At Northfields, computing is crucial to our mission to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to learn and challenge their thinking and skills. We want children to feel confident in a world where technology is always advancing and we want the children to be ready for the future. Computing at Northfields allows the children to become logical thinkers and problem solvers by embedding Computational Thinking skills throughout the curriculum. We aim to give children opportunities to explore key areas of Computing, including decomposing problems, creating and writing their own algorithms and assessing the effectiveness of their learning through debugging their work and evaluating its success. We also want to enable children to make safe choices when using technology and empower others to be responsible for the choices they make.
In Early Years at Northfields, children focus on the technology Early Learning Goal. Children learn to “select and use technology for particular purposes” and develop computational thinking in a rich, real-life context, laying the foundations for the children’s future progress through the computing curriculum. This develops many of the characteristics of effective learning and enables children to realise their talents and interests. Through self- and peer- initiated play and adult direction, children are taught to recognise that they meet computer technologies in a variety of contexts and that these require a range of skills which are often transferable. We have an interactive whiteboard and PCs in the classroom and also a range of technology-based role play equipment such as mobile phones, microwave ovens, digital cameras, television remotes, fridges, shop tills and tablets. They also learn to use simple computer programmes. Through this, children learn to make intelligent choices about the ways they utilise technology, such as keeping equipment properly stored and charged and how to keep safe when using it.
In Key Stage 1, the school is very well resourced with an interactive whiteboard and a bank of 30 laptops. The children also have access to iPads to use in a variety of educational purposes. In conjunction with these, various software is used to teach discreet computing skills and to use and apply these skills through the rest of the curriculum. Our curriculum is taught in context where appropriate, demonstrating a clear progression of skills throughout their journey.
Computing in years 1 and 2 is divided up into four key areas:
At Northfields, Computer Science is taught using the following curriculum map:
|Unit 1.9 – Technology outside school (2 weeks)
|Unit 1.1 – Online safety & Exploring Purple Mash – (4 weeks)
|Unit 1.5 – Maze Explorers (3 weeks)
|Unit 1.7 – Coding (3 weeks)
|Unit 1.7 continued – Coding (2weeks)
|Unit 1.6 – Animated Story Books (5 weeks)
|Unit 2.2 – Online Safety (3 weeks)
|Unit 2.5 – Effective Searching (3 weeks)
|Unit 2.1 – Coding (5 weeks)
|Unit 2.6 – Creating Pictures and
|Unit 2.7 Making Music (merge in 4 weeks) Unit 2.3 -Spreadsheets (3/4 weeks) spreadsheets
IT – Technology and Networks
Children are introduced to the World Wide Web and are given opportunities to develop their understanding of the Internet. They learn that the Internet is a vital tool in enabling active pupil voice in their classroom and community impacting on both their environment and experiences, and on the outside world. They develop research skills and explore how networks work. This is taught based on the progression of skills throughout key stage 1.
As a school, we subscribe to PurpleMash which allows children to develop their digital literacy in a range of ways. We aim to teach children fundamental skills that can be applied in a variety of contexts e.g. copy, paste, saving and retrieving files. Whenever possible, this is covered through cross-curricular opportunities learning and children are taught to be resilient and to develop their own approaches.
E-Safety is a key strength of the school. All children are encouraged to act safely online. They are given opportunities to discuss this in lessons, during E-Safety lessons and during PSHE sessions. We find different ways to encourage parental awareness of this key area of computing and educate all by leading different initiatives including assemblies, competitions and their support within class.
In order for all to succeed we allow higher attaining pupils to enhance their skills in lessons, applying their understanding in a different way and enable lower attaining pupil’s opportunities to catch-up and be given further support.
At Northfields, children self-assess their learning using success criteria. This enhances their own understanding of what they are able to do and what their next steps are. We use pupil conferencing, where appropriate, to explore the quality of learning and also collate examples of work to check that they are meeting the expectations of the subject. Children remain safe online with minimal internet safety issues arising. This is tracked through CPOMs so that individual incidents can be dealt with appropriately and lessons are taught aimed at the needs of the children.