Computing

Intent

At Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy we ensure that all children are nurtured and guided to reaching their full potential. To do this we make sure that we give them the skills, knowledge and real-life experiences to prepare them for the 21st century. A secure grasp of computing skills and the knowledge of how to stay safe online will be essential in achieving this. We hope to prepare our pupils for a future which is going to be shaped by technology.

Computing is now a core subject and we incorporate technology to complement our curriculum at every opportunity. In classrooms across the school you will find laptops and iPads used in a cross-curricular capacity as well as in discreet computing lessons. In addition to this you will see hardware bought specifically for the teaching of computing skills such as Beebots which introduces children to algorithms in KS1 and then progresses to the use of Micro:Bits and Crumbles in KS2. We aim to develop confident, independent learners who are able to plan, design, create, program and evaluate information through the use of technology.

Our computing curriculum focuses not simply on the use of technology but also on computational thinking. This is a way of thinking that encourages pupils to take a complex problem, truly understand it and develop possible solutions to this problem before presenting the solution in a way that both computers and humans can understand. The cornerstones of computational thinking, decomposition; pattern recognition; abstraction and algorithms, provide pupils with vital skills that can be used when addressing problems in other subjects such as maths and geography. At Rowlatts we embrace the 4Rs – resilience, reflectiveness, resourcefulness and reciprocity, our computing curriculum encourages the use of all four of these skills.

Implementation

Our computing curriculum is provided through the Teach Computing scheme. This scheme has been created by subject experts and is based on both the latest pedagogical research and feedback from teachers. It gives the pupils access to a range of exciting software and hardware from Year 1 to Year 6.

As we are in an area of high deprivation we know that a significant percentage of our households do not have access to the hardware required to develop computing skills. In response to this we have made significant investment to ensure we have the equipment necessary available both in school and at home (when required).

The Teach Computing scheme aims include and encourage ALL individuals when engaging with computing education. Lessons include appropriate differentiation so that those that require scaffolding have it and those with some prior knowledge / skills are encouraged to flourish. Our computing curriculum encourages our pupils to demonstrate our trust-level guiding principles, the 7Cs. These are challenge, creativity, culture, collaboration, community, character and courage. The Teach Computing scheme fits perfectly with these principles.

The Teach Computing curriculum is a spiral curriculum, which means that topics like Programming and Computing Systems and Networks are taught in every year group for 6 to 12 weeks and then revisited and built on in the following years. The Creating Media units support class topics with cross curricular links, such as the Year 3 focus on Romans. These Creating Media units also allow our pupils to get creative whilst building on their digital skills. The Teach Computing scheme provides a clear progression of skills, comprehensive coverage of all computing skills and is a very exciting addition to our curriculum.

To deliver on our ambitious aims we have invested significant time as a school to ensure that all adults responsible for delivering computing lessons have received CPD that supports the delivery of these lessons.

Impact

When our pupils leave Rowlatts Mead Academy they will be confident using a wide range of hardware and software. Our aim is to ensure that we have provided them with a strong foundation for life in the digital age.

Pupils are encouraged to challenge why computing is important as it is only through discussion and reflection that they can fully appreciate the impact that computing has on both their learning in school and in their wider lives moving forwards.

We provide pupils with their own logins to ensure their work is safe and this work is saved in the cloud so that it can be accessed both in school and at home. Teachers have access to these folders so that work can be assessed and evidence collected. Teachers then use their professional judgement in conjunction with the assessment materials provided as part of the Teach Computing scheme to monitor progress.

Subject Leader/s

Mr D Johnson

Impact

Year 1 delivered an e-safety assembly to the rest of the school, offering key advice on what to do to keep safe online and who to contact if you have concerns about content online. The assembly culminated with a video the pupils filmed and edited themselves using Adobe Spark.

 

Computing is embedded throughout the school and used as often as possible. Here you can see Year 2 have used their iPads to record a musical composition of their own making using tuned instruments. Following this lesson they revisited their work to evaluate and improve their work thanks to their use of technology.

 

By incorporating technology into our lessons we can bring our curriculum to life. Here you can see Year 3 filming, acting and later editing their own green screen weather reports. The final films were fantastic and shared on twitter for our families to enjoy at home.

The ability to use a search engine to research online is an important skill as is the ability to discern and evaluate the results. We teach our pupils to question the reliability and appropriateness of what they find online. Here Year 4 used a search engine to research their Viking topic.

 

We use the Accelerated Reader as a tool to promote, monitor and manage independent reading across the school. This technology perfectly complements our desire to promote a genuine love of learning across all ages.

 

Incorporating technology into our classrooms allows the pupils to instantly edit and improve their work. Our pupils are able to select and use a variety of software dependant on their goals for that lesson. Here we can see Year 6 have introduced mini-iPads during Literacy time for dictionary and thesaurus use whilst polishing their work.

 

SEN

 

Technology also allows us to make learning accessible for all learners. Here you can see that we have provided a visually impaired pupil with their own laptop with larger / highlighted keys – this is because writing with on paper can prove difficult and the laptop allows them to keep pace with their peers. This minor adjustment has had a big impact.

 

Digital Leaders

 

Our Digital Leaders have been enjoying the Childnet Digital Leaders program and have completed the training modules. We are now about to start our projects to assist pupils and teachers alike for the remainder of the year. Earlier in Spring term we visited the Apple Store to complete an enjoyable coding session. In this video you can see the pupils have programmed a Sphero Bolt to navigate an assault course – our previous coding experience came in handy.

 

Parent / Community Links

 

We are very fortunate to have close links with both our local community and the Leicestershire Constabulary. To capitalise on this and to ensure our parents are kept informed of technological advances / concerns we invite the police in to deliver parents talks throughout the year. The most recent talk discussed both the benefits and dangers of online gaming prompted by the recent Breck’s Last Game campaign.

 

Working closely with De Montfort University we provide our Year 4, 5 and 6 children with Coding sessions for half a term. Using the program Scratch we ensure pupils are adept at using sequencing, selection and repetition to achieve a given goal. By identifying how increasingly complex algorithms work the pupils are then able to identify and correct errors. These are valuable skills in a digital age where coding plays an increasingly important role.

 

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