At Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School we encourage the use of ICT in a safe and fun environment that allows children to become technologically savvy. We teach Computing through three key areas; Computer Science (including programming), Information Technology (using and manipulating data or content), and Digital Literacy (e-Safety). Each component is taught in a cross-curricular way during our exciting Topics and allows children to experience computing and technology in real life scenarios. This includes using the iPads on a regular basis for a variety of different reasons; taking photos, recording videos, recording voices or sounds (such as story telling), games to enhance learning, and coming soon the opportunity to create videos and movie trailers!
The Computing policies and Codes of Conduct below highlight how we support the safe use of ICT at our school and the roles and responsibilities of all adults and pupils to ensure the safe and fun teaching of Computing.
We follow the Purple Mash curriculum for Computing and all children are issued an access code for home use.
Computing doesn’t stretch to early years (EYFS), but technology is mentioned in the EYFS framework. One of the areas of learning, Understanding the World, sets out that children should have the opportunity to explore, observe and find out about technology.
Usefully, the objectives for both Key Stage 1 and 2 fit into three main strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
Computer science covers topics such as:
There are no specific programming languages outlined in the computing programme of study, so schools can decide how to teach these concepts. Visual programming languages that involve snapping blocks together, rather than keying in text, like Scratch, are very popular. Unplugged tasks, where concepts are taught away from the computer, using techniques such as role play, can also work well.
That doesn’t mean to say that some schools won’t introduce a bit of text-based programming to the older children; Python is quite a popular one to start with at Key stage 2. In these years, computational thinking is also developed further through concepts such as decomposition, which means breaking down large problems into smaller parts.
Information technology is very broad as it involves the creation, organisation and manipulation of digital content in both key stages – digital content could be interpreted as many things from audio to images to film and beyond.
In Key Stage 2, information technology steps up because children should also be taught how to use search technologies effectively and how to analyse, present and evaluate data.
The digital citizenship component of the computing curriculum incorporates a lot of what is referred to as ‘online safety’ – using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. All children should be taught a range of ways to report any concerns they may have.
In addition, pupils in Key Stage 2 must also learn how to evaluate content and consider how reliable the information they find online is.