Following the 2014 National Curriculum for Computing, we aim to provide children with a high-quality computing education that enables them to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world around them. Children will learn how computers and computer systems work, as well as how they are designed and programmed. Regardless of whether or not computers are involved, learners will gain a better understanding of computational systems. The children will have gained key skills in three main areas of the computing curriculum by the time they leave Park Mead Primary School: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). Across the key stages, the objectives within each strand contribute to the development of learning, laying the foundation for future education.
Computing is taught at Park Mead Primary School through a blocked curriculum approach, however, it is always integrated with the rest of the curriculum. As a result, children gain depth in their knowledge and skills over the course of their computing topics. Teachers use the ‘Dares’ scheme, published by Mr P ICT, to plan computing lessons, which are often richly linked to other subjects and topics. All year groups have access to a computing suite, including two class sets of iPads, so they can use a range of devices and programs across the curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Making cross-curricular connections motivates children and helps them to remember what they have learned. Curriculum implementation also ensures a balanced approach to computer science, information technology, and digital literacy. Within each year group, children will learn about all three strands, but the subject knowledge imparted will become increasingly specific and in-depth and more complex skills taught, ensuring that their learning is built upon. For example, the children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, and in Key Stage 2 they design, write, and debug programs, explaining the reasoning behind their algorithms.
With our curriculum approach, we provide a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evident through the variety of work recorded on the school’s system and on Seesaw, a digital platform where they can share and evaluate their own work, as well as that of their peers. 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 children make good progress. Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip children with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at Park Mead Primary School gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.
Park Mead Primary School, Park Drive, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 7HB