'We are preparing children for jobs that have not yet been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.'
– Richard Riley (former US Secretary of Education)
In this technological age, where computers are an integral aspect of our modern lives, our main aim is to ensure that children are safe users of technology. At Bridgewater Primary School, we want to raise safe and healthy children who are mindful, active producers of technology. Children need to know how to navigate the online world safely, maturely and sensitively; ensuring they use their critical, ‘computational thinking’ skills when presented with a range of views and information that will enable them to participate effectively and safely in a digital world.
Our school British Values Statement can be found in our Key Policies section of the website.
Through the study of Computing, pupils will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the three strands: Information Technology, Digital Literacy and Computer Science. Computing allows all pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and be part of an ever changing world. Computer science knowledge is built upon so that all pupils can use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. All pupils will become digitally literate to ensure that they are prepared and ready to move into their future workplace and to be active participants in a digital world.
We aim for our learners to:
- Be competent in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects.
- Have the ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity.
- Have an understanding of the connected nature of devices.
- Have the ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum.
- Have the ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively.
At Bridgewater, we value and recognise the contribution that technology can make for the benefit of all pupils, staff, parents, governors and society. We strive to provide safe opportunities in computing to motivate, inspire and raise standards across the curriculum. Everyone in our school community will be equipped with the digital skills to meet developing technology with confidence, enthusiasm and prepare them for a future.
We want our children to be creators and innovators, not just users of digital content. Our children are taught to understand that technology is an integral part of modern life and the key to the future is to harness and understand technology’s potential. Computing is a constantly evolving subject that involves solving complex problems, being able to collaborate with others, learning from mistakes and refining solutions.
Our computing curriculum is designed with logical sequenced steps that will equip all children with the essential skills and knowledge they need to use technology safely and creatively. We ensure that children can build on their understanding; each new concept is taught with opportunities for children to consolidate and reapply their skills and knowledge throughout the year.
Every unit has reflection and assessment points, to ensure we can narrow gaps. The children create their own digital learning journals that record their understanding and tell their own story of the content they create.
We recognise that amongst the many positives that technology has to offer, risks exist and children need to be taught to manage their digital lives properly. We strive to model and educate our children to use technology creatively, positively, responsibly and safely.
Our scheme of work for Computing is adapted from the ‘Teach Computing’ Curriculum and covers all aspects of the National Curriculum. This scheme was chosen as it has been created by subject experts and based on the latest pedagogical research. It provides an innovative progression framework where computing content (concepts, knowledge, skills and objectives) has been organised into interconnected networks called learning graphs.
The curriculum aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to thrive in the digital world of today and the future. The curriculum can be broken down into 3 strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy, with the aims of the curriculum reflecting this distinction.
In summary, our Computing curriculum develops the children’s knowledge of:
- Essential Skills: ensure the children have the core basic skills to use multiple devices, this is designed to promote independence.
- Computer Science: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to computational thinking, coding, algorithms and networks.
- Information Technology: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to digital communication, creating multimedia content and data representation/handling.
- Digital Literacy: underlines the knowledge and skills relating to online safety and technology in society.
This concept involves developing an understanding of instructions, logic and sequences.
This concept involves developing an understanding of how to safely connect with others.
This concept involves using apps to communicate one’s ideas.
This concept involves developing an understanding of databases and their uses.
A key part of implementing our computing curriculum is to ensure that safety of our pupils is paramount. We take online safety very seriously and we aim to give children the necessary skills to keep themselves safe online. Children have a right to enjoy childhood online, to access safe online spaces and to benefit from all the opportunities that a connected world can bring them, appropriate to their age and stage. Children build online resilience through monthly online safety lessons using units from the Knowsley scheme of work. The framework aims to support and broaden the provision of online safety education, so that it is empowering and builds resilience. The objectives promote the development of safe and appropriate long-term behaviours, and support educators in shaping the culture within our setting and beyond.
Our Computing curriculum allows the children to revisit each objective several times, helping to ensure the best results are achieved and that knowledge is transferred from the working memory, into the long term memory.
Our school encourages discussions between staff and pupils to help the children best understand their progress and their next steps. Pupils document their own learning which can also be used to showcase and celebrate computing work as well as provide evidence of the pupil’s knowledge and digital skills.
We constantly monitor to ensure the children have learnt the things we’ve taught them and if they are struggling, we can introduce additional support the next time they encounter that objective.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Pupil journals and assessment/feedback on content creation.
- Governor monitoring with our subject computing link governor.
- Moderation staff meetings with opportunities for dialogue between teachers.
- Photo evidence of the pupils' practical learning.
- Video analysis through recording of performance or practical learning in lessons.
- Pupil self reflection.
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes (progression/what to observe in learning).
- Learning walks and reflective staff feedback (teacher voice).
- Dedicated Computing leader time.
- Formative and summative approaches.
As an inclusive school, we believe that diversity needs to be embraced, celebrated and highlighted, both within the curriculum and through the culture of the school. As a result, children and stakeholders are represented fairly and accurately, with a focus on equity. Learners will have the opportunity to access a deep, enriching curriculum which supports community cohesion and enables all pupils to develop and understand themselves as interconnected, global citizens. All children, regardless of gender, culture or disability are given the opportunity to study the curriculum. We acknowledge and plan for the specific needs of all learners.
Digital technology is driving extraordinary global changes and we are trying to prepare our children to be successful in jobs that haven't even been created yet. In computing, we ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed and promote all the STEM subjects as being accessible to all.
Research documents have identified that since the subject has officially changed to 'computing', gender imbalance in higher education subject take-up has significantly risen. Girls only make up 21% of computer science entries at GCSE. In 2017, the Royal Society reported that gender balance was ‘the most significant diversity issue’ in the subject. Other research has also shown that both girls and boys underperform in computing compared with their achievement in other subjects.
At Bridgewater, we have exciting units of learning planned to ensure that all of our children enjoy computing sessions and want to find out more about the subject regardless of gender, age, faith and social/ethnic background. To support all children, classes complete a number of different 'unplugged' activities so they can demonstrate their understanding of a concept before using a device. This is similar to the CPA model used in other subjects. Also, when completing programming units of work, the PRIMM model is implemented. This gets children to Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make different programmes so they always have good examples and correct code to base their own ideas and creations on. This ensures that every one of our children at Bridgewater can achieve their academic potential in computing.