At The Whartons Primary, our Computing Curriculum offers to equip all pupils with the skills to use technology purposefully and successfully, supporting the needs of our community. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Our pupils are given the opportunity to design, create and debug programs, continually communicating this with others, and with a growing independence. This encourages every child to become an independent thinker.
By the time they leave The Whartons, children will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring a solid grounding for future learning and beyond.
At The Whartons, computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Teachers use the ‘Purple Mash’ scheme, published by 2Simple, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. Knowledge and skills are mapped across each topic and year group to ensure systematic progression. We have sets of laptops for a classes of children to be taught discrete computing lessons.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. The quality of children’s learning is evident on in their work on Purple Mash. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.
Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at The Whartons gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.