At St Sampson’s Primary School, we believe a high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to further understand and change our world. Computing is a significant part of everyone’s daily life and that children should be at the forefront of new technology. Computing has links to a variety of other subjects such as mathematics, science and design and technology; we consider that, as an essential part of the curriculum, computing is a subject that not only stands alone but is woven and should be an integral part of all learning.
Computing as a standalone subject has a number of key components, each of which we aim to teach and fully instil the value of amongst our pupils. These can be categorised as:
- Computer science: Pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
- Information technology: Pupils are equipped to create programs, systems and a range of content in order to develop products and solutions.
- Digital literacy: Pupils are taught to use, access and express oneself through digital technology, including a critical understanding of technology’s impact on the individual and society, at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Within the first three years at St Sampson’s, the children will learn to understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. They will be taught to create and debug simple programs, such as using Scratch Junior and Beebots. In addition, they will be shown how to purposefully create, organise, store and retrieve digital content. They will be taught to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private and being able to identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content. Most of these skills will be taught through half termly units.
In key stage two, children will design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals and they will be taught to solve problems by breaking down coding into smaller parts. They will use sequence, selection and repetition in programs and, by the end of key stage two, be able to explain how simple algorithms work and be able to correct errors (debugging). Children will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. They will use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked and be discerning in evaluating digital content. They will use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly, as well as recognising acceptable/unacceptable behaviour.