Computing Curriculum Statement
At Carnagill School, our curriculum is built around the attitudes and values of independence, curiosity, aspiration, commitment, kindness and pride. Our school motto of ‘Inspiring Bright Futures Together’ demonstrates our commitment to developing the whole child so that they can succeed in life. Mental health and well-being is a key driver in restoring our school community after the disruption of the pandemic.
At Carnagill School, the curriculum we offer is based around the four key principles of:
We underpin all of this with:
Carnagill Primary School is a new school and has moved forward and redefined itself under the leadership of the new Headteacher. Since being judged as inadequate in June 2018, rapid improvements have been made to ensure children have the basic skills they require for life. The new vision and values feed into all aspects of school life and curriculum.
Within our unique school community, children’s experiences can be very varied. Many of our pupils from military families may have experienced multiple mid-year moves, which often result in significant gaps in their Computing teaching due to different aspects of the curriculum being taught at different times in different schools and different approaches it may have taken.
Any negative parental experiences of technology, whether from school or the workplace, can also impact on children’s attitudes to the subject. While many children have had experience of technology from a young age, much of it is passive enjoyment of media or apps and games, rather than learning how to use it effectively or to its full advantage.
Engaging parents in work around e-safety is a key priority to ensure children have safe and measured access to electronic devices and the World Wide Web. This understanding is crucial for both parents and children to protect them from the dangers online and how to deal with any issues they may experience.
During the pandemic, we were able to use technology with growing effectiveness to deliver remote learning to pupils. But for some, limited access to devices in the home was a barrier. While we were able to provide devices to all families who requested them, this only reinforced the lack of experience and basic skills many children had: the use of Windows-based devices, saving and opening work, basic word processing and presentation skills. This prompted a whole-sale rethink of our curriculum – a greater focus on basic skills, a systematic approach to the teaching of coding and planned opportunities to apply their skills in a purposeful and engaging context.
At Carnagill, we wish for all pupils to be successful in whatever they choose – effective technological skills will be an essential part of whatever world they become adults in.
At Carnagill, we want children to:
- Develop independence in their use of technology, able to use it effectively to support learning and improve communication.
- Take pride in their Computing – happy to share what they can do through electronic means.
- Be curious – accessing the World Wide web to research and follow their passions; wanting to know how technology works and how it came about; experimenting with different software and algorithms, trying out different solutions to create the outcome they want.
- To show commitment to their learning and build resilience to become effective coders, able to debug and improve their algorithms.
- Demonstrate kindness in collaborative work; recognise the support and challenge created through working with a partner – or part of a group – towards a common goal.
- Aspire to STEM subjects as a future career path, broadening their horizons and the exciting possibility of working in a role that hasn’t even been invented yet
Our Computing curriculum entails of 3 or 4 units per year plus a using and applying project to end the year. The scheme is built on the need for our children to have effective basic IT skills, which were shown to be clearly lacking during home learning, as well as the coding and wider Computing knowledge.
Coding: Pupils begin with by exploring concepts within their everyday lives, making links between our behaviour and that of simple algorithms. Once introduced, the concept is explored further through role play and non-device activities. From here, the PRIMM approach (Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make) is used to promote discussion between learners about how programs work, and the use of starter programs to encourage the reading of code before writing. Rather than asking novice coders to begin from scratch, by running a program provided by the teacher, the student avoid the worry when ‘theirs doesn’t work.’ Gradually, once students have developed in understanding, they can modify the code and take ownership of the new functionality.
Due to our mixed age classes and the mixed experiences of our Service pupils, it is important to revisit and embed concepts every year. This will mean some of the same concepts are repeated for some children; however, teacher plan these carefully to develop the learning within different contexts, with additional opportunities planned to extend more-able pupils’ learning where they are exceeding the level of the class.
E-safety has to be a priority for every child. To ensure this is taught in an ongoing way, each class covers an e-safety objective in the first week of each half term. We use the SWGfL planning which uses the best of the free resources out there. Additionally, NYCC police regularly run session for pupils making those explicit links between the virtual and the real world.
Each year ends with a Using and Applying project. The aim behind this is to allow time for the concepts taught that year, and those of previous years, to be revisited and refreshed, as well as giving their learning real purpose. These projects are personalised to each class but follow a set structure, allowing children two work towards a common purpose in different ways.
Key features of our implementation are as follows:
- Half-termly E-safety sessions
- Discrete teaching of basic IT knowledge and skills, using a variety of software easily accessible to all
- Opportunities for embedding key skills – word processing, internet searching, graphing using spreadsheets – are provided throughout the curriculum
- Coding units following the structure: Everyday Computing Concepts, Concept before Coding, PRIMM; application project.
- Vocabulary development and partner talk are key features of all lessons.
- Starting learning from real-life experiences
- Talk confidently about technology and how it can be used
- Use a variety of hardware and software effectively for different purposes
- Use subject specific vocabulary accurately and confidently
- Be motivated and excited by their learning
- Work independently and collaboratively to achieve a final aim
- Take part in discussions and critical thinking
- Confidently talk about e-safety and be ambassadors for the topic
- Apply skills and knowledge learnt through the computing curriculum to other areas of learning
- Use computing outside of the classroom to achieve their own aims