Gateway Academy Westminster

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Computing

Curriculum Intent

At Gateway our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum for computing, which states,

’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 – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.’

Computing involves the use of a wide range of technologies, including computers. Computing is taught as its own subject but is embedded in all other subjects across the school curriculum.

At Gateway, computing lessons are used to teach children a wide range of skills in a variety of contexts. This will include using different software programs in the Computing suite, laptops, Chromebooks or iPads to develop transferable lifelong skills. It will also include using other hands-on resources to help the children understand the practical uses of Computing. Children study a variety of topics throughout the year which involve finding things out, exchanging and sharing information, developing ideas and making things happen.

Interactive Whiteboards are used in some way in the majority of lessons and Computing is used in all other curriculum areas. Children will regularly use Computing to collect data in Numeracy and Science, record role play in Literacy, model and control things in Design and Technology and however else will engage and enhance learning. This embedded use repeatedly models and reinforces children’s computer skills, so children begin to use Computing intuitively and are able to choose the best resource for the job.

Computing is all around us. It is used in all areas of life by providing a solid understanding of the basics of Computing, children are well equipped to understand the constantly evolving technologies around them.

 

Online Safety

  • At Gateway we take Internet safety extremely seriously.
  • We have an Internet Policy that provides guidance for teachers and children about how to use the World Wide Web safely.
  • Children are not permitted to access the Internet without the presence of an adult and even then specific pre-checked websites are used.
  • The entire school network is protected by a filtering firewall that stops any inappropriate material being viewed or downloaded.
  • An Internet incident report system is in place to record and help investigate issues should they arise.

We Want Children To:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • Analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • Evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

 

The Curriculum

The computing programme of study within the National Curriculum 2014 sets out an overview of learning objectives that children should be taught by the end of each key stage. The objectives for both Key Stage 1 and 2 fit into three main strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Computing doesn’t stretch to early years (EYFS), but technology is mentioned in the EYFS framework. One of the areas of learning, Understanding the World, sets out that children should have the opportunity to explore, observe and find out about technology.

 

Computer science: Key stage 1 and 2

Computer science covers topics such as:

  • how computer networks work
  • algorithms
  • sequence
  • selection
  • variables

 

At Key Stage 2 children are introduced to text-based programming. Computational thinking is also developed further through concepts such as decomposition, which means breaking down large problems into smaller parts.

 

Information technology: Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Information technology is very broad as it involves the creation, organisation and manipulation of digital content in both key stages – digital content could be interpreted as many things from audio to images to film and beyond.

 

In Key Stage 2, information technology steps up because children are also taught how to use search technologies effectively and how to analyse, present and evaluate data.

 

Digital citizenship: Key stage 1 and Key stage 2

The digital citizenship component of the computing curriculum incorporates a lot of what is referred to as ‘online safety’ – using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. All children are taught a range of ways to report any concerns they may have.

In addition, pupils in Key Stage 2 also learn how to evaluate content and consider how reliable the information they find online is.

 

The curriculum overview for the school is as follows:

 

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Year 1

Technology around us

Digital painting

Digital writing

Grouping data

Moving a robot

Programming animations

Year 2

Information technology around us

Digital photography

Making music

Picograms

Robot algorithms

Programming quizzes

Year 3

Connecting computers

Stop-frame animation

Desktop publishing

Branching databases

Sequencing sounds

Events and actions in programs

Year 4

The internet

Audio editing

Photo editing

Data logging

Repetition shapes

Repetition in games

Year 5

Sharing information

Vector drawing

Video editing

Flat-file databases

Selection in physical computing

Selection in quizzes

Year 6

Internet communication Webpage creation

3D modelling

Webpage creation

Introduction to spreadsheets

Variables in games

Sensing

 

How Parents Can Help

The best way to support your child with any aspect of computing is to enjoy using technology with them and model the safe and responsible use of it. Here are five ideas:

1. Become the student

Let them show you how to use their favourite app or do something that they have learned in school.

 

2. Help them use technology to support their homework

If they have to practise a maths skill, help them create a how-to video demonstrating the skill. Why not create a short film based on a story they have written? Or perhaps an animation? Find some YouTube videos or play games together that support what they’re learning about in school.

 

3. Research with them

Research a topic they are learning about or are interested in with them. Decide together how reliable you think each website is — does the information on it appear anywhere else? Who created the website? Discuss the rankings — why does the search engine rank some at the top and some further down?

 

4. Communicate with family

Keep in touch with family members by composing emails together or using services like Skype to make video calls. Discuss how useful these tools can be when used responsibly.

 

5. Chat regularly

Ask children how they have been using technology this week, what their favourite app is etc. Make sure they feel they can come to you, should an issue arise for them.

 

Further Support And Useful Websites

  • common sense media — they aim to empower parents and teachers by providing unbiased information to help them harness the power of media and make it a positive force in children’s lives. There are family guides and they tackle many topics of concern
  • NSPCC — key advice on keeping your child safe online
  • SCRATCH — find out more about visual coding and learn how to do it with your child for free
  • Vodafone: digital parenting – a comprehensive magazine from Vodafone with ideas to build confidence and resilience online