Aims and Objectives

Our aim is to inspire in our pupils a love of the digital world, so that they can: access and evaluate this world competently and responsibly; understand how it works and therefore adapt as it changes; and, most importantly, see its place and value in their future as happy, healthy and successful digital citizens.

The curriculum produced (and regularly updated) by the National Centre for Computing Education (“NCCE”) provides the foundations of our St Mary’s Computing curriculum, allowing our pupils to benefit from national and dynamic expertise in the field. This solid basis affords us opportunity to add elements to our computing lessons, with the aim of nurturing the unique cultural capital of our children here in Marple Bridge, as well as allowing our children to thrive on the vast scope of enhancements that computing can make to the wider school curriculum – and life in general.

In terms of computing content, our curriculum is structured to ensure that our children have the skills required to meet the aims of the National Curriculum for computing, spanning digital literacy (including e-safety), computer science and information technology. We aim to afford our children a broad, deep understanding of computing and how it links to their lives now, as well as what it might mean for their futures. Our curriculum offers a range of opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety, meaning that our children are able to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science. They develop analytical problem-solving skills learn to apply and evaluate the information technology available to them, with the aim of becoming responsible, competent confident and creative users of it. We strive to empower our children with the digital literacy that will enable them to function as discerning digital citizens, capable of adapting their skills to and evaluating the constant changes in the world of computing.

Progression

Being underpinned by the NCCE Curriculum, our computing curriculum provides an innovative progression framework where computing content (concepts, knowledge, skills, and objectives) has been organised into interconnected networks called learning graphs. An overview of this learning journey can be found here.

Transition to KS3 is supported by regular liaison with secondary colleagues through the CMAT-wide computing lead teams, as well as access for UKS2 teachers to resources and KS3 discussion via the NCCE and STEM discussion groups and boards.

Delivery of our computing curriculum

Timetabled Computing lessons are planned and delivered based upon the high-quality resources and Scheme of Work provided by the NCCE via Teach Computing. This scheme of work has been created (and is regularly updated) by subject experts, centered upon the latest pedagogical research at national level (and beyond) and teacher feedback from across the country. Within lessons, teachers strive to harness this international and national expertise in a form that is locally relevant to our pupils’ cultural capital, drawing on parent and visitor expertise, responding to areas of pupil interest and, moving forwards, seeking out local projects to inspire and engage pupils. In order to consolidate the skills and knowledge gleaned during computing lessons, teachers afford pupils with regular (specifically planned and ad hoc, pupil-led) opportunities for computing to enhance the wider curriculum.

Support with subject knowledge and delivery is provided to teachers in a number of ways, tailored to the individual, such as:

– Subject Leader support and input on a group and one-to-one basis;

– A wealth of CPD resources relevant to each topic available on the teachcomputing.org website;

– Access to local and national computing support and discussion groups via STEM and the NCCE;

– Access (upon request) to CPD courses tailored to the NCCE curriculum via STEM.

Bespoke support in relation to the development of our curriculum and the ways in which computing can be innovatively used to enhance the wider curriculum is provided by the Saint Ralph Sherwin CMAT Partner in IT Education and a centralised helpdesk team, as well as access to regular training sessions through the CMAT hub and constantly updated resources available (to both teachers and pupils) on our Pupil Homepage, supported by SpongyElephant.com.

Marking, Feedback and Assessment

This takes place digitally where possible, although opportunities are provided within the computing curriculum for ‘unplugged’ activities. Through the Pupil Homepage, pupils have a variety of means to access and record their opportunities. They are exposed to a variety of ways to store, save and submit their work, encompassing Office 365 Suite, as well as using web-based Apps, such as TinkerCAD, when required by a topic. Teachers can access and respond to these as the subject matter requires, for example through the setting of assignments on Teams or commenting on a piece of work saved in the class area on an App. Additionally, the NCCE curriculum provides for regular formative and summative assessment opportunities in lesson plans and end of unit checks.

The Learning Environment

We aim for our digital learning environment to be a safe, supportive and creative space, where children have opportunity to ask about and learn how to navigate the digital world that they encounter every day, both within and beyond the school gates. During computing lessons, our aim is for children to have access to their own device where possible. However, where devices need to be shared, we believe this affords children opportunities to consolidate and enhance their digital citizenship skills as they learn from and discuss technology with each other. When computing is used to enhance the wider curriculum, we encourage children to be resourceful in terms of their use of technology. As a school, we are exploring ways to display and celebrate our learning digitally, for example in class galleries on web-based Apps, through file sharing on Teams and on the school website. We are working towards a constant and dynamic digital presence in classrooms that celebrates our learning in computing, as opposed to paper-based display.

The role of the subject leader

With the arrival of our CMAT Partner in IT Education at the start of this academic year, Computing at St Mary’s has gone from strength to strength – and continues to blossom. Activities undertaken by the subject lead this academic year have included:

– Full scale appraisal of our computing curriculum and provision;

– Full audit of computing resources;

– Detailed research into curriculum resources available to suit our pupils’ revised needs; evaluating the new resources and selecting those most suited to our pupils;

– Regular and indepth CPD;

– With support from our CMAT Partner in ICT, procurement and implementation of new Chrome books for children and Toshiba Dynabooks for staff; liaison with schools within the CMAT for pooling less regularly used hardware, such as Microbits and Crumbles

– Overseeing the trail of the NCCE curriculum and reporting back to SLT in relation to the same

– Action-planning for the implementation of the NCCE curriculum

More generally – and in line with our wider curriculum approach – the Subject Leader is responsible for:

· Taking the lead in policy development, curriculum and resource evaluation

· Quality assuring computing knowledge webs, resources and planning throughout the school, as well as evaluating new resources which become available

· Monitoring the quality of teaching and learning of computing throughout the school, as well as the ways in which it used to enhance the wider curriculum

· Supporting colleagues with planning, teaching and assessing computing where required; ensuring they receive the training and resources required

· Monitoring pupils’ progress in computing and advising the Senior Leadership Team on action needed

· Liaising with the centralised Trust Team and Partner in ICT in terms of procurement of resources; as well as access to pooled resources

· Keeping up-to-date with developments within the subject through research, CPD (including the Primary Computing Certificate), attendance of computing subject lead meetings and participation in online forums and working groups