Mrs Gale Computing Subject Lead Mike Phelan Computing Subject Governor
Intent - What do we want children to learn?
Quite simply, it is our intention that every pupil, irrelevant of needs, develops such a passion for Computing that they become independent in their use of computing across all three strands of the curriculum, exhibiting positive attitudes towards computing. We wish for every pupil to become technically proficient and use their skills to explore their creativity and be innovative in their understanding and application of skills. A key component is that all pupils are taught about changing online safeguarding issues and solutions.
Through Computing, we aim to support this philosophy by
- ensuring that all our pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- analysing problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- evaluating and applying information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- teaching pupils to be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology and have an unequivocal understanding of how to stay safe online.
- giving the pupils opportunities to meet real life computing experts and learn how their innovative work has led to solving challenging problems in the real world
- having their successes in this subject area celebrated through special assemblies
- having the opportunity to apply for a Digital Leader role
At Birchwood we know that children learn best when the curriculum is well sequenced to enable revisiting of core knowledge, skills and understanding to deepen conceptual awareness before demanding application across the whole curriculum. Please see the Computing Progression of Skills documents (held in school), which outline how the key skills are developed, revisited, assessed and built upon during Reception to Year 6.
Birchwood’s Bespoke Curriculum
Wherever possible, we contextualise the learning experiences that we plan for our pupils in order to allow children to apply the skills taught to a real-life situation. Pupils from Key Stage 2 visit Woodbridge Senior School to take part in STEM challenges. A recent visit had a focus of 'Computational Thinking' which improves reasoning, perseverance and problem-solving skills.
Pupils in Year 5 apply research and presentation skills when developing promotional material for our annual Suffolk Day Dish project where teams are challenged to research a dish to create for our school lunch menu. Pupils apply skills in internet research and web design when creating content for the school website to share the roles and outcomes of our many ‘Pupil Voice’ positions within the school. Pupils in Year 6 apply skills in presentation when using a spreadsheet to problem solve. These skills are contextualised through the Birchwood Chicken micro business, ensuring they continue to make a profit through the sale of eggs to the school and wider community.
Implementation - How are we going to achieve our intent?
There are three aspects to the Computing curriculum; computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Birchwood has a Computing Suite with 30 PC’s, a class set of Chrome Books and 6 iPad Minis in EYFS. Each device has internet access and all the relevant applications needed to teach computing in school.
Resources created by ‘Kapow Computing' and 'Project Evolve' are used to support the teaching of Computing and Online Safety at Birchwood.
In addition to the above, there is a variety of other computing equipment in school including BeeBots, Lego WeDo, microphones and Crumble Bot Robots. We recenty purchased a 'Green Screen' to enable pupils to bring to life work they have filmed across the whole curriculum.
Pupils at Birchwood have weekly Computing skills lessons. Teachers plan for opportunities to apply these skills within the Computing Curriculum and across other curriculum areas. For example, pupils in KS1 use bar charts to represent their plant growth, linked to their work in Science. Pupils in KS2 apply skills taught in the use of Google Education to create Documents, Slides and Forms which enables collaborative work with their peers.
Impact - What will it look like when we have achieved our intent?
There are literally hundreds of ways we can demonstrate the excellent impact our curriculum design has on our pupils. In a nutshell, here are some examples:
- Each September, pupils from Year 4 to Year 6 apply for the post of Digital Leaders. From the many applicants three ‘Digital Leaders’ are selected for each of these year groups and these children become the voices of Computing and Online Safety at Birchwood. Through the Digital Leaders programme, which meets fortnightly with the Computing Subject Lead, pupils learn new skills and research current information becoming ‘experts’ in their field. Covering topics including programming, online safety, and technical helpers, they lead assemblies where they impart their knowledge to their peers, teaching staff, parents and governors.
- We are proud to celebrate and teach our pupils about all STEM subjects. We celebrate these subjects to show how intricatley they are linked with a bi-annual STEM Week. During this week members of the school community take part in challenges and opportunities to explore STEM - these challenges encourage teamwork, communication, the opportunity for pupils to develop and demonstrate their problem solving skills, use their imagination, creativity and ingenuity as well as early project management skills. Some of these activities take place at Adastral Park, who we have a close relationship with, and are led by computer scientists who inspire the pupils to want to succeed in STEM subjects and further develop their love of computing.
Computing at Birchwood
Follow the algorithm to complete the dance!
Click here for our Progression of Skills, Knowledge, Understanding and Vocabulary documents. These sequencing documents show how knowledge builds from EYFS year by year to the end of Y6 so that children know more and remember more.