Intent: Why teach Computing?
Our computing curriculum is designed to support children to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure time are increasingly impacted by technology. We want our learners to understand how this technology works so that they can make informed choices about when it is appropriate to use it. Pupils at Westbury are taught to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way. We teach the National Curriculum requirements which state that 'A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world'. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.' (DFE-00171-2013)
Implementation: How is Computing taught at Westbury on Trym CE Academy?
Our approach with computing is to proactively incorporate computing into topic areas wherever possible. We want children to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and gain practical experience of writing computer programmes in order to solve problems. We aim to give each pupil the opportunity to apply and develop their technological understanding and skills across a wide range of situations and tasks. Also, to equip children with effective and transferable life skills. Lessons are broadly split into four areas: Programming (where pupils develop their computational thinking and programming skills), Handling Data (where pupils learn to collect, question and manipulate data in different ways), Multimedia (where pupils use IT purposefully and creatively) and Technology in our Lives (where pupils learn about how computer networks function and how to search and be discerning about what they find). We use twelve pedagogical principles when teaching computing.
- Lead with concepts. We use key concepts, terms and vocabulary which remain consistent as pupils journey through the school. Pupils are provided with opportunities through the year to revisit key concepts and check their knowledge.
- Unplug, unpack, repack. We teach new concepts by exploring ideas in unplugged and familiar contexts and then repacking new understanding into the original concept.
- Create projects. We use project based activities where possible to allow pupils to apply their knowledge. Where relevant, we tie these projects into the term's topic so for example Y4 might create a infomercial to about the Rainforest Alliance.
- Challenge misconceptions. We use questioning to uncover
Computing photo gallery