They need to use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. They should 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. Above all, they must be able to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and inappropriate contact.
Computing is a huge part of modern life and is used in a wide variety of jobs. Children need to have a basic understanding of computing in order, not only, to remain safe while accessing IT in their everyday lives, but also to support their future selves in the modern workplace. At Sandridge, being safe online remains a high priority and we are committed to ensuring that our pupils have the knowledge and understanding to become safe, respectful and responsible online users. All classes learn about practical ways to stay safe and vigilant online during their computing lessons but also during PSHE lessons, where they learn about the moral, social and emotional implications of online behaviours. Every year, we also have E-Safety workshops for pupils and parents delivered by a specialist who is able to provide up to date advice and guidance. Below, you will also find a comprehensive document from the UK Council for Internet Safety which clear outlines guidance to support children and young people to live knowledgeably, responsibly and safely in a digital world. It focuses specifically on eight different aspects of online education and may be useful in understanding what we expect of children at different ages.