Alma Park’s Computing curriculum begins in EYFS. This foundation in Computing is based on computational thinking activities, such as sequencing. Children in EYFS also have the opportunity to use a variety of technology. The National Curriculum provides the skill and knowledge progression foundations that are then built on to provide a purposeful progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary. This ensures that the National Curriculum end points are met.
Our pupils are given a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community and also as members of a wider global community and as responsible digital citizens. Pupils build on their knowledge and skills in different areas of Computing, such as computer science, information technology and digital literacy. This ensures they can use technology to support learning across the entire curriculum, confidently and safely.
The Computing curriculum gives pupils life skills to enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in an ever-changing digital world. Alma Park follows the Rising Stars scheme - Switched on Computing. This provides opportunities to combine the different strands of the National Curriculum and ensures progression. By teaching computing in discrete lessons and with purposeful links to other curriculum areas, pupils develop creativity, resilience, problem solving and critical thinking skills. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting School Computing is delivered in a safe and inspiring environment which nurtures children’s talents, allowing them to thrive so that when they leave Alma Park they are responsible, active citizens. Computing at Alma Park promotes and encourages sustainability in various ways including: upgrading hardware rather than replacing it, ensuring computers are switched off after use rather than left idle and saving work electronically rather than printed. Diversity is embraced by giving opportunities to study a range of important people in computational history. Software and hardware resources are adapted when necessary to ensure SEND and disadvantaged pupils can access all aspects of the same curriculum.
At Alma Park we are always looking for opportunities to develop our curriculum and this involves seeking enrichment activities for our pupils using local community links.
Learning is the core purpose of our school and is central to everything that happens.
In Nursery and Reception, we follow the Statuary Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage document. This foundation in Computing is based on computational thinking activities, such as sequencing. Children in EYFS also have the opportunity to use a variety of technology.
In KS1 and KS2 the computing curriculum covers all the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. We follow the Rising Stars scheme ‘Switched on Computing’. At Alma Park the National Curriculum has been refined to reflect the communities the children belong to. It is relevant, diverse and engaging. For example, children will study important figures in computing such as Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Sophie Wilson and Banu Masu. SEND and social disadvantaged pupils can access the computing curriculum by adapting software and hardware for their needs.
Computing is delivered in discreet lessons, with meaningful links to other subjects. By teaching Computing this way, children are able to focus on the skills and knowledge related to Computing. It is therefore easier for them to recall past learning in this subject.
Long term plans, knowledge progression and skills progression documents are the building blocks of the subject. From these, medium term plans are created. Individual lesson plans are created by class teachers, these lesson plans take their objectives from the medium term plans and the Rising Stars scheme of work. Lessons are structured to minimise cognitive overload, this is done by ensuring prior knowledge is secure and that lessons are not overloaded with new knowledge. Lessons are either completed in the school’s computer suite or in class using IPads or laptops.
Children will present all work to their best standard. This fosters pride in their learning. The work will show the clear progression of children’s learning through the Key Stages. For example, programming progresses from moving a BeeBot to using variables. Lessons are teacher assessed against the learning objective. An end of topic assessment or evaluation is used to assess what knowledge the children have retained.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. These can be used to gather data or in conjunction with multimedia applications.
As well as our school based learning, we ensure learning is supported by relevant educational visits and visitors. The school takes part in Safer Internet Week, Hour of Code and Be Internet Legends.
Our commitment to being a UNICEF Rights Respecting School is shown through our Computing curriculum. For example, children are allowed to have a voice through blogging and multimedia presentations as well as giving them the tools to deal with online abuse and bullying.