At St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School, we understand the continually important role technology has on all of our lives. Technology is developing fast and plays a pivotal part in students' current and future learning both at school and at home. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and the broad curriculum we offer reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways and we also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful users of technology. We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. Children regularly use technology such as laptops and Ipads to enhance their learning in a range of lessons. We aim for our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
At St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School, we begin our computing journey in EYFS, where children are taught how to correctly use technology such as IPADS. IPADS are used to enhance learning by scanning QR codes, to independently access material provided by staff. Alongside this, everyday use of technology is encouraged in role play activities. This prepares children for more structured computing lessons in KS1 and KS2. In KS1 & KS2 we follow the Teach Computing scheme for delivering weekly, structured Computing lessons. The Teach Computing Curriculum uses the National Centre for Computing Education’s computing taxonomy to ensure comprehensive coverage of the subject. Each year follows the same four core modules, which are progressively developed and enhanced as a child journeys through the school. The core modules are:
- Computer systems and networks — Understand what a computer is, and how its constituent parts function together as a whole. Understand how networks can be used to retrieve and share information, and how they come with associated risks
- Creating media — Select and create a range of media including text, images, sounds, and video (Two Creating Media modules are taught)
- Programming — Create software to allow computers to solve problems (Two programming modules are taught)
- Data and information — Understand how data is stored, organised, and used to represent real-world artefacts and scenarios
In these four modules there are a number of key skills which are used throughout, such as being able to:
- Comprehend, design, create, and evaluate algorithms
- Understand the activities involved in planning, creating, and evaluating computing artefacts
- Use software tools to support computing work
- Understand how individuals, systems, and society as a whole interact with computer systems
- Understand risks when using technology, and how to protect individuals and systems.
The Teach Computing Scheme contains structured lesson plans for each unit taught in each class throughout the year. Teaching staff are guided by the detailed ‘Teach Computing’ lesson plans, which provide engaging and challenging lessons for all children, however teachers are also encouraged to adapt and modify lessons accordingly. Alongside structured computing lessons, St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School continually highlights the importance for our pupils to stay safe when using technology, especially when being online. Each year we take part in Internet Safety Day in association with UK Safer Internet Centre. During the day our pupils take part in a number of sessions (delivered by teachers and the local police) looking at why it is important to be safe online and how best to keep you and others safe when online.
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel the way we implement computing helps children realise the need for the right balance and one they can continue to build on in their next stage of education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum.