What is Computing?
The word “computer” was first used in 1613 and originally described a human who performed calculations or computations. The definition of a computer remained the same until the end of the 19th century, when the industrial revolution gave rise to machines whose primary purpose was calculating.
Our definition for KS2- Computing is the study of how computing, design and technology, science and maths are linked, providing links to both natural and artificial systems.
Our definition for Foundation and KS1- Computing is learning about becoming confident using computing and recognising its wider uses.
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world”.
- David Warlick
Through our computing curriculum, we aim to widen our children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the wider computing world. Computing is a hugely important subject, especially in today’s technologically advanced world. We want our children to have the knowledge and skills to be confident in being an integral part of the computing generation. We want our children to have the skills to be resilient when faced with an error, not accepting defeat when faced with a problem. We want our children to understand the value of technology and appreciate all that it does for our ever-changing world. We do this through the three main concepts of computing; hardware, software and coding. We ensure that the concept of computing enquiry runs through all of these.
Throughout our teaching we consistently aim to raise awareness of computing as a subject and as a potential career field for the future. The children should leave our school knowing many different career prospects in computing. Ones, which are inherently linked with the subject and also those which use the skills that computing as a subject teaches. They should be intrigued by computing and eager to delve deeper in to the majorly unexplored digital world. Exposing them to a wide range of technologies, like: laptops, tablets, cameras and interactive whiteboards. Also knowing that computing is not just the use of a computer and that it has wider uses within a variety of industries.
Furthermore, we aim to develop the children’s knowledge of E-Safety within the school’s curriculum. The teaching of E-safety will allow the children to recognise what is appropriate content, how to conduct themselves online and how to seek advice. Further understanding when and why they are using technology and not over using it, solely as a social media tool and fully understanding the consequences behind what is posted.
To conclude, we want children to be aware that computing hardware and software is continually changing and that they possess the skills to be ready for these. In addition, to assess and evaluate what tools are required for the task, ensuring it is completed most effectively.
How do we teach Computing?
Throughout our school we believe that Computing should be taught through an kinesthetic approach, utilising the children’s critical thinking skills. We allow the children to develop their own ideas and develop their skills through carefully posed questions and the sources we use. We begin with a question, which can be posed by the teacher or the children (as they progress). We conduct a pre-assessment before a topic to understand their knowledge and skills on a subject. To enhance our learning and to stimulate the imagination we try to relate this to the children’s own experiences and interests in our topics.
Our topics are structured so that the children can work through 3 key concepts of computing; Data and representation, communication and coordination and the wider context of computing. Running through this, is the concept of Computational Enquiry (procedures and skills). This is how we define them:
Data and representation- a strand of computing, which allows information to be stored, presented and analysed.
Communication and coordination- collaborative work, which allows people to send and receive information and work together.
The wider context of computing- how computing is used within the industries and jobs which are linked to this.
We structure our curriculum using whole school topics and we focus on specific subjects in blocks over a number of weeks. This enables us to go deeper into subjects and to make meaningful connections with other subjects.
In the Foundation Stage children develop crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the using a range of hardware and form the foundation for work in Key Stage 1. They will develop their understanding of a wide range of technologies, which can be used in homes, schools and work. They will begin to understand the purpose of the equipment.
In Key Stage 1, computing continues the understanding begun in the Foundation Stage. They will investigate aspects of the use of different hardware and software. Children will:
- understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions create and debug simple programs
- use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
- use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
In Key Stage 2, pupils expand their knowledge of both hardware use and coding, looking more in depth to the wider uses in the real world. Children will:
Further information can be found in our statement of equality information and objectives, and in our SEN policy and information report.
- The school’s Computing curriculum, lessons and materials will support equality of opportunity and an inclusive attitude to all learners. We will ensure that children are provided with a broad and balanced curriculum that uses, to advantage, the diversity of our children at Bishop Alexander LEAD Academy. Children will be able to engage in using up to date hardware and software.
- All pupils will have equal opportunity to reach their full potential across the Computing curriculum regardless of their race, gender, cultural background or ability. Class teachers will be responsible for planning activities that are differentiated and suitably challenging to meet the needs of all children, enabling access to the study of Computing.
National Curriculum in England: Computing Programmes of Study https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study