A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The National Curriculum for Computing (2014) aims for pupils to:
understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
At Southborough, we believe that, “education should prepare young people for jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems of which we are not yet aware” (Richard Riley).
At Southborough, we follow Switched on Computing which covers skills in programming; computational thinking; creativity; computer networks; communication and collaboration; productivity and online safety. As well as teaching discrete sessions, the cross-curricular nature of the subject allows for computing content to be delivered through other subjects (e.g. English, Maths, Science etc.).
There are three learning areas of computing;
Further to this, online safety is a large part of the computing curriculum at Southborough. We strongly believe that children need to learn, from a young age, how to keep themselves safe online. At the beginning of each year, children sign an acceptable use document showing they understand how to use the computing equipment safely and appropriately. We also use the search engine 'Google Paws Explore' which is a child safe search engine.
To support our online safety leaning, each year group has an engaging core text to hook the children in. These are revisited each term:
As computing is a non-traditional media, much of the work produced by children is created in an electronic format and saved on a centrally stored system. Teachers use a range of strategies to deliver and assess computing and ensure that all children are well planned for and challenged to reach their next goal.
Lessons and activities are designed and taught to foster children’s problem-solving skills and encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with children’s core competencies, building on what they know to develop their computational understanding.
In-line with Southborough’s SEN Policy and ethos, computing tasks and activities are designed to be accessible for all pupils to enter while still containing challenging components. Lessons are designed and planned to include all children through a range of approaches: inclusive questioning and universal use of equipment, together with mixed-ability groupings to enable peer support is utilised and challenged throughout teaching and learning. Furthermore, lessons are planned to facilitate the identification of children at all attainment ranges within each class.
The learning climate and culture at Southborough offers a multitude of opportunities to cover and embrace British and Christian Values. For example, the Values of ‘Mutual Respect’ and ‘Perseverance' are concepts that can be addressed directly through the teaching of coding and e-safety.