Computing Curriculum Rationale
Our computing curriculum is provided by Switched on Computing. This curriculum provides full coverage of the primary computing programme of study outlined by the National Curriculum. The curriculum delivers a coherent, complete computing curriculum which helps pupils to progress their knowledge, understanding and skills in computing. There is a ‘spiral’ approach to sequencing the units, with themes recurring year by year.
This provides ample opportunity for pupils to:
consolidate technical skills
achieve fluency with a range of key applications
develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles that underpin digital technologies and the changing consequences of these for individuals and society
Each year includes units covering the foundations, applications and implications of computing, ensuring that pupils progress in the computer science, information technology and digital literacy strands of the computing curriculum. It also encourages creativity, collaboration and thinking skills.
Underpinning the intent are key concepts and the National Curriculum Computing statements for Key stages 1 and 2. These are further refined with key substantive and disciplinary concepts:
The technical design. The design of new software, the solution to computing problems and the development of different ways to use technology.
The technical knowledge. The design, use and understanding of hardware and software; computers and electronic systems for storing and using information.
The technical skills. The ability to use information and communication technologies to find, create, evaluate, and communicate information.
Using and writing codes to produce instructions and algorithms; to solve problems; to test and use logic and sequences against inputs and outputs.
Being able to safely, efficiently and confidently digitally connect with others.
Being able to safely, efficiently and confidently use apps and information technology to communicate ideas.
Being able to safely, efficiently and confidently find, evaluate, store, sort and use appropriate data.
In computer science, pupils learn to program first with BlueBots, then ScratchJr, then Scratch and the micro:bit. This takes pupils from a physical manipulative in Key Stage 1, through a pictorial representation of code with ScratchJr to a virtual, on screen, manipulative in which text-based programming is made more accessible through a block-based language. It also ensures progression through key programming constructs, with pupils introduced to sequence with the BlueBot, repetition in ScratchJr, and selection and variables with Scratch and MakeCode for the micro:bit. They develop their computational thinking: the ability to apply programming skills to solve real world problems systematically.
Pupils acquire skills in using core ‘office’ applications to work with text, multimedia presentations and data analysis, as well as a competency with digital media from photography and audio to video, animation and virtual reality. The programme of study for computing at Key Stage 1 requires that pupils be taught to ‘use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content’, and Switched On Computing ensures that they can do this using text, images, sound and video. Building on this at Key Stage 2, Switched On Computing helps them to ‘select, use and combine’ a variety of software on a range of devices. They work with both numerical data and information across a range of formats including those that combine both words and images.
Pupils develop an understanding of how the Internet, the World Wide Web and search engines work, as well as learning how to use these and other technologies safely and responsibly.
Online safety themes in the units are linked to our R(S)HE curriculum as well as stand alone lessons based on e-safety.