Computing is learning about computer networks and systems, data and information, creating media and programming.
At Elmhurst Junior School, pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Embedded links with maths, science and design technology ensures that children’s technological understanding reaches several branches of the National Curriculum.
Our Computing Curriculum gives children the power to understand and change the world and has been developed to give children the skills to become digitally literate. By the time they leave us in Year 6, our students have a suitable level of skill to be active participants in a digital world.
Across the Computing Curriculum at Elmhurst, all children will learn about four key areas:
Computing Networks and Systems
These units teach children what the internet is and how it works. It is essential that children understand how the internet works and how data can be transferred online. The internet is a web of inputs, outputs and countless processes in between!
We want our children to leave Elmhurst equipped with 21st century skills. The ability to understand and use everyday processing software is a necessary skill set for our learners.
Data and Information
Intertwining with maths and science children learn how to collect, analyse, evaluate and present data and information. The data used is a collation of independent findings and research, sometimes using data loggers to collect the relevant information.
Children learn to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals. Using their computational thinking skills, children will use simple algorithms to detect and correct errors within their programming.
Computing lessons, which are taught weekly, take place online and offline, enabling children to problem solve and reason before working with software. It is essential that children can express and develop their ideas. Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of all children, whilst setting appropriate challenges and the units for our year groups are based on a spiral curriculum. This means that each of the themes is revisited regularly (at least once in each year group), and pupils revisit each theme through a new unit that consolidates and builds on prior learning within that theme.
Knowledge of substantive concepts and disciplinary concepts have been interleaved across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and apply these in different contexts. From year to year, unit to unit, the Computing curriculum at Elmhurst supports children in making connections and building upon prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Online Safety is encompassed in our Curriculum for Life units of work and within our school and class assemblies. This frequent exposure to online safety ensures that our students are confident and responsible users.
Each Computing lesson is sequenced so that it builds on the learning from the previous lesson, and where appropriate, activities are scaffolded so that all pupils can succeed and thrive. Scaffolded activities provide pupils with extra resources, such as visual prompts, to reach the same learning goals. Exploratory tasks foster a deeper understanding of a concept, encouraging pupils to apply their learning in different contexts and make connections with other learning experiences.
Computing knowledge organisers highlight the key knowledge and vocabulary for each lesson and pupils use online workbooks stored on Google Classroom to record their work. Sticky knowledge is checked through the use of retrieval questions and through interactive displays. Key questions are planned into each unit of work for pupils to show progression of knowledge and understanding of key concepts taught, either through verbal or written feedback. This allows teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit taught. Any areas for development throughout the unit are identified and addressed appropriately by the teacher and live feedback techniques help all children to move forward, deepening their understanding of key knowledge and skills in Computing.
Throughout each unit of work, pupils are encouraged to articulate and reflect upon their learning and retrieval activities such as Talk Like A Computer Scientist in conjunction with subject specific sentence stems are used to embed sticky knowledge. The learning journey for each half term is culminated by a final piece of work showcasing the knowledge and skills that have been learnt. All children have access to the full curriculum and tasks are adapted to provide appropriate challenge and support depending on individual needs. Computing resources are allocated to year groups and specific units of work, allowing teachers to support effective learning.
Outcomes in pupils’ online Computing workbooks and impact slides, provides clear evidence of a broad and balanced curriculum and demonstrates children’s acquisition of key knowledge and skill development. Pupils’ learning is assessed on a lesson-by-lesson basis through the use of verbal feedback, written feedback, peer and self-review. Key questions, which are planned into each unit of work, allow teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit.
Knowledge retrieval activities like Talk Like A Computer Scientist are used to enable teachers to assess the depth of understanding of core substantive knowledge and vocabulary and the strength of its retrieval. Weekly celebration assemblies showcase a variety of Computing activities and work completed across all year groups. This evidence informs teacher assessment and is used by the Computing subject leader as part of the monitoring process.
In addition, the Computing subject leader talks to pupils about their learning as part of the monitoring process to gauge attainment and enthusiasm. Children’s online workbooks and knowledge organisers are used to guide discussion and provide the subject leader with the necessary information to measure how much core knowledge and vocabulary has been remembered and understood.