We recognise that many of the jobs that our children will be doing have not been created yet, and that increasingly, every job requires a level of computing knowledge on all kinds of different hardware and software. We are also living in an increasingly connected society, using all kinds of digital applications on a multitude of devices to share, connect and learn.
Our Programme of Study for Computing aims to develop skills and attributes such as team work, problem solving, critical thinking about choosing an app or program to complete a task and internet safety.
In Year 6 we have the Chrome books for our computing lessons every Wednesday. We once learnt about GIFs and even did some of our own pixel art. These were all extremely fun. We have our own accounts and passwords and it is a good way to hand homework and other things in.
The computing curriculum overall has a heavy focus on coding and programming and understanding how programs and apps work. This is one of the reasons the subject changed its name in 2016 from ICT to computing. The 2016 primary national curriculum states that “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”.
What equipment do we have at school?
At Andrews’ we are lucky enough to use a range of computing equipment to aid us in our digital and computing learning. We have a small amount of windows computers to use, iPads to take photos with and use apps on, and most recently a class set of Chromebooks.
An example of pixel Art from Y6 Autumn 2020.
Google for education – the impact of using google as a school
At school, we predominantly use the G Suite Education system. This allows us to use any device and upload everything to google drive. All the children at school have their own login and can use apps such as Docs, Sheets and Slides to create homework, Classroom to help with uploading homework and Drive to save our work. Please click on the document at the bottom of the page to find out more about G Suite for Education.
We know that during 2020, internet usage grew by everyone, including children. Children are using the internet more than ever to consume entertainment, to learn and to keep in contact with family and friends. In response, we recognise the ever-greater need for good quality consistent internet safety education. Although we do follow the national safer internet day in school each year (link below), we know that being safe online should be and everyday occurrence. We include internet safety in our PSHE curriculum at school, and also ask specific anecdotal questions and have discussions each time we have a Computing lesson at school. These questions are age specific and are split into questions for KS1, LKS2 and UKS2.
Another fantastic site to help with family internet usage is:
A few examples of the questions we ask during our internet safety sessions are:
-You want to join a website with lots of cool games on, but first you need to fill in a form giving them your name, phone number and home address. What should you do?
-Someone from school sent you a nasty message online. What should you do?
– You are designing your own personal online space. What should you do?
- Cover it with photos and add your address and phone number so people who read your page can contact you.
- Just add general information about your hobbies and interests but don’t add any detailed information
- Add your email address so people can tell you what they think of your page.
– How old do you have to be to use these sites and games?
The curriculum in KS1
In KS1, children learn about basic algorithms using devices such as bee-bots. They are taught how a program can be implemented and used by a device and then how that device precisely and accurately follows those sets of instructions, even if there is a mistake created during the input phase by the user. The children also begin to understand how to create, organise and save documents in a file system and how to move documents and files around in those systems.
The curriculum in KS2
Much of the KS2 curriculum focuses on the fluent use of our google drive file system, which is a skill first looked at in KS1. With this, children can open, edit and save all kinds of work, not just in Computing lessons but in maths, English and even digital art lessons.
Other important skills throughout the program of study are:
Creating and using spreadsheets and understanding the importance of data, using various word processors such as MS word, Google Docs and Apple pages and the different use cases for MS PowerPoint and Google slides.
An important theme again running though the curriculum is coding; the ability to write, test, debug and complete particular pieces of code that solves particular problems or completes a specific task. One of the websites we practice this with is code.org. https://studio.code.org/projects/public
It is important that children understand and use search technologies correctly and effectively. Our children are taught how a search engine works, how results are selected and put into order and how to find accurate information rather than relying on the first piece of information they find. Children also use google sites to understand how to build their own website to showcase their own work on particular topics. They also take photos and videos of their own work to display on the website.
Multimedia editing across the key stage includes editing photos, videos, sound recordings and even creating GIFs. The results of these pieces of work often showcase much of the wider curriculum such as English, History, Geography, Science and even PE.
Above are some examples of GIFs the children have made. This was part of Y6’s work looking at how screens work and what a pixel is, 8 bit graphics, what frame rates are and how video works. To the left and right are some useful documents to give more information about computing at Andrews’.