Are you with them?
Computing at St Patrick’s
Subject Leader: Mrs Nicholls
Support Lead: Mrs Mincher
I am Mrs Nicholls and I am the Computing subject lead at St. Patrick’s. It is my goal to enthuse all staff with the passion I have for this subject and to ensure that the teaching of Computing is effective and impactful in all year groups. It is also part of my role to ensure that our Computing curriculum enables all learners to use computational thinking to further understand our world.
As subject leader, I support the teaching of Computing across the school. I aim to ensure all teachers have the subject knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver interesting and challenging lessons which engage all learners. High-quality teaching, and a range of cross curricular opportunities, enables all children to achieve success within this subject, which is now a huge part of most future careers.
I have personally had a keen interest in Computing for many years and, in 2014, I completed my dissertation on how to use digital technology to support inclusion within the classroom. I also regularly take part in CPD to keep up to date with this rapidly changing area of the curriculum.
To ensure that all learners have the best Computing education, I monitor teaching and learning on a termly basis, and provide support to staff when needed, to maintain high standards.
At St. Patrick’s, our digital learners experience a varied and rich learning experience which balances the three main strands of Computing – Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology. Providing a high-quality Computing education prepares our learners to grow up and thrive in a technology rich world and inspires them to use creativity to understand and change the world. In our school, Computing has many cross-curricular links, including mathematics, music, science and art, and the subject as a whole is interwoven throughout the curriculum. We aim for all learners to become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
In an ever-changing world, where technology plays such a vital part in all aspects of our lives, we believe our learners must be familiar with all aspects of Computing so that they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. We celebrate safer internet day each year and all learners take part in a planned E-safety focus, through both Computing and PSHE, for one half term. However, we also discuss how to stay safe online as part of daily learning, which is vital to meet our learners needs, knowing that most of them access the internet daily.
At St. Patrick’s, our learners are introduced to a wide range of technology, including Chromebooks, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practise, build on and transfer their skills to improve their knowledge. We also use a range of programmable robots to engage our learners and encourage Computing skills from an early age.
Our curriculum teaches sequenced and progressive lessons that enable learners to become effective users of technology who can: understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation. This curriculum is reviewed regularly to assess the impact it has on our learners, and is adapted where necessary to help all learners to achieve and be successful.
Overall, the intent of our Computing curriculum at St. Patrick’s is to provide a high-quality, inclusive education for all where creativity blossoms and learners are motivated and equipped with the skills they need to apply their Computing learning independently.
Our Computing curriculum has been designed to be broad and balanced, incorporating the three main areas: Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology. These areas are taught over two half terms within each year group using a range of Computing devices including Chromebooks and iPads so that our learners become digitally literate with a range of devices. Specified apps and programs are used on these devices, with our main source being Purple Mash, to ensure that the national curriculum objectives for Computing are met. Staff are guided on which apps, programs and devices to use through our Computing long term plan and the skills that we intend our learners to acquire are laid out in the skills progression document, which also provides an overview of the vocabulary we want our learners to become familiar with throughout each year.
Computing is timetabled weekly, with all learners having the opportunity to regularly access the required resources. We also ensure that previous Computing skills are revisited through our biweekly reactivate learning sessions as this helps to embed their learning and is an important tool for formative assessment.
We strive for our learners to apply their skills, as will be necessary in the working world, therefore, our Computing curriculum is flexible, allowing staff to incorporate Computing skills into other lessons which enables the children to showcase and take ownership of their learning.
Our learners are encouraged to engage with technology as part of their wider school life. We use a digital reading record which has engaged learners and also encourages them to use apps that are educational, rather than focussing solely on games or social media. Staff also set homework, which links to a variety of curriculum areas, via Purple Mash. We provide a variety of opportunities for computing learning inside and outside the classroom to support our Computing curriculum and enable learners to embed their knowledge and skills through regular practise.
At St. Patrick’s, the delivery of our Computing curriculum ensures that our learners are computer literate and well-prepared for their next step in education. Most importantly, our learners enjoy Computing and feel confident when taking part in lessons or home learning within this area of the curriculum. Our learners have a very clear understanding of what it means to be safe online, how to report anything they feel isn’t right and are aware of the impact of their digital footprint. The range of skills that they are taught builds on prior knowledge and understanding and supports our learners to become successful throughout the next steps in their education and, eventually, their life in the wider world.