What Computing Looks like at Rosa Street Primary School
At Rosa Street Primary School, we want to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for Computing in this ever-changing technological world. With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘Computational Thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. Through Computing and ICT, we will promote our school values of; passion, teamwork, determination, honesty, respect and self-belief. We believe that all pupils at Rosa Street have the right to rich, deep learning experiences that balance all aspects of computing. To do this, computational thinking and skills are not limited to computing lessons but are used across the curriculum. Our computing curriculum is planned to be sequential with the key knowledge building on prior learning to allow our pupils to make links across their years at school. We have carefully planned out the development of computing across school in line with the expectations set out in the National Curriculum. We have also carefully thought out the computing vocabulary that children should use and understand in different year groups; this too is progressive across the school.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. We have used an enquiry-based model, so each year group has a question as the starting point of every sequence of learning. This also ensures we have high-quality endpoints for our pupils to demonstrate their knowledge of computing. The three main branches of computing (information technology, computer science and digital literacy) form our key ‘golden threads’ across year groups which ensure the computing coverage is robust. We have then identified the specific declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge that we want to develop across all units. This is what we want our children to remember and how we will ensure they remember it. We also cross-reference our planning documents with Ofsted subject reviews, to make sure that our curriculum is in line with the latest guidance. We have developed knowledge organisers for each enquiry question; containing an overview of the sequence of learning, the ‘golden threads,’ relating to the skills and concepts, and key vocabulary. The organisers are available in each lesson, to help children throughout their learning, and give them independence to define and consolidate key vocabulary and information.
At Rosa Street Primary School, our pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including laptops, iPads, remote devices and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology– at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Rosa Street takes internet safety seriously. We have an E-Safety Policy that provides guidance for teachers, children and parents about how to use the internet safely. Planning is progressive throughout school ensuring children participate in regular, up to date lessons on e-safety to develop children’s understand of how to stay safe when using technology.
We have woven our awards through our curriculum, and we have made clear links on our cohesion plan to Rights Respecting Schools. We aim to empower our children by teaching them to learn how to learn, so they can make their own informed choices. Within lessons staff make reference to Educate and Celebrate links such as the gender imbalance within STEM based careers and how computer science is often viewed as a male profession. We have also created links to our Eco School status too, for example, discussing the way technology can have a positive effect on climate change through things like reducing the need to have physical documents on paper and green energy solutions.
At Rosa Street, we have a high percentage of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, so raising aspirations is a key focus when making curriculum links. We encourage our students to go against stereotypes and as such we highlight the computer science jobs and careers that our children could aspire to in the future.
Children’s understanding will be evidenced in a range of ways. Written work will be showcased in books, and photographs and spoken evidence will be put into class floor books. Videos and photographs will also be captured and saved as evidence of algorithms being executed successfully in practical lessons, trips and spoken evidence. We have oracy links across our curriculum. We feel that spoken evidence is as important as written, as it gives equal opportunities, for children of all abilities, to demonstrate their understanding. Because we have started each sequence of learning with an enquiry question, the lessons will be spent investigating and finding information that will help to form the answer. The endpoints for each sequence of learning are clear; children will be expected to demonstrate their computational understanding, by answering the enquiry question. This could be in a range of forms, depending upon the question and the year group. There will be an expectation of the accurate use of the computational vocabulary that has been taught.
As children reach the end of their time with us at Rosa Street, they will have a deep understanding of computational skills and concepts and will have developed a sound computational vocabulary. They will be able to talk about the different branches of computing that they have studied and create their own algorithms as well as confidently use a range of software to present and inform. We have developed a curriculum that will help children to become computer scientists, and to develop ‘sticky’ knowledge that can be taken on into their next steps of learning. Our children will know more, do more, so they will remember more.