At Our Lady of Hartley, we understand that a high-quality computing education is essential for pupils to understand modern information and communication technologies. We prepare our pupils for the 21st century to be safe, responsible, competent, confident and creative participants in an increasingly digital world, not just as accomplished consumers of technology, but also as skilled, enthusiastic and imaginative creators of technology.
We teach a curriculum that enables children to become skilled users of technology who can:
Our Computing teaching provides a wealth of learning opportunities and transferrable skills explicitly within the Computing lesson and across other curriculum subjects.
Wherever we can, links are made with “real-life” professions and contexts which rely on ICT to make Computing real, relevant and purposeful. We achieve this by providing a rich, diverse curriculum, underpinned by our school’s goal of enabling every member of the school community to have a ‘Lifetime Love for Learning’.
Computing in the Early Years
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage separates learning and development into seven areas (three prime areas and four specific areas). The area that relates to computing and the use of ICT is in the, ‘understanding the world’ section and falls under the subsection ‘technology’ and it reads as follows:
‘Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes’.
At Our Lady of Hartley, we are big advocates of encouraging and developing ICT skills from an early age. Children have access to a range of technology in the early years classroom including (but not limited to) role play toys (hoovers, microwaves, tills, old mobile phones, washing machines etc), technology that is used throughout the school (such as photocopies, tablets, computers, interactive whiteboards) and resources that encourage children to develop programming skills (such as Beebots and remote control vehicles).
Although we do allow children to access technology as part of child initiated learning, we also plan for such learning opportunities. In our experience, we have found that the best practise is:
Children are taught how to use a variety of ICT equipment throughout the year and this knowledge is built upon in Year 1.
Cross currculur links include: Pattern recognition, problem solving, data handling, the list goes on!
The National Curriculum states that children should “apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.” This allows pupils to see their computing skills come to life. One example of where this happens at Our Lady of Hartley is in Year 4 in which the children use Lego We Do kits to design a product that can be controlled using an algorithm
Instructional writing goes incredibly well with the teaching of algorithms. Working out how to break something down into steps, gives you the skills you need to write a successful algorithm.
Not only can pupils apply their Computing skills to create digital art, they can also explore the idea of abstraction; the removal of unnecessary detail, to view things in their simplest form.
The collection and organisation of data play a strong part in both Science and Computing and the subjects really complement one another. Not to mention the process of predicting, testing and reviewing in both subjects.
Websites developed by our Year 6 classes
As part of our computing curriculum, each year our Year 6 class create a website for a local business. This project allows us to bring together a plethora of knowledge and skills that we have built up over the years including (but not limited to) our computational thinking and our ability to break problems down into smaller parts, our ability to work collaboratively on a project ensuring that everyone adds to the collective, our use and understanding of the web and our ability to create.
There is a lot to consider when building websites that are going to be used to attract future customers and to inform existing ones. We have to ensure that our content is not misleading or misinforming the public. We also have to ensure that we do not use anything that breaches copywrite law (but this is all part of the learning process).
You can view our previous projects below. If you would like our Year 6 team to build a website for your business, please contact the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free software and websites to help develop computing skills
In September 2014 the new Computing Curriculum was introduced into primary schools. At Our Lady of Hartley, the Computing Curriculum has been fully embedded and children are very keen to learn new computing skills and knowledge.
Please see below a list of free software or websites that will help your child develop their computing skills.