Computing Intent Statement
At Woodlands, we believe that Computing is a gateway to understanding how technology is woven into the fabric of life and how that both impacts and enriches our pupils’ lives providing a wealth of learning opportunities and transferable skills. At the heart of Computing, the curriculum is engaging and meaningful ensuring that it is inclusive for all pupils. In addition, our curriculum develops pupils’ communication skills by learning how to keep themselves safe online through being able to recognize both the opportunities and threats posed.
We feel Computing teaches our children:
- To become adaptable and open-minded to change with the ever-evolving world of
technology and being prepared for their future lives
- To develop their problem solving skills which allow the children to think creatively to
find solutions both independently and within a team environment.
- To become analytical when challenges arise and learn to solve problems in an
- To build positive relationships with the world online and understand how to
communicate effectively, as well as managing conflict appropriately
- To become respectful and tolerant global citizens in the digital world
- To embrace technology and learn to understand how to use a wide range of both
software and hardware connected to their daily lives
- To set high expectations in their approach to lessons and believe they can use
technology to aid their learning.
Computing Implementation Statement
At Woodlands, Computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. Knowledge and skills are mapped across each topic and year group to ensure systematic progression and lessons are tailored to meet the needs of all children and are fully inclusive.
In each year group, the first unit each academic year solely focuses on e-Safety so that all pupils have a secure understanding of age-appropriate issues when working online, as well as using any digital technology. This underpins all the topics that pupils learn throughout an academic year so that they continue to develop their awareness and understanding of e-Safety issues.
Following this, for a large part of the Computing curriculum, a cross-curricular ‘themed’ approach to planning is used with clear rationales and contextualised learning to support the children in their lessons. Teaching in a cross-curricular approach allows the children to re-visit key skills across the Computing curriculum, with high expectations being set in all topics. This ensures children can develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their Computing topics. By making ‘links’ (where appropriate) within Computing and across the curriculum enables the children to remember what they have learnt and build a solid foundation for future topics.
Towards the end of each academic year, in specific topics linked to physical computing and ‘coding’, these are taught discretely as pupils can then focus on understanding and applying the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
We have a Multimedia Suite, set of laptops and two sets of Chromebooks to use across the school, as well as sets of iPads allocated to each year group to ensure that all year groups can use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. The Computing curriculum is also enhanced by themed days across the school year. For example, during Spring 1, pupils engage with ‘Safer Internet Day’ and celebrate what they have learnt as part of their annual e-Safety lessons.
Computing is taught each term and in most cases is embedded in the theme that is being taught across the wider curriculum. Teachers identify the key subject knowledge and skills that the children need to become successful in Computing when they are planning and use our assessment descriptors to support them- this ensures that the quality of education the children receive is at least good, is progressive, it sets high expectations and is aspirational for all children.
Our assessment sheets split Computing into: e-Safety, IT beyond the school (KS1 only), creating digital content, searching (KS2 only), logical thinking, programming and problem solving. These key skills are taught progressively throughout the school, in a wide range of Computing topics, which allows the children to build knowledge and skills over time and to get a depth of understanding across the subject. After each unit, the teachers assess the skills and subject knowledge that has been taught and use this to support in their planning.
Learning outside the curriculum is embedded across the curriculum, with opportunities to practise their Computing skills and knowledge as part of a cross-curricular approach. Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and logical thinking, computing at Woodlands Primary School gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.