The Computing Curriculum at St Thomas
At St Thomas’, we have devised a bespoke high-quality computing curriculum that meets the needs of all of our children, whilst upholding our ethos of excellence. We have recognised the importance that computing has in a world where technology, which is continuously evolving and improving, is fundamental to everyday life. We realise that St Thomas’ pupils will need to have the computing abilities required to set them up for their future lives and careers in our digital world. The computing curriculum ensures that all of the children leave school with a secure knowledge and thinking skills of the three main strands that underpin computing: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. There will be a focus during lessons on correct use of terminology and definitions of STAR words, as vocabulary is at the heart of our St Thomas’ curriculum.
We have recognised that our pupils have regular access to digital devices, but not all children have access to a desktop computer. With this in mind, we have mapped out the computing curriculum to include a wide range of hardware and software, guaranteeing that they have the skills needed for their futures. The curriculum is progressive and builds upon prior knowledge and skills taught throughout the year groups. Our aim is that by the time all children leave St Thomas’ they are competent and creative users of information and communication technology, who can confidently analyse and solve problems involving technology. The teaching of internet safety runs through the computing curriculum, allowing our children to develop their moral compass and be responsible users of ICT.
How is Computing taught at St Thomas?
Structure of a computing day
- Retrieval - The children will begin the day with a pre-assessment task for the teacher to assess current understanding and skills.
- Vocabulary – Through use of knowledge organisers pupils will be introduced to key STAR word terminology, ensuring correct pronunciation and exploring definitions.
- Teach - They will then be taught a key computing skill with the teacher scaffolding pupils through carefully planned steps.
- Partner/Independent task - There will then be opportunity for pupils to apply this in an independent or paired context, before completing a post-assessment activity.
- Follow up - When appropriate, pupils may also apply skills such as evaluation and editing. Where possible, staff will plan a follow up session that allows children to consolidate their taught computing skills in a cross curricular context.
Internet safety is taught through computing sessions and through discrete PHSE sessions (see St Thomas’ Internet Safety Knowledge Overview document). Teachers will evidence these sessions in individual class PHSE scrapbooks. The school will also ensure that we take time to recognise the national Safer Internet Day (usually February time), with a whole school assembly and some follow up activities in classes. There is an online safety poster in the computer suite and by the computer stations in every classroom to serve as a reminder to the pupils.
End of key stage expectations
By the end of KS1, our pupils will be taught to:
- 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 (taught through Computing sessions and discrete PHSE lessons)
By the end of KS2, our pupils will be taught to:
- design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
- use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- 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
- use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
- 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
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact (taught through Computing sessions and discrete PHSE lessons)