Our Computing Curriculum
At St Nicolas’ we aim to give our children the opportunity to use and experience a range of technology that supports their learning across our curriculum, designed with their needs in mind. In this way we can develop engaged, skilled, critical thinkers and learners who are ready to participate and contribute to their society. Children will gain key knowledge and skills in the four main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science theory (understanding how digital systems work), computer science programming (to explain and apply programming skills), information technology (using computer systems to create, store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). We recognise that the best prevention for many issues with technology and social media is through education. Building knowledge will help pupils to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We encourage teachers to embed computing across the curriculum to make learning creative and accessible.
We have created a comprehensive progression document for teachers to follow, cover and embed every element of the computing curriculum. We use NCEE Teach Computing to ensure there is a clear progression of knowledge, understanding and skills across the year groups which build year on year to deepen and challenge our learners. Units of work are often introduced through unplugged activities to provide a grounding in knowledge and understanding before the children begin to apply these to a device. Teach Computing enables us to use Microsoft as a platform, which provides children with sophisticated tool options from an early age, and the opportunity to develop their skills in application as they progress through the year groups. Each class has a dedicated computing lesson in the computing suite each week to ensure children develop knowledge and build on skills in order to progress.
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 this and one they will continue to build on in their next stage of 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 best show the impact of our curriculum. We look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills and observing learning regularly. Work is showcased in big books which demonstrate progression and understanding; in upper key stage 2, children often take ownership of these books, expressing pupil voice. Knowledge and understanding gained from computing is often embedded across the curriculum.