At Westgate Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged learn the following concepts and themes through studying different computing programs throughout the school:
- confidence in using code and an understand of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including logic, algorithms and data representation
- analysis of problems in computational terms, with repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- effective communication together with evaluation and application of information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies to solve problems responsible creative and competent use of information and communication technology
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Digital Literacy including online safety
Through teaching Computing, we equip children to participate in a rapidly-changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. We also ensure that they are taught about how to keep themselves safe as they interact with an ever widening range of technological devices and software.
Computing is taught on a weekly basis as this enables the children to learn and develop a range of skills throughout the year. This enables them to then use and apply the skills learnt in a range of different contexts, especially during the seasonal ACE weeks. The children are able to use technical and non-technical vocabulary to articulate their thoughts and opinions about different programs and how they improve their wider learning.
By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Computing, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future e.g Individual liberty and respect when ensuring they are using the internet safely.
In EYFS, children are taught computer science in its most simplest form by playing operational games like 'Simon says', 'Everybody do this', 'Follow the leader' etc. This ensures that children understand the need to follow instructions and listens to commands. They then progress to using simple computing equipment like Bee Bots in cross curricular learning.
In Year 1, children develop an understanding of a simple algorithm and that this is called a program. They develop this by reading code one line at a time to decipher the overall effect of the program.
This is developed further in Year 2 by connecting their understanding from Year 1 to designing a simple program that demonstrates an understanding of the need to input precise algorithms. This may connect to their history learning where they explore cause and effect.
In Year 3, children further refine their understanding from Key Stage 1 by turning a real-life situation into an algorithm and deconstructing a program into manageable parts seing how this translates into code. They begin to explore what happens when different variables are used. They demonstrate a more logical approach in their designs and programming sequences.
By Year 4, the children are now thinking about the required task and how to accomplish it in code using coding structures for selection and repetition. They learn how to understand ‘if’ statements for selection and attempt to combine these with coding structures including variables to achieve effects. They develop an understanding of how to trace a code to understand where errors have occurred. They are now recognising the main component of hardware which allows computers to join and form a network. Their ability to understand the online safety implications associated with the ways the internet can be used to provide different methods of communication is improving.
During Year 5, children connect their prior knowledge to explore more complex algorithms, and are able to test and debug their programs as they go along, using a logical method to identify causes. They now translate algorithms that include sequence, selection and repetition code with increasing ease in their own designs. When children code, they are beginning to think about their code structure in terms of the ability to debug and interpret the code later, e.g. the use of tabs to organise code and the naming of variables. Children understand the value of computer networks but are also aware of the main dangers. They recognise what personal information is and can explain how this can be kept safe.
In Year 6, children connect all their prior knowledge to enable them to create more complex programming tasks by identifying the important aspects of the task and then decomposing them into logical ways, using all their knowledge of coding. Children understand and can explain in some depth the difference between the internet and the World Wide Web. Children know what a WAN and LAN are and can describe how they access the internet in school.
In Year 1, children begin by being able to sort, collate, edit and store simple digital content e.g. children can name, save and retrieve their work and follow simple instructions to access online resources.
Pupils in Year 2 connect their learning from Year 1 by demonstrating an ability to organise data using, for example, a database such as 2Investigate and can retrieve specific data for conducting simple searches. Children are able to edit more complex digital data such as music compositions.
In Year 3, Children carry out simple searches to retrieve digital content. They understand that to do this, they are connecting to the internet and using a search engine. Children connect their prior understanding of collecting information to analyse, evaluate and present data and information using a selection of software, e.g. using a branching database. Children can consider what software is most appropriate for a given task and can create purposeful content to attach to emails.
In Year 4, children understand the function, features and layout of a search engine. They can appraise selected webpages for credibility and information at a basic level. Children are able to make improvements to digital solutions based on feedback. They create linked content using a range of software and share digital content within their community.
Children in Year 5, connect with their learning from Year 4 by searching with greater complexity for digital content when using a search engine. They are able to explain in some detail how credible a webpage is and the information it contains. Children are able to make appropriate improvements to digital solutions based on feedback received and can confidently comment on the success of the solution. Children are able to collaboratively create content and solutions using digital features within software such as collaborative mode.
By Year 6, children readily apply filters when searching for digital content. They are able to explain in detail how credible a webpage is and the information it contains. They compare a range of digital content sources and are able to rate them in terms of content quality and accuracy. Children use critical thinking skills in the everyday use of online communication. Children make clear connections to the audience when designing and creating digital content. The children design and create their own blogs to become a content creator on the internet. They are able to use criteria to evaluate the quality of digital solutions and are able to identify improvements, making some refinements.
Digital Literacy and online safety
In Year 1, children understand what is meant by technology and can identify a variety of examples both in and out of school. They can make a distinction between objects that use modern technology and those that do not e.g. a microwave vs. a chair. Children learn about the importance of staying safe online through the ‘ownership’ of their work and ensuring they log on and off to protect their work and identity.
In Year 2, children can effectively retrieve relevant, purposeful digital content using a search engine. They can connect their learning from Year 1 through effective searching beyond the classroom. Children make links between technology they see around them, coding and multimedia work they do in school e.g. animations, interactive code and programs. Children develop an understanding of the implications of inappropriate online searches and the impact of sharing information globally on the internet. This is further developed to secure a knowledge of how they leave a digital footprint and how to keep personal data secure. They build on their understanding of passwords by using email safely and know ways of reporting inappropriate behaviours and content to a trusted adult.
In Year 3, children demonstrate the importance of having a secure password (learnt in KS1) and not sharing this with anyone else. Furthermore, they connect to prior learning by understanding how to protect themselves with passwords and can explain the negative implications of failure to keep passwords safe and secure. They understand the importance of staying safe and the importance of their conduct when using familiar communication tools. They learn how to consider whether the information they see on the internet is true and know more than one way to report unacceptable content and contact.
In Year 4, children use their learning about keeping themselves safe to further explore protection from online theft, including their digital footprint and how this can aid identity theft. They develop their learning from Year 3 by helping others to understand the importance of online safety developing their knowledge of a range of ways to report inappropriate content and contact. They learn about the impact of online gaming on health and fitness and how there needs to be a balance in their life.
By Year 5, children have a secure knowledge of common online safety rules and can apply this by demonstrating the safe and respectful use of a few different technologies and online services. Children implicitly relate appropriate online behaviour to their right to personal privacy and the mental wellbeing of themselves and others. They refine their understanding from Year 2 by exploring the impact of sharing digital information and the responsibility they have in managing their own behaviours and further deepen their understanding of the dangers associated with inappropriate images and texts and how to deal with these.
In Year 6, the children draw all their previous learning together to connect with the benefits and risks of broadcasting locations and sharing personal information to different software. The learning is then connected by reviewing the meaning of a digital footprint in the virtual world and how to protect themselves from online abuse. They demonstrate the safe and respectful use of a range of different technologies and online services. They identify more discreet inappropriate behaviours through developing critical thinking. They recognise the value in preserving their privacy when online for their own and other people’s safety