At New Invention, we have developed an engaging computing curriculum that gives children the necessary skills to stay safe and develop their knowledge of coding and working creatively with technology.
Intent – harness technology to benefit pupils‘ futures rather than become a barrier.
At our school we want pupils to be able to harness technology for their benefit rather than it become a barrier for their achieving their potential in an increasingly digital age. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students' lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology.
We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists.
We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
Implementation – learn computer science and embed and build upon skills across entire curriculum
We would recommend the timetabled computing session to focus on one of three elements: An Explicit Computer Science lesson, A Tinkering Session or a D.A.R.E.S project. The computer science part of the computing curriculum will often, but not always, need a more explicit approach. That is not to say it can’t be embedded across the curriculum. A tinkering session looks at introducing a new app or tool and giving children opportunity to experiment and familiarise themselves with the different elements and tools before it can be applied in a more focused approach across the curriculum.
Do you have to have a timetabled computing lesson each week? As much as possible yes, however, we know how packed the curriculum can be and how difficult it is trying to fit everything in. Therefore, some weeks computing can be covered by using technology to demonstrate learning in other subjects when covering more of the Information Technology and Digital Literacy strands.
Impact Children value the impact computing has on their learning, development and wellbeing
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well being.
Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel the way we implement computing helps children realise the need for the right balance and one they can continue to build on in their next stage of education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through Seesaw and observing learning.
Progress of our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.
Many elements of the new curriculum require children to programme and code. In order to do this, many of the units use the programme Scratch. Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. To visit the Scratch website or download the program, click on the image below. An alternative to Scratch available in the Apple App Store that we use in school is mBlock (which is free to download).
For a fun alternative coding game, click on the image below. You can code your own Dance Party or try to complete a range of Minecraft challenges.
As well as exciting computing lessons, our teachers use a range of computer devices to enhance our learning experiences using
– A variety of maths games
– MyMaths and Reading Plus for online homework and extra practice
– Using iPads and lap tops in class
Each learning area of the school is fitted with state of the art LED interactive whiteboards.
Teachers also use social media such as YouTube and Twitter to keep parents informed of the latest events in school and update them on our progress.