Computing is a fundamental part of the curriculum at Emmanuel Holcombe and we recognise the growing use of IT equipment in everyday life, both at school and at home. Our learning follows a primary computing programme called Purple Mash and covers 3 specific areas:
Computer Science – understanding how computers and computer systems work and how they are designed and programmed
Digital Literacy – developing ideas and language through the use of ICT and using and applying these skills in other areas of the curriculum
Information Technology – using IT devices to create programs and systems.
Pupils will understand what algorithms are in order to write computer programs. It is possible and beneficial to learn computer science away from computers or other digital devices. Roleplay and kinaesthetic activities can help pupils develop logical reasoning.
Pupils will be able to write algorithms and programs and find mistakes (bugs) and fix them. When children write programs they will learn that there are often different ways of getting the right outcome, and they need to be able to evaluate the programs to decide which is the most efficient.
While children will make mistakes in their own programs, it is often easier to find mistakes in code that has been produced by other people. Providing pupils with example programs give them the opportunity to predict what they will do and identify any bugs. Working collaboratively is also an effective method. As pupils get older the programs they write will become more complicated. They will need to use sequence, selection, repetition and variables in their programs.
This strand of the curriculum equates can be covered by using technology to support other subject areas though it may be necessary to teach some discrete skills. Students will understand that technology is everywhere, be able to identify the technology they encounter and have a basic understanding of how it works.
Appropriate activities include word processing, creating images, taking and using photographs and video, creating music and animations, using and creating databases, producing websites and contributing to blogs. As well as creation of digital materials pupil will have experience of manipulating and editing their own work and resources from elsewhere. They will know how to use the tools available but also have an element of digital literacy – awareness of audience and good design principles.
Pupils will understand how to store and organise their files so that it can easily be found again. They will have an understanding of the devices they can use including: hard drive, USB sticks, school network server, and the cloud storage on the internet.
Children need to be able to use technology safely. They need to keep their personal information private and treat other people with respect. If something goes wrong or they see something they don’t like they should know what to do and where to go for help. As children get older they need to know about how to use technology responsibly. As well as thinking about how their online behaviour affects others they need to be aware of legal and ethical responsibilities, including respecting copyright and intellectual property rights, keeping passwords and personal data secure and observing terms and conditions for online services.