The aim of the Computing Curriculum at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School is to give children a thorough and ambitious education in computing, equipping our pupils to use technology, computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. It is now more important than ever that children understand how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely, and that they see good models of this. By the time they leave Our Lady’s, children will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main strands of the National Curriculum for Computing (2014). These strands are: Computer Science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), Information Technology (using computer systems to create, store, retrieve and send information) and Digital Literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully).
At Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, Computing is taught as part of a two-week timetable to ensure fluency and progression. Teachers use the National Centre for Computing Education (funded by the DfE) ‘Teach Computing’ scheme of work. It ensures all curriculum aspects are covered and the safety aspect is woven throughout to ensure secure understanding. The key knowledge and skills that must be taught within each unit have been identified and carefully mapped to support the progression of children’s learning across the primary phases, whilst covering any gaps inevitably encountered over recent years due to Covid-19. It is building towards mastery of the end of key stage objectives from the National Curriculum. The computing units are being developed and adapted over time as confidence in the new scheme develops. This will lead to rich links with engaging contexts in other subjects and topics, while still ensuring systematic coverage of objectives.
Our Computing Curriculum ensures a balanced coverage of the three computing strands. As children progress through the school, children build on their prior learning within each strand, covering new or deeper knowledge and developing their technical skills. The relevant, context-embedded computing experiences through which this knowledge-engaged curriculum is taught will benefit learners in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and computational and critical thinking, computing at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue computing-related vocations in the next stage of their lives.
Our approach to the computing curriculum provides fun, engaging and meaningful learning for all pupils, in which the children understand not only the content that is taught, but also the opportunities offered to them by their computing education. It allows and encourages them to become creators and change-makers in our digital world. The impact of our curriculum and the quality of children’s learning is evident in their work, which is shared, published and celebrated on Seesaw (an online platform), around the school environment through the use of photographs and pupil voice to showcase digital work. Monitoring of these outcomes via Google Drives, classroom work, interviews with teachers and pupil voice, enables the Subject Leader to ensure the knowledge-based curriculum is being learned and retained by all pupils. All this information feeds into teachers’ future planning and enables assessment of pupils’ knowledge and skills. Through the cross-curricular use of computing in other subjects, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing alongside other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.