At Altmore, we believe that in this ever-changing digital world, it is essential that all children develop key computing skills to support them in everyday life. To ensure that we prepare our children for their future we recognise that we must provide quality hardware and software and a structured and progressive approach to the learning of the skills needed to enable them to use it effectively.
We aim to provide all children with a high-quality education in computing that not only gives them sufficient skills to use the technology that exists today, but the life-long thinking skills and passion to continue to develop their love for computing throughout their education and beyond.
We hope our curriculum enables our children to develop creativity, resilience, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, whilst keeping safety at the forefront of their minds.
In the EYFS teachers follow the EYFS Framework. Although there is no specific mention of computing in the updated EYFS Framework there are still many opportunities for young children to use technology to solve problems and produce creative outcomes. In particular, many areas of the framework provide opportunities for pupils to develop their ability to use computational thinking effectively. The most relevant statements for computing are taken from the following areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Show resilience and perseverance in the face of a challenge.
- Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently.
- Know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing: sensible amounts of ‘screen time’.
Expressive Arts and Design
- Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Managing Self
- Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
- Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly.
Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with Materials
- Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
We still believe it is extremely important that children learn how to use devices and technology safely. Links to Personal, Social and Emotion development and online safety are made, giving the children a concreate context to discuss their feelings and emotions. This is reinforced by all adults when children use devices to support and record their learning as part of continuous provision. Children use devices such as iPads to take photographs of their work and creations as well as using them with adult support to find out information linked to their learning.
Termly unplugged computing lessons are taught to the children. The activities from Barefoot Computing are based around computational thinking concepts and approaches. These collaborative activities support the children in developing the necessary problem-solving skills needed for everyday life.
From term 3, small groups of Reception children are regularly taken into the computer suite. The children have the opportunity to develop key computing skills as well as learn how to use specific pieces of software, apps and technology.
At Altmore we follow the National Curriculum for Computing. The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Within the teaching of Computing, children develop key skills across three areas: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Every week children in Key Stage One have a weekly computing slot where discrete computing skills are taught. In these lessons we teach the National Centre for Computing Education ‘Teach’ scheme of work. 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.
In addition to this, we teach a termly Online Safety lesson to ensure that all our children become ‘digitally literate’ and know how to stay safe online when using all forms of technology. They understand the importance of keeping their personal information private; how to identify where to go for help and support if they have concerns about any content or a contact on the internet or other online technologies. Online Safety themes are revisited often and are embedded throughout the curriculum. To support the teaching of Online Safety we use the National Online Safety and the Education for a Connected World Framework.
We also plan for the use of technology and computing skills in as many learning opportunities as possible. This helps to provide our children with concrete experiences of where and how they can use digital media in different aspects of their lives.
App of the Term
Every term we have a different app focus to encourage the children to use technology creatively in different areas of the curriculum. The children are shown how to use the app and then have time to explore how it works. Class teachers then plan for the app to be used in different areas of the curriculum. Here are some of the apps that may be used:
- Chatter Pix Kids
- Pic Collage EDU
- Puppet Pals
- Book Creator
- Shadow Puppets
Every class has daily access to its own iPad’s, webcam. desktop computer and interactive whiteboard. Classrooms also have a range of technology available to develop speaking and listening skills these include talk buttons, recordable postcards and a chatterbox.
We are very lucky to have a team of Digital Leaders within school. Every year, two children are chosen from KS1 class to be part of the team . The children are chosen for being enthusiastic users of technology as well as demonstrating good online safety practice and computing knowledge within their learning .Their role it is to support and encourage the use of technology in school. The team meet at least once a term and are given the opportunity to share ideas and develop their use and knowledge of computing further.
Typically, things that may be performed by a Digital Leader are:
- Help staff get computing equipment ready and organised (charging laptops and iPads)
- Deliver and help teachers deliver online safety curriculum to own class and other classes in the school
- Help produce and deliver assemblies about online safety and acceptable use of equipment, devices and programs (games)
- Demonstrate how to use technology in the classroom
- Demonstrate how to use everyday programs and easy to use website to other students and staff
- Demonstrate how to use apps and websites to enhance teaching and learning
- Organise and judge competitions
- Try out and review new apps, websites and programs which could be used in lessons
- Help organise special computing events
- Share their skills and expertise with other pupils, classes and teachers
- Set up ICT equipment in classrooms for teachers
- Create how-to video help guides
Look Inside How Computers Work: 1 by Alex Frith
What is Coding? by Steffi Cavell-Clarke, Thomas Welch
Why Are There Different Computer Languages? by Kirsty Holmes
100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding by Various and Federico Mariani;Parko Polo
Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis
#Goldilocks by Jeanne Willis
Once Upon A Time Online by David Bedford and Rosie Reeve
Troll Stinks by Jeanne Willis
Webster’s Email by Hannah Whaley
Ada Lovelace (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Zafouko Yamamoto
We consider enrichment activities to be an important part of our children’s learning, providing children with stimulating and engaging practical experiences that support the curriculum and create a love for learning. Throughout the school year, children take part in a variety of enrichment activities. These include: visitors in school, visits from authors, educational visits, competitions, performances and celebrating our ‘Altmore Achievers’ in a weekly assembly.
Inspiring a love of learning in the resilient and confident leaders of tomorrow.