At Manor Court, we understand the importance of our children being confident and capable users of technology which will be essential to them throughout their lives. We aim for our children to develop their creativity, resilience and problem-solving skills through our computing curriculum, to give them a broad range of computing experience, and to ensure that they become digitally literate with a clear understanding of their responsibilities.
Aims for all children:
To understand and apply the basic principles of computer science
To solve problems and show resilience in doing so
To be confident, capable, creative and digitally literate users of information and communication technology
Computing learning at Manor Court begins in our nursery class for children aged 2 – 4. Children in nursery begin to recognise the technology around them. They have access to a variety of equipment including torches, a touch screen computer, an interactive whiteboard, pretend phones, microphones and a till used for role play. Through this, the children start understanding how technology is used in everyday life and how to interact with it.
As children move into the Foundation Stage, technology continues to feature in their learning environment. They interact more frequently with age-appropriate software as part of their continuous provision and they select and use technology for particular purposes as well as discussing how to stay safe when using technology. They learn predominantly through the use of role play with technology (phones, computers, cameras etc.).
In both the Early Years and Foundation, there is a strong focus on the Characteristics of Effective Learning which includes playing and exploring. This helps to build the foundation of their later learning in computing, where exploration, resilience and problem solving are key skills to develop. By engaging with a wide range of technology, children are prepared to develop their learning, skills and knowledge further as they move through the school.
Computing lessons in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are taught discretely but also backed up by the use of technology in other curriculum subjects. Discrete computing lessons follow the Manor Court computing progression which involves a combination of the New Wessex Planning scheme - developed by eLIM which we subscribe to as a school – and the Teach Computing Curriculum. The objectives are taken from both these curricula and they are progressive, building on previous learning. The progression was written by all teaching staff collectively so that all staff have ownership and were able to identify the lessons that would most suit, inspire and benefit our children whilst still covering the required National Curriculum objectives. There are links between the computing lessons and the half termly online safety lessons as well as cross curricular links to most other subjects where appropriate.
The lesson plans in the progression cover four key computing areas: programming, multimedia, technology in our lives, and handling data. These enable us to comprehensively teach children all the objectives identified on the National Curriculum (the online safety objective is covered through a separate, but linked, scheme of lessons). The complexity of each of these areas increases as children move up through the school, developing and building on skills taught the previous year. The overview is therefore continuous, spiralling and progressive ensuring that children’s understanding grows throughout their school career.
Computing lessons involve a range of technologies, including iPads, laptops, programmable robots, micro:bits and interactive whiteboards, as well as a variety of programmes, apps, websites and games. This ensures children have a wide range of experience to draw on.
There are numerous opportunities in a range of subjects across the curriculum to teach computing skills, for example, using search engines to research topics or software, such as Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, to present information. Teachers are also able to model appropriate and successful use of these technologies daily through their use of interactive whiteboards.
Teaching of computing is monitored and evidenced in several ways: through examples of work collected after a lesson, through work saved on SharePoint by the children, and through Padlet. Padlet is used to gather children’s thoughts and learning at the end of a lesson. The Padlets can then be used to formatively assess the children’s understanding from a lesson and to identify misconceptions. These can then be addressed in lessons to come and the sequence can be adjusted to reflect the progress of the children. Similarly, the work produced by the children is used to enable teachers to monitor and assess the progress they are making and adjust teaching accordingly. The statements of the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals form the success criteria to assess children against and the progression breaks down the National Curriculum into specific objectives for each strand of computing. Children’s progress in computing is reported to their parents and carers in their annual school report.
Through careful monitoring of progress made throughout lessons and the outcome of work produced, additional support is offered to those who are finding a particular concept or skill difficult. These can take place when appropriate, whether that is within the lesson or separately. Those who have understood concepts more easily will be given additional challenges to progress to, applying their skills in a variety of contexts and developing their creativity and independence further.
Our aim is for all children to be resilient problem-solvers, creative thinkers and confident, capable users of technology. Teachers differentiate all lessons, adapting them according to the needs and skills of the children in their class. For those who have difficulty accessing the lesson, additional support is always available, from both adults and peers. The progressive nature of the overview allows children to develop their skills over time, moving their learning on at a pace and level of challenge that is appropriate for them. A variety of visual representations can be used to offer additional scaffolding. An encouragement of making mistakes, undoing them easily and learning from these enables children to develop both their resilience and confidence.