Computing and Online Safety
At St James Primary School, we want pupils to be MASTERS of technology. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in pupils' lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school, we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for many issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology.
Our intention is for all our learners to use technology safely and respectfully with a clear knowledge of how to respond to any concerns. Our pupils will know how to use a variety of programs to assist them in their daily life and to help them succeed in the modern world.
At St James Primary School, we follow the ‘Purple Mash’ scheme of work to deliver the Computing Curriculum, which ensures coverage of the National Curriculum Programme of Study. Our approach to the teaching of computing equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand our changing world. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science and Design Technology. The core of Computing is Computer Science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to the test through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate. This means that they are able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The education of pupils in online safety is another essential part of the Computing Curriculum. Children and young people need help and support to recognise and avoid online risks and build their resilience. Online safety is a focus in many areas of the curriculum and staff reinforce online safety messages continuously.
In accordance with the National Curriculum aims, we will ensure that all learners:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation;
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems;
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
The key to our teaching of computing is experiencing the enjoyment of learning in the subject. The progression in our Computing Curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6 allows children to repeat skills, embedding them in their long-term memory. The enjoyment of the learning comes through well-planned lessons and high-quality resources tailored to the age and ability of the children. The content is the minimum expectation in place and is covered over the course of an academic year. Alongside this, the previous years’ skills and knowledge can be revisited to allow for retrieval opportunities.
Units of work are taught weekly through computing lessons.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Computing through daily use of technology as well as regular use of Beebots and iPads. Our youngest children have an abundance of opportunities to use the technology around them and are shown how to do this safely and responsibly by their teachers.
Our curriculum will result in learners being inquisitive, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We aim to demonstrate the wonderful opportunities that technology provides us in our ever-changing, developing world with St James learners using technology in a safe and responsible way. We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel the way we implement Computing helps children realise the need for the right balance and one they can continue to build on in the next stage of their education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will evidence the impact of our curriculum. Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.