At Sandbach Primary, we recognise that computing is woven into all aspects of modern life and endeavour to equip our children with the technological skills which will be crucial for success in later life. Our curriculum enables the children to become responsible, creative and adaptable users of technology, confident in their digital literacy and online safety, computational thinking and understanding of computers and hardware. We strive to teach our children to be versatile users of technology through our blended approach of discrete computing lessons and exciting cross-curricular computing opportunities. Our knowledge rich curriculum is designed to engage and provide the opportunity for pupils to apply their computing skills creatively and independently. We intend to champion, promote and maintain a high profile for computing in our school, so that our pupils recognise the importance of being confident and competent with a range of technologies, as well as using it responsibly and creatively.
Design and Implementation
At Sandbach Primary, we teach a rolling program split into Year A and Year B, aligned to Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 objectives. We offer a structured sequence of lessons, to ensure that children have learned the skills required to meet the aims of the national curriculum. The content allows for a broad, deep understanding of computing and how it links to children's lives. It offers a range of opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety. Throughout this, children develop analytical problem-solving skills and learn to evaluate and apply information technology. It also enables them to become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information technology.
Our curriculum is designed to:
- Develop computational thinking skills in our children, providing a variety of opportunities involving computer science, programming and digital literacy
- Encourage children to identify information technology in the world around them to help prepare for and thrive in their future in the digital world
- Support children to be responsible users of technology and to recognise the significance of their digital footprint
- Expand children’s vocabulary to enable them to verbalise their understanding of technology using accurate language.
- Utilise online digital platforms not only for remote learning, but also for a blended-learning approach so that children are provided with opportunities for collaboration, commenting and communicating via video call and the written word.
- Ensure children’s computational knowledge and skills are built upon progressively each year and provide opportunities for repetition and overlapping of skills in multiple Computing units to ensure children are secure at the end of each phase.
- Ensure E-safety is regularly taught and revisited throughout all computing teaching and explicitly at the beginning of every term. This ensures staff respond to current trends and safeguarding incidents and our pupils become responsible, confident and competent users of technology. In addition, we also use events such as Safer Internet Day and Anti-bullying Week to maintain a high profile for online safety.
- Inspire pupils to develop a love of the digital world, see its place in their future and grow teachers confidence.
We implement and deliver a broad and varied computing curriculum which provides opportunities for children to develop as communicators, coders, data collectors and internet users from EYFS to Year 6.
We aim to implement our intent by;
- maintaining a high level of skill and subject knowledge of computing in our school, through regular training and professional development for class teachers and the subject lead
- Ensuring technology and resources are sufficient, adequate, engaging and relevant to the learning
- Providing children with at least one hour of computing each week and utilising technology in other areas of the curriculum so children have opportunities to further develop and apply their computational skills.
- The subject lead monitoring and providing feedback on teaching, planning and children’s progress, interest and engagement
- Keeping SLT and governors up to date with developments in computing with subject reports, action plans and review meetings
- Conducting efficient, regular and effective assessments to inform future learning, with opportunities for moderation with colleagues. Use of the Purple Mash data dashboard informs teachers which children require further challenge as well as children who require additional support within computing lessons to meet the expectations of their key stage. Children’s work completed on Purple Mash is stored in their pupil folders and work completed outside of this can be found on their pupil areas. This enables staff to easily find children’s work and ascertain whether objectives have been met.
- Sharing information and advice for parents regarding online safety, ensuring that content is relevant and current and shared through our website, social media or in person.
- Providing comprehensive teacher guides, so that staff to feel confident in the progression of skills and knowledge and that outcomes have been met.
At Sandbach Primary Academy, the computing curriculum is delivered with support from ‘Purple Mash’ - units are used by teaching staff to support them in planning high-quality and engaging lessons for learners, but these are not used prescriptively. Computing lessons begin with the sharing of which specific area of computing we will be focused on and a ‘bridging back’ discussion about what has been learned previously in this or previous units. Each lesson contains revision of prior learning, new learning, problem-solving and building new skills. Lessons are rooted in real life examples and contexts wherever possible, with a specified purpose and outcome. Where any particular hardware or software is required, teachers model the skills and pupils are able to discuss and question the process and outcomes. Children then work independently to complete tasks and challenges designed to grow their knowledge and progress their computing skillset. They are required to save and submit their work using online digital platforms Purple Mash or Microsoft Teams.
In EYFS our children begin their journey with technology through access to ipads, interactive boards, computers, cameras and BeeBots. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with challenge and modelling how to use the equipment carefully and safely. They develop their computing skills, such as: clicking, dragging, dropping, drawing onscreen, typing short words and phrases, taking photographs and pressing buttons to program a floor robot.
In KS1, children build upon the basic Computing skills they developed in EYFS. There are opportunities for repetition built into the Key Stage One phase to ensure that children recap, revisit and deepen their understanding of coding, communicating, collecting data and using technology safely. Using computers and laptops, they improve their mouse control and learn how to log on and off a computer using a username and password. They learn more about online safety and what to do if they encounter something which makes them feel uncomfortable, in addition to what personal information is and why it is important we do not share it with someone on the internet. Coding progresses from programming Beebots in EYFS onto computer-based programming, where children develop their understanding of algorithms and programming in a variety of ways and how technology can be used safely and purposefully.
In KS2, during Years 3 and 4, children become more confident users of computing technology. As they did in KS1, learners have several opportunities to revisit and strengthen their understanding of coding, communicating, using data and connecting with others online. They continue their E-safety knowledge through learning about using the internet responsibly, email, phishing, online advertising and more. They use a wider range of software including Scratch, 2Logo, 2Code, Microsoft media software and more. In Years 5 and 6, lessons still focus on algorithms, programming and coding but build upon prior learning in a more complex way and for a widening range of purposes. Children also develop their knowledge of computer networks, internet services and the safe and purposeful use of the internet and technology, through age relevant E-safety teaching. Data Handling is featured more heavily in UKS2, where skills learnt during KS1 and LKS2 are used to support data handling and presentation