Computing

West Park Primary School

Policy on Computing

 

 

 

Our school’s vision for computing

As computing underpins today’s modern lifestyle it is essential that all children gain the confidence and ability that they need in this subject, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. The use of computing will enhance and extend their learning across the whole curriculum. Staff and children will have the resources and capability to access a wide range of devices in order to support their own independent learning. Within a safe learning environment they will recognise the value of computing for themselves and others whilst being aware of its advantages and limitations.

Computing plays a key role in all aspects of the National Curriculum for 2014 and as such is an integral part of whole school development.

1     Aims and objectives

1.1      Computing has become part of the way in which we all work and entertain ourselves. Almost everything we do at school now involves the use of ICT:

 

Thus, through teaching computing, we equip children to participate in a world of rapidly changing technology. We enable them to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also help them to develop the necessary skills for using information in a discriminating and effective way. This is a major part of enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners.

1.2      Our objectives in the teaching of computing follow the requirements of the National Curriculum for 2014 are:

Subject content

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

 

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

 

2     Teaching and learning style

2.1      As an objective of teaching of computing is to equip children with the technological skill to become independent learners, the teaching style that we adopt is as active and practical as possible. While, at times, we do give children direct instruction on how to use hardware or software, the main emphasis of our teaching in COMPUTING is for individuals or groups of children to use computers to help them to progress in whatever they are studying. So, for example, children might research a history topic by using role-play software that engages them in a highly visual way, or they might place themselves in a historical setting by manipulating a digital photograph, or they might investigate a particular issue on the Internet.

2.2     We recognise that all classes have children with a wide range of COMPUTING abilities. This is especially true when some children have access to COMPUTING equipment at home, while others do not. We provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability and experience of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways:

3     COMPUTING curriculum planning

3.1      COMPUTING is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. The school uses the National Curriculum 2014 for COMPUTING as the basis for its curriculum planning. We have adapted the national scheme to the local circumstances of the school.

3.2     We carry out the curriculum planning in COMPUTING in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the COMPUTING topics that the children study in each term during each key stage. The COMPUTING subject leader devises this in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group, and the children often study COMPUTING as part of their work in other subject areas

3.3     Our medium-term plans, give details of each unit of work for each term. They identify the key learning objectives for each unit of work, and stipulate the curriculum time that we devote to it. As we have mainly mixed-age classes, we do our medium-term planning on a two-year rotation cycle. In this way, we ensure that we cover the National Curriculum without repeating topics.

3.4     The class teacher is responsible for writing the short-term plans with the COMPUTING component of each lesson. These daily plans list the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes for each lesson. The class teacher keeps these individual plans and s/he and the COMPUTING subject leader may discuss them on an informal basis.

3.5     The topics studied in COMPUTING are planned to build on prior learning. While we offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, we also plan progression into the scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.

3.6     Parents are required to give signed authorisation before their child can use the Internet, either in guided or in independent school work. The parents are, however, assured that their child’s use of the Internet at school is always supervised. A record of those children who do not have permission to use the Internet at school is held by each class teacher and by the school office.

4     The Foundation Stage

4.1      We teach COMPUTING in nursery and reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the COMPUTING aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. The children have the opportunity to various devices including laptops, ipads a digital cameras and a floor robot. Then, during the year, they gain confidence and start using the computer to find out information and to communicate in a variety of ways.

5     The contribution of COMPUTING to teaching in other curriculum areas

5.1      The teaching of COMPUTING contributes to teaching and learning in all curriculum areas. It also offers ways of impacting on learning which are not possible with conventional methods. Teachers use software to present information visually, dynamically and interactively, so that children understand concepts more quickly. For example, graphics work links in closely with work in art, and work using databases supports work in mathematics, while role-play simulations and the Internet prove very useful for research in humanities subjects. COMPUTING enables children to present their information and conclusions in the most appropriate way. Much of the software we use is generic and can therefore be used in several curriculum areas.

5.2     English

COMPUTING is a major contributor to the teaching of English. As the children develop mouse and keyboard skills, they learn how to edit and revise text on a computer. They also learn how to improve the presentation of their work by using desktop publishing software. There is in addition a variety of software which targets specific reading, grammar and spelling skills.

5.3     Mathematics

Children use COMPUTING in mathematics to collect data, make prediction, analyse results, and present information graphically. Screen robots allow pupils to give exact instructions for a particular route, or to use their knowledge of angles to draw a range of polygons. There is in addition a variety of software which targets specific mathematical skills in game form.

5.4     Science

Software is used to animate and model scientific concepts, and to allow children to investigate processes which it would be impracticable to do directly in the classroom. Data loggers are used to assist in the collection of data and in producing tables and graphs.

5.5     Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship

COMPUTING makes a contribution to the teaching of PSHE and citizenship in that children in COMPUTING classes learn to work together in a collaborative manner. They also develop a sense of global citizenship by using the Internet. Through discussion of safety and other issues related to electronic communication, the children develop their own view about the use and misuse of COMPUTING, and they also gain an insight into the interdependence of COMPUTING users around the world.

6     COMPUTING and inclusion

6.1      At our school, we teach COMPUTING to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. COMPUTING forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our COMPUTING teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.

6.2     When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively (e.g. a lot of software can be differently configured for different ability ranges).

6.3     In line with our policy for SEND children may require additional intervention, in some instances leading to a Support Plan. At times, the use of COMPUTING has a considerable impact on the quality of work that children produce, by increasing their confidence and motivation.

6.4     We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning COMPUTING. We have a range of software which is designed to include all learners. Our hardware can accept a range of input devices catering to pupils with specific difficulties. Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.

7     Assessment for learning

7.1      Teachers will assess children’s work in COMPUTING by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work, and uses this assessment to plan for future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his/her progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.

7.2     The subject leader keeps samples of the children’s work in a portfolio. This demonstrates the expected level of achievement in COMPUTING for each age group in the school.

8     Resources

8.1      Our school has the appropriate computer-to-pupil ratio, and Internet access. Most software is already installed on laptops. Some software is installed only on the specific laptops.

8.2     We employ a shared technician to keep our equipment in good working order. Members of staff report faults in the book provided for that purpose. The technician will also set up new equipment, and install software and peripherals.

8.3     In order to keep our school computers virus-free, no software from home will be installed on school computers. Where teachers are transferring files between their home and school, they must adhere to the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.

9     Monitoring and review

9.1      The coordination and planning of the COMPUTING curriculum are the responsibility of the subject leader, who also:

 

 

Governors are free to determine the renewal of this policy at any time, in line with changes in school systems or statutory guidance.