In line with the 2014 National Curriculum for Computing, our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education which equips children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed.
Learners will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers.
By the time they leave Renhold Primary, 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 Renhold, computing is taught using a creative curriculum supported by the excellent online programme: Purple Mash. 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, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. We have a class sets of i-pads to ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
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. Assessment of children’s work is used to feed into teachers' future planning, and as a creative approach continues to be developed, 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 equips pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. Our older pupils work regularly with members of the Research and Development Team from Microsoft and have been instrumental in helping to develop a series of new technologies such as using artificial intelligence and coding for pupils with Special Educational Needs. A member of the team is a regular panel member in the Year 6 Dragon’s Den which is held annually in which the children work in teams to design an app. Because of this, as well as the use of research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at Renhold gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.