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Computing

Through our computing curriculum at Highfields Academy we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a creative, as well as responsible and safe way in order to establish themselves as efficient technology users. Our curriculum recognises that all children have the right to learning experiences that balance all aspects of Computing.

Click here to view Year 6's computing class blog

Click here to view Year 5's computing class blog

 

Intent

Through our computing curriculum at Highfields Academy we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a creative, as well as responsible and safe way in order to flourish. Our curriculum recognises that all children have the right to learning experiences that balance all aspects of Computing. We acknowledge that technological devices and software are an integral part of everyday life and that society is becoming more and more reliant on technology to guide, innovate and develop practice in many sectors of work, education, and daily life. We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace and we want them to know that most, if not all, careers rely on some sort of technology use.

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 but through our computer science lessons we want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving, and 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

The computing curriculum at Highfields Academy has been tailored to focus and build upon the three core aspects of Computing; Digital Literacy, Computer Science, and Information Technology. We do so with a progression framework of skills and knowledge that allows the pupil to make the necessary connections within their learning as they progress through the Computing Curriculum. We use this framework to create a scheme of work for each year group building upon the skills learned in previous years.

Our scheme of work from 2021 onwards uses DFE funded Teach Computing (https://teachcomputing.org) which has been customised for schools to include relevant digital and learning resources. We also use a range of localised online Resources such as: Code.org and J2E. We also make references to some of the best national and global open resources for teaching Computing including unplugged activities from Barefoot Computing. Through doing so we embed effective legacy of Remote Learning, enable improved Progress and Portfolio Development, and provide more structured weekly Computing lessons and half termly units of work for all three strands of the curriculum.

Each lesson contains revision, analysis and problem-solving. Through the sequence of lessons, we intend to inspire pupils to develop a love of the digital world, see its place in their future and give teachers confidence. Cross-curricular links are also important in supporting other areas of learning. Our lessons and resources help children to build on prior knowledge at the same time as introducing new skills and challenges. In KS1, the focus is on developing the use of algorithms, programming and how technology can be used safely and purposefully. In KS2, lessons still focus on algorithms, programming and coding but in a more complex way and for different purposes. Children also develop their knowledge of computer networks, internet services and the safe and purposeful use of the internet and technology. Data Handling is featured more heavily in UKS2. Skills learnt through KS1 and LKS2 are used to support data presentation.

 

Impact

Learning in computing will be enjoyed across the school. Teachers will have high expectations and quality evidence will be presented in a variety of forms.

Our approach to the curriculum results in a relevant, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evidenced in online folders and portfolios including Microsoft Teams, Scratch, and Seesaw. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, and as a topic-based approach continues to be developed, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.

By the end of Year 6 at Highfields Academy, pupils should feel confident in using a range of technology. They should be able to recognise how to keep themselves safe online, and they should understand the importance of being an exceptionally good digital citizen. Pupils should have a sound knowledge of up to date technologies and how they can be used to enhance their learning and the curriculum. Children will use digital and technological vocabulary accurately, alongside a progression in their technical skills. They will be confident using a range of hardware and software and will produce high-quality purposeful products. Children will see the digital world as part of their world, extending beyond school, and understand that they have choices to make. They will be confident and respectful digital citizens going on to lead happy and healthy digital lives.

 

The links below show the overview of the themes that are covered in our computing curriculum each year and the skills that are developed in each year group through these themes. Pupils in Foundation Stage do not study computing specifically; however, computing skills are taught through the Early Years Framework.

 

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