At Leamington Community Primary, we want our children to develop a passion for computing. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are. We want them to grow up with the desire to be software engineers, video game designers, web developers or IT consultants. We want them to embody our core values. Our computing curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their digital capital. We want our children to remember their computing lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with! Recently, KS2 became internet legends with Parents Zone and Google. Our school was awarded a ‘Legendary’ certificate for our participation in the initiative.
At Leamington, we firmly believe that to make the most of the internet, children need to make smart decisions when online. Recently, our school acquired the 360 Safe Award which helped empower our children to use the internet safely and wisely and to be confident explorers of the online world. A fantastic time was had by all and this was just another example of how we embed important safeguarding messages into our curriculum.
At Leamington Community Primary School, we believe that Computing lessons play a vital role in children’s education. Use of computers and different devices enables children to solve problems, increases their confidence and helps them to become more aware of the ever-changing world we live in. We believe our curriculum ignites curiosity and inspires our children to look forward into the future. The development of Computing is changing at home and in the community, its impact on the lives of individuals continues to grow and it is essential that our pupils can take advantage of its opportunities and understand its effects. Therefore, it is important that pupils in our school gain the appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding to have the confidence and capability to use computing throughout their lives.
At Leamington, computing is taught in line with our immersive curriculum. We believe it to not only be creative and inclusive but to also provide opportunities that are challenging and ignite curiosity through our immersive and interactive learning. We encourage staff to embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well being. Learning in computing will be enjoyed across the school. Teachers will have high expectations and quality evidence will be presented in a variety of forms. Children will use digital and technological vocabulary accurately, alongside a progression in their technical skills. They will be confident using a range of hardware and software and will produce high-quality purposeful products. Children will see the digital world as part of their world, extending beyond school, and understand that they have choices to make. They will be confident and respectful digital citizens going on to lead happy and healthy digital lives.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every computing lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able and children with SEND. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in computing are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use computing formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
Computing and SEND
At Leamington, we passionately believe that Computing has the potential to empower pupils with SEND and transform their lives. With the right blend of progressive, imaginative planning, exposure to a broad range of tools and technologies and comprehensive support it is possible that all children can fulfil their potential – in Computing and throughout the curriculum.
Computing and Information Technology are essential tools for inclusion. They enable children with SEND, whatever their needs, to use technology purposefully in ways that make the wider curriculum accessible, empower those with communication difficulties to engage with others and to fully include everyone in activities and learning.
We offer children with SEND varied and engaging ways to communicate, collaborate, express ideas and demonstrate success. From making and editing video/audio footage, programming animations, games and apps to creating rich web content – all pupils have an opportunity to participate, be challenged, learn and progress.
Supporting children’s mental health
Children’s use of technology is increasing annually with social media now a part of many families’ lives. Screen time can cover a broad range of activities from reading novels on an e-reader or doing research for a school project to cooperatively playing games with others across the world. Even on the same platform, children and young people could have vastly different experiences depending on the content they are accessing. Therefore, when considering the risks and benefits of technology use, an understanding of the content with which children and young people are engaging is essential.
For children and young people there are many positives about these innovations: instant communication with family and friends around the world; the ability to play and be creative; access to high-quality information; the ability to socialise in a different environment; and online support for a range of health concerns and identity themes.
However, these devices can pose potential challenges to the health and well-being of children and young people. Staff and parents work together to ensure children are safeguarded, have an appropriate amount of screen time, the programs they use are in line with parents’ parental controls and that above all, there is a balance between screen time and other activities. Further to this, as a whole school we have completed the 360 Safe Mark; we ensure the e-safety is embedded across the curriculum and via assemblies etc.
If however, there is an online incident that occurs and it affects children’s mental health; the incident is logged as an online incident and monitored. If this impacts the child’s mental health – it can be referred to the Inclusion Team or to our mental health subject leader for personalised support.
Subject Leader: Ashley Fergusson
Take a look at our Esafety page
Knowledge, Understanding and Skills
The National Curriculum for Computing – Primary National Curriculum – Computing
Computing in different year groups
Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes. Children seek to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment. They understand how to operate simple equipment e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control. Further to this, children show an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones. Also they will shows skills in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images
Children are able to give and carry out instructions (algorithm) with a friend using On/Off switches and control buttons. Children are able to predict and test simple instructions. Further to this, children are able to find their way around a computer game. They are able to choose and use appropriate tools for their pictures of Elliot’s attic. Children also create an E-book about the Great Fire of London where they write the different parts of the story and import/export pictures.
In Year 2 the children create their own 3 little pig’s game linked to our narrative using Scratch. During this the children draw their own characters and add text, to complete their game the children use algorithms to give each character a set of instructions. The children create and publish E-books, a non-chronological report about sea creatures and their own Paddington adventure. The children insert their own images, record audio clips and insert text to complete these E-books. As well as this, the children use digimaps to locate Liverpool landmarks and the local area linking to our Geography topic.
Children in Year 3 plan simple short scripts for narration relating to their narrative topic. Once their script is comeplted, they place images on to a timeline and record simple audio on a movie timeline. Once this is complete, children can add transitions, titles and credits to their short movie and then they export as a video file for computer. As well as this, children use aspects of online safety in all lessons. They ensure that they understand how to report unpleasant content and how to connect with others safely online.
In year 4 the children started the year working with our specialist computing teacher Mr Keegan. Mr Keegan taught our pupils how to use coding to design and create an escape game inspired by our narrative text ‘Escape from Pompeii’. We also completed our ‘Digital communications and the web’ topic by creating and publishing our own blog about the Romans. In the spring term the children learnt how to produce, edit and publish media and created a PowerPoint about Crime and Punishments throughout the ages and explored computer networks such as the internet.
In year 5 for Autumn 1, children look at ‘problem-solving and real world tech’. Children use LeoCad software, which is Lego based software that allows the children to design and build their own Egyptian pyramid. For Autumn 2, for ‘coding, robotics and gaming’ children build a space buggy and look and program using BeeBots and other programs, how we could move the buggy. For Spring 1, during ‘produce, edit and publish media’ topic, children film their own rainforest documentary using Green screen app and effects. Once completed, children edit films to improve them. During Spring 2, for ‘digital communications and the web’, children design their own website for the Anglo-Saxon burial site of Sutton Hoo.
In Year six, Children use a wide variety of software to develop their understanding of programming, recording and interpreting information digitally and online. They explore the safety of recording online including appropriate usernames; keeping passwords safe and reporting online in blogs.
Children get the chance to create webpages linked to their geography; research and report on The Mayans as well as creating podcasts and analysing data linked to The Vikings and school attendance.
How has Covid affected the Computing Curriculum at Leamington Primary?
What was it like before Lockdown?
Before the pandemic, computing was an integral part of our school curriculum. Children were exposed to lots of different technologies and allowed the time to explore different software. Children developed their knowledge and skills of the six strands of computing and work matched with the theme of their narrative (see English Curriculum page for further information). A typical example of this is demonstrated within the Year 3 curriculum during the topic that links to the narrative ‘Tuesday’ by David Wiesner, which incorporates lots of work relating to the environment and pollution: with a focus on keep the frog’s lagoon safe. The computing aspect included the children creating a lagoon space using ‘Cospaces’ (integrating the digital coding aspect of the computing curriculum) where the children were able to program the different animals within the habitat.
Across the whole school, each year group has ensured that the children’s learning is always purposeful, and the progression of skills is clearly evident and built on each year through carefully planned programs and activities.
What was it like during Lockdown?
Throughout the pandemic, we worked closely with MGL to provide an array of lessons for children to access. These lessons focused on problem solving, using code for creating fluid animations, creating digital images etc. Skills were targeted at different year groups to ensure a continuous and consistent curriculum was delivered both remotely and on-site for those children attending. Lessons and activities were differentiated appropriately, as they would be in school. We also participated in ‘Safer Internet Day’ activities – compromising of elements of password protection and being able to identify fake news. Further to this, we shared lots of support via our website and social media regarding:
- Being safe online;
- Hints and tips for safe use of passwords;
- Recommended apps/websites to use at home;
- How to access parental controls.
Furthermore, class teachers and LSOs were available throughout the pandemic to offer support in relation to accessing the remote learning or the work set.
What was it like after Lockdown?
After the pandemic, children returned to school with gaps in their knowledge, understanding and skills. Upon return, staff consolidated topics, where relevant, any gaps in skills were identified and have been noted. This information will be used by the children’s next teacher to inform future planning, so that gaps can be addressed and taught before building upon these skills.
Staff assessed children’s KUS and made the judgement on what is best for their children. Further to this, staff have been provided with a plan to complete a range of basic skills that may need to be consolidated before continuing further with future computing units.
What does the future look like?
We will continue to deliver our full Computing curriculum to our children and adapt lessons when needed to address gaps in knowledge during the rest of this academic year. I am aware not all children, during lockdown 1 and 2, completed or even viewed the Computing lessons available for them so over the next few months, when I look at Computing as a subject leader, by looking at SeeSaw, getting feedback from staff and children and observing lessons (classroom or via zoom) it will become more clear the impact the gaps in the children’s knowledge is having on current lessons.
We will continue to deliver fun, engaging and inspiring lessons for our children as Computing has a fundamental importance in society today. The pandemic has had a major impact in how we use technology and access this safely. This is pertinent that children continue to understand how to sue their devices safely and enable them to be beneficial to themselves. This pandemic has highlighted how much can be completed at home via the internet. We must ensure that children are prepared for the future that comes their way, and that is one of our major tasks going forward.
As soon as it is safe to do so, as a subject leader, I would love for the children to have the opportunity to have access to different technologies that have inspired others e.g. Computing Days/Weeks. Teachers will continue to assess children through our scheme of work and record lessons on SeeSaw.
Miss Ashley Fergusson
Computing/Social Media Subject Leader