St James' C of E Primary School, Blackburn

Computing

Curriculum Intent

At St James’, we value the impact technology has on our pupils’ lives. We want all pupils to be Computer Literate and enjoy using technology purposefully and safely. Technology is everywhere and it will play a pivotal part in our children’s future. 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 this is reflected in our broad and balanced curriculum encompassing Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. At St James’, 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 many issues we currently see with technology and social media is through education.

At St James’, we recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities that technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge and vocabulary rich curriculum is designed to allow opportunities for our pupils to apply their knowledge creatively, which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists.

As a school we encourage our 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. By the end of Upper Key Stage 2, children will have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenges set by teachers and themselves. We encourage all pupils to be resilient in how they tackle the challenges in front of them. Our Computing Curriculum aims to engage all our pupils in the world of computing through a love and respect for all aspects of technology. 

At St James’, we aim to utilise technology to help see the world around use. We encourage our pupils to be active learners and we look to develop the children’s knowledge of computing through after school clubs and visitors from our local area. These could include visits from website / app designers, game designers, photographers and links to local high schools and colleges. These allow our children to explore the possibilities that technology can provide as we aim to provide memorable and inspirational computing lessons. 

Curriculum Implementation

We have created a comprehensive curriculum overview, Progression of Skills, Schemes of Work and Sticky Knowledge for staff to follow to best embed and cover every element of the computing curriculum as stated in the National Curriculum. Computing knowledge and skills are planned progressively to deepen and challenge the pupils in each year. Computing is embedded across the curriculum as well as taught independently every 2 weeks.

At St James’, our children begin their journey with technology in Early Years, with access to iPads, Interactive Whiteboards, computers, laptops and appropriate websites such as PhonicsPlay and Numbots. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity by modelling how to use the equipment carefully and safely. Our children, have the opportunity to explore robots using the Sphero, beginning their journey into Computer Science.

In KS1, children continue their journey into Computer Science through developing their understanding of algorithms and learn how to program. Children learn how to use passwords safely when logging on to a computer and are introduced to Microsoft Software e.g. Word, powerpoint to edit and safe their work effectively. Children learn to access teacher appropriate websites and begin to explore the World Wide Web independently. 

In KS2, children continue this coding journey. They are able to create basic games with code and look at the process of App design using computer decomposition. Their digital literacy skills are combined with English, Science, History and Geography. Children will build on what they have learn about animation and film making, to build their own movies independently. Our children learn how to use database software, how to insert, manipulate and present data in different ways. Children will also to use spreadsheets to investigate real-life problems by predicting and testing those predictions by changing variable in model and simulations. Children learn how to use the hardware we have in school including webcams, where they are taught how to take and manipulate pictures, showing them that what they view in the media isn’t always accurate. 

Online Safety is an integral part of the computing curriculum and Online Learning Champions are used throughout school to promote the safer use of the internet. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe online and what to do if they come across something that makes them uncomfortable. 

At St. James’ we measure the impact of our computing curriculum by assessing the topics termly, with both a formative and summative approach. Staff will use this information to inform their short term planning and tailor plans to meet the children’s specific needs and interests. These assessments are collected frequently and analysed as part of the monitoring cycle which informs future planning, so that provisions can be adapted accordingly. Continual assessment of computing allows us to provide the best possible support and challenge for all children and ensures we have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in computing. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Teams, our School Website and observing learning regularly. This helps with formative assessment which contributes to informing summative judgements on ITrack. Additional assessment tools include: Prior Learning quizzes, End of Unit quizzes, Challenges, Pupil and Staff voice. 

Curriculum Impact

Our approach to computing encourages our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. It inspires our children to ask the ‘why’ behind their learning and not just ‘how’. Our learners have the confidence to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being during each lesson. Children have the confidence to use technology for a range of purposes to support different aspect of their lives. Our impact of computing enables our children to enjoy using technology safely as a consumer, designer and creator. We believe our pupils are able to find the right balance for using technology for an effective education and a healthy life-style. The way pupils show case, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum.

Computing Curriculum Overview
St James' C of E Primary School Earl Street, Blackburn BB1 8EG
Headteacher Mr D Stitcher
SENDCo Mr J Cameron
- email address on telephone request
Enquiries should be addressed to Mr R. Dewhurst.
Telephone 01254 698335
Office Hours Monday to Friday 7:45am to 4:00pm