Computing

"Technology is incredibly powerful. And in many ways, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can actually accomplish with the right science and the right technology." Ramez Naam

Curriculum Intent

Technology is at the forefront of a rapidly changing world and our intent at St Agnes Academy is to allow our children to embrace computational thinking and creative problem solving in order for them to become confident, active and safe participants in our digital world. 

Our computing curriculum is centred around computer science and ensures that our children are taught the principles of information, computation, programming and how digital systems work.  Through the study of computing, the children are able to develop their problem-solving abilities, inventiveness and resourcefulness: skills that benefit their learning across a wide scope of subjects and situations. 

It is our intention that our children are able to use information technology to create, develop and improve programs, understand systems and create a range of content.  We aim to ensure that pupils embrace technology and are able to confidently and responsibly express themselves and communicate their ideas.  In order to be confident, responsible users of technology, e-safety is an aspect of our curriculum that is always a priority.  Our first step each year and each term is to ensure that e-safety is understood and developed alongside the children’s learning of technology to make sure that our children remain safe, respectful and responsible users of technology. 

We follow the aims for Computing set out in the National Curriculum:

  • Understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation;
  • Analyse problems in computational term, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
  • Evaluate and apply information technology analytically to solve problems;
  • Communicate ideas well by utilising appliances and devices throughout all areas of the curriculum.

 Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum is based on the ‘Rising Stars – Switched On Units’ scheme of work which allows us to consistently build our children’s skills in computer science, information technology and digital literacy. This ensures that throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, children not only enjoy varied computing experiences but are also focussed on developing a wide range of skills and expertise. Each area studied is centred around the core principles of the curriculum under the umbrella of e-safety.

  •        Problem Solver
  •        Programmer
  •        Logical Thinker
  •        Content Creator
  •        Communicator
  •        Searcher
  •        Beyond School
Each unit is underpinned by a Knowledge Organiser which sets out the new knowledge and vocabulary to be learned as well as the previous learning and end of unit outcome. Each Knowledge Organiser also has a clear e-safety focus and links to useful websites and other resources. 
Each unit begins with a low-stake quiz to allow teachers to establish starting and plan for effective learning. The quiz is taken at the end of the unit to demonstrate progress and to also identify any knowledge gaps that need to be addressed.

Lessons and computing activities are planned to encompass a variety of approaches and technologies and to provide learning and digital literacy skills within both Computing lessons and across the wider curriculum.  Computing lessons are taught weekly with a one-hour timetabled lesson where the class is able to use one full class set of Chromebooks.  Teachers use the ‘Switched On Computing’ scheme to support their planning and lesson structure.  At St Agnes, we use three of the Rising Stars unit blocks per year group ensuring that there is time to develop those computing skills and also allow for cross-curricular computing work within our timetable.  Even though each step within a block of work is unique and tailored to each specific learning objective, each block of work builds on the children’s previous knowledge and each block allows for explanation, modelling, class discussion, peer discussion, independent and collaborative work.  All lessons will begin with class discussion, explanation and consolidation of previous learning and vocabulary.  Key vocabulary is shared with the children and reinforced during each computing session building and widening their computing terminology thus improving their ability to communicate effectively about systems, programmes, hardware and software.

Our more able learners will benefit from extension tasks within each step of each unit of work which are designed to not only extend their learning within the lesson but also promote the development of those skills outside of school.  For children who need more support within computing, careful pairings and the predominantly collaborative nature of our computing curriculum allows for all children to flourish.

Curriculum Impact

At St Agnes Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, all of which are essential in ensuring that our children make excellent progress, are ready for the next phase in their learning journey and are well-rounded, thoughtful and responsible individuals. Our 3 measures are:

  1.     What we learn
  2.     Who we are
  3.     How we behave

Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. Our curriculum ensures that when children leave St Agnes Academy, they can confidently and responsibly use technology to understand and change the world.  Each block of work includes assessment criteria and the achievement of that will be demonstrated through both individual/group discussions and through scrutiny of the children’s work.

Through engagement with our computing curriculum, children will understand how their actions can directly impact on others locally, nationally and globally. They will also have an understanding of how technology can be used to tackle environmental and other issues and that technology can be a real force of positive change.

The children will have developed skills to express themselves and be creative in using digital media and be equipped to apply their skills in computing to different challenges both inside and outside of school. They will be tenacious problem-solvers who are able to work collaboratively and effectively with others to reach a desired goal.

Our curriculum lead for Computing is Susie Foreman
Below are links to:
Our whole school overview for computing
Our Progression of Skills for computing
Our KS1 and KS2 Skills Headers for computing (overview of assessment criteria)