Welcome to the ‘Computing Curriculum Page’ of our website!
As you may or may not be aware, the computing curriculum has seen significant changes in recent years. The old “Information and Communication Technology” was replaced with a new “Computing” curriculum in 2013 in response to an ever technologically advancing world that we now live in.
Computers and computing are now an unavoidable part of everyday life and it is essential that we equip our children with the skills and knowledge to not only use digital technologies effectively but also safely and responsibly. As a result it is an important part of our school curriculum, building on the skills developed previously and teaching children the new skills that are now required.
“Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.
Why is computational thinking so important? It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in. Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.
Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes computing an extraordinarily useful and intensely creative subject, suffused with excitement, both visceral (‘it works!’) and intellectual (‘that is so beautiful’).” (Naace, 2013)
At St. Joseph’s we teach computing using the “Rising Stars: Switched on Computing” scheme of work which supports all skills and objectives outlined in the National Curriculum.
Children in Key Stage 1 will be taught to:
- understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- create and debug simple programs
- use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
- use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies
Children in Key Stage 2 will be taught to:
- design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
- use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- understand computer networks, including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
- use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
- select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
At the heart of our curriculum is “Digital Citizenship”. Through digital citizenship your children will be taught the importance of using technologies safely, appropriately and responsibly. There are 9 key areas that children will learn about and taught skills in:
The nine elements of digital citizenship (Sec-Ed.co.uk)
- 1: Digital Access: As rapidly as internet access and technology have grown, socio-economic status and geographical location still play a part in keeping some from having digital access. It is important to remember that some still face these challenges and to help take steps to ensure that digital technologies continue to become more accessible.
- 2: Digital Commerce. Everything from groceries and toys to cars and electronics are available for purchase online. Consumers, including students, need to be informed and aware of the risks associated with online purchasing. Secure payments and sites that protect buyer information are important principles to teach.
- 3: Digital Communication. With email, text-messaging, video chat and more, communication is easier than ever before. With the push of a button or the click of a mouse, sensitive information can be shared unsafely. Warning students about what is appropriate to share through digital channels can prevent embarrassing, costly and dangerous situations.
- 4: Digital Literacy. Being an informed citizen is a large part of being a responsible citizen, not to mention that the more digitally literate students are, the better prepared they will be for the workplace or higher education. How to conduct online research, determine reliable sources, and use word processing software are all important skills.
- 5: Digital Etiquette. Just like it is imperative that students learn how to appropriately conduct themselves in the classroom, on the playground, and throughout the school, they need to learn how to be appropriate while online. More than just establishing policies about what is acceptable behaviour, students should be taught the importance of being respectful to their online peers and how to conduct themselves responsibly.
- 6: Digital Law. With new developments come new laws and restrictions. As technology has advanced, legislation has raced to keep up, resulting in ever-evolving rules and regulations. Teachers and students need to be informed and up-to-date about what is legal and acceptable.
- 7: Digital Rights and Responsibilities. Just as the citizens of many countries are afforded basic rights, those who participate in online activity are also given freedoms in their digital environment. Privacy rights and freedom of speech are often discussed and viewed as paramount.
- 8: Digital Health and Wellness. Out of the world’s estimated seven billion people, six billion have access to mobile phones (Source: TIME Newsfeed). Statistics like this make it clear that many of us spend hours a day looking at screens, typing on keyboards and talking on mobile phones. Safe ergonomic practices and eye safety are physical concerns that should be addressed.
- 9: Digital Security. We teach children to look before they cross the street, not to talk to strangers, and who to call in an emergency. Similar precautions are necessary within the digital community, including how to set robust passwords, virus protection, and how to determine site security.
Naturally, the level and depth at which each area will be taught will depend on your child’s age and maturity and all of these skills will be taught sensitively and progressively.
How you can support your child and keep them digitally safe at home
- Show an interest in what they do on-line. Find out what they like about sites they visit and help them find age appropriate sites.
- If they are visiting social networking sites check they are age appropriate and that your child has set their privacy settings to protect their on-line information.
- Ensure that you visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk and www.saferinternet.org.uk
- For younger children, it is important to keep all equipment that can connect to the internet in the family space, then if they have a problem you can help.
- Set boundaries on usage in the on-line world the same as you would in the real world.
- Make sure you are aware which devices in your home have access to the internet, such as phones and games consoles.
- Set Parental controls on devices that have internet access.
- Check that your child understands that people are not always who they say they are on the internet.
- Make sure your child knows how to report any problem that they have on-line and that they can rely on your help.
Please do not hesitate to contact Miss Cole should you have any questions regarding the computing curriculum