“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.”
A modern Computer Science curriculum sits on the intersection of science and creativity. It provides pupils with the knowledge and skills that can liberate them to execute their ideas and unleash their creativity.
It promotes the thinking, and equips them with the tools to solve problems, or enhance efficiency in a range of contexts, including those relevant to them in their home or school.
As a minimum, it teaches pupils to be competent in the digital platforms and methods of creating content, analysing data and communicating that are so often used in the workplace. At its best, the subject exposes pupils to a range of STEM careers that can raise their aspirations and outlook on their future.
What is the intention of the KS1 and KS2 Computing Curriculum?
We aim to:
- Enthuse and equip pupils with the capability to use technology throughout the lives
- Develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding in the following six areas:
- Computational thinking: to solve problems and design systems through decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, logical and algorithmic reasoning
- Digital literacy: to analyse, select and use digital hardware and software in a creative or purposeful manner to create content
- Information Technology: to capture and manipulate data, using either software and hardware
- Communication: to recognise the potential of, and use software and computer networks communicate and collaborate with others
- Ethical and social impacts: to reflect on how the application of technology impacts others, and the ethical questions it poses.
- Safety: to assess risk and stay safe when using digital devices
- For pupils to develop resilience when solving complex problems by applying new and unfamiliar computational concepts
How will we implement our computing curriculum?
The curriculum has been developed to reflect the current National Curriculum for Computer Science in Key Stages 1 and 2. Pupils will receive one computing lesson each week. The units of work are intended to be delivered over half-termly blocks, with assessment at key points throughout the year.
We have engaged with the 2Simple Purple Mash platform in order to facilitate the delivery of the statutory requirements of the national curriculum, for reasons outlined below:
- The scheme is planned around progression in the three areas of Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy, in line with our aims above
- The scheme provides units of work, with weekly lesson plans that can be delivered by specialist and non-specialist teaching
- The units of work flexible and can be delivered at the pace that meets the needs of the pupils
- The scheme clearly demonstrates how and when the requirements of the National Curriculum are met across KS1 and KS2 (Appendix 1)
- We are confident in the progression of knowledge and skills across the scheme, this is clearly mapped-out and documented: key concepts are revisited and built upon across and between year groups (Appendix 2).
- 2Simple provides a vast range of tools, that allow pupils to expose pupils to broad range of rich computing and information technology learning opportunities (see Appendix 1)
- 2Simple provides a sandboxed environment which enables the pupils to conduct work within a safe and controlled system
- Knowledge organisers are provided for each unit of work which outline the key vocabulary, concepts and knowledge that need to be learnt and recalled to be successful in the unit
- Significant resources are available for teachers to enhance their subject knowledge, and support them in delivering the units of work
- 2Simple provide free and tailored CPD to any of its users, to ensure that the different tools available are used most effectively. This complements the training provided by the Harris Federation through INSET days, coordinator meetings, in addition to support from the Computer Science Consultant via lesson planning, co-planning, co-teaching, resource creation and mentoring
We complement the resources provided by 2Simple with individual resources that embed retrieval practice as a routine part of of the lesson, as well as explicit-vocabulary instruction and opportunities for reflection and discussion about learning.
Acronyms and subject-specific nouns run throughout Computer Science; the expectation is that teachers are precise and specific in their written and spoken use of terms that are likely to be unfamiliar to their students, and that the students are given opportunities to develop and demonstrate clear understanding of them.
How will we judge the impact of the curriculum?
Assessment should be both formative and summative. Within lessons, teachers should use formative assessment to judge the progress that students are making, and to support and challenge them accordingly.
Throughout the schemes, students should receive a summative multiple choice test at the end of each unit. The purpose of this is to diagnose issues within the class – so that a teacher intervenes in the case of underperformance against age related expectations, and equally is able to celebrate students whose performance is above expectations.
2Simple, also provides an Assessment tool, to assess pupils against the National Curriculum Attainment Targets. The tool identifies which lesson objectives relate to each NC attainment target, and provide explicit guidance on what meeting, exceeding and working toward that objective would look like. Academies are free to use this tool as they see fit.