Computing at St Alban's

Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world. The new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. But what does this mean for primary schools? How should school leaders be planning for the new curriculum and how can teachers develop the additional skills they will need?

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

The core of computing is computer science (CS), 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 (IT) to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate (DL) – 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 aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation (CS)
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems (CS)
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems (IT)
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology (DL)

There will be a more detailed look at the programme of study, but a quick scan of the subject content shows expectations for the three aspects of computing at each key stage. The content has been adapted below to show how it can be broken down into three sub-sections.

What is Internet Safety?

Internet Safety is not just electronic security, e.g. firewalls, encrypted USB, secure passwords etc. but also about behaviour.

In practice, E-Safety is as much about behaviour as it is electronic security. E-Safety in this context is classified into three areas of risk:

  • Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.

Quoting directly from the Ofsted inspection briefing, E-Safety (in the context of an inspection) is described as the school’s ability:

  • To protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology
  • To have the appropriate mechanisms to intervene and support any incident where appropriate.

Teaching & Learning:

The Internet is an essential element for education, business and social interaction. Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils, and so the school has a duty to provide pupils with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience:

  • The school Internet access will be designed expressly for pupil use including appropriate content filtering.
  • Pupils will be given clear objectives for Internet use and taught what use is acceptable and what is not.
  • Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation.
  • As part of the new Computing Curriculum, all year groups have digital literacy units that focus on different elements of staying safe on line. These units include topics from how to use a search engine, digital footprints and cyber bullying.
  • The school will ensure that the use of Internet derived materials by staff and pupils complies with copyright law.

Through ICT we ensure that the school meets the needs of all, taking account of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, ability, disability and social circumstances. It is important that in this school we meet the diverse needs of pupils to ensure inclusion for all and that all pupils are prepared for full participation in a multi- ethnic society. We also measure and assess the impact regularly through meetings our SEN co-ordinator and individual teachers to ensure all children have equal access to succeeding in this subject.

Pupils are taught in all lessons to be critically aware of the materials/content they access on-line and are guided to validate the accuracy of information

Rotherham Power:

Rotherham Power is a fantastic website for parents to find more information on Internet Safety https://www.rotherhampower.co.uk/

Here are three really useful posters for parents taken from the Rotherham Power Website:

General Internet Safety: Internet Safety

Social MEdia: Social Media

Discussion to have with your child: Conversations

Click the above link to go to the National Curriculum

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Below are the overview sheets for each Computing strand for each year:

Knowledge = this is what the children should know by the end of the year.

Vocabulary = these are the subject specific words that the children should understand by the end of the year.

Skills = These are the skills the children should know by the end of the year.