Computing is an exciting and popular part of the school curriculum. Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. Our computing curriculum has been developed to equip our children with the foundation skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives.
During their time in KS1 and KS2, the children will learn how computers and computer systems work; they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
The computing curriculum is divided into three key areas:
- Computer science: problem solving/programming/understanding how computers/systems work
- Information technology: making with computers (using)
- Digital literacy: digital world/choices/e-safety.
The core of Computing is computer science and at the heart of this lies ‘Computational thinking’. Computational thinking is the building blocks of our digital world, with the concepts forming the basis of much computer science.
The school has a computer suite, situated on the Key Stage 1 site. It was installed August 2016 and has 33 computers which are used by children from Reception to Year 6.
In addition, there are 2 new sets of 30 iPads which are available to pupils – one set located in KS1 the other in KS2. As well as being used during Computing lessons, these are used regularly by children to support their learning in all areas of the curriculum.
All classes (Reception to Year 6) have one timetabled computing lesson each week. This may take place in the classroom, if the lesson involves using iPads or is an ‘unplugged’ lesson (teaching computing skills without the use of technology e.g. sequencing).
Many lessons will of course take place in the computing suite and some even take place in the playground!
Early Years Foundation Stage
There are many opportunities for young children to use technology and develop computing skills across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Nursery and Reception classrooms and outdoor areas contain role-play areas with a range of technology, both functioning and model/toy devices, as part of our continuous provision. These include telephones, walkie-talkies, cameras and even shopping tills!
In Reception, children have iPads available to photograph their own learning and play, giving them opportunities to select and use technology for a particular purpose. Laptops and other devices are available during free-flow, which give the children opportunities to tinker, or play, with a device, in order to discover how it functions.
At this stage, the children also begin having weekly Computing lessons.
These involve controlling programmable devices, such as Beebots and robot mice. Which provides excellent opportunities for the children to develop their understanding of left and right, along with directional language and the importance of clear instructions. The children also use iPads and a variety of different apps which introduce basic coding, and concepts such as “sequencing”.
Many children entering Early Years settings are already familiar with tablet devices, although their ability to use a keyboard and mouse is often limited. Therefore, during the Summer Term, children in Reception begin to use the Computing Suite. They become familiar with using a keyboard and mouse, which helps develop their fine motor skills and prepare them for Computing in Key Stage 1.