Computing is an integral part of everyday life and will play a critical role in our children’s futures. At New Milton Infant school we strive to provide the starting point for the fundamental communication and technological skills they will develop throughout education and life. Teachers will have ambitious expectations for all learners, whatever their starting point, whilst meeting the needs of all children.
Each child will be confident in making safe choices when using the internet. We strive to ensure that no child will feel threatened or unsafe when online at home or in school. They will learn the necessary precautions to take and know where to seek help. This will allow them to become digitally literate so they are able to express themselves and their ideas respectfully through technology.
The children will begin to explore the key concepts of computer science where they will be taught about how digital systems work. They will aim to create and debug basic algorithms whilst reasoning logically to predict the behaviour of simple programmes.
Through fun and engaging topics, the children will use information technology across the curriculum. A variety of applications and programmes will enhance learning in lessons. Tablets, laptops, cameras and microphones are available to enrich children’s learning and incorporate technology into their everyday lives. This will contribute to the children’s enjoyment of using information technology and their ability to tackle all applications with a sense of achievement and purpose. In this way we aim to achieve the National Curriculum’s purpose of providing ‘A high-quality computing education [that] equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world’ (DfE, 2014).
All teachers at New Milton Infant School will strive to ensure that children have the opportunity to use technology to enhance their learning in all subject areas. Although computing will be taught discretely, in order for children to build the skills they need to become competent users of technology, it will also be taught in a cross curricular approach. For example, the children will design Christmas wrapping paper on the computer but it will be a product they have designed and evaluated therefore linking to Design and Technology.
Throughout our school we will teach children to develop ‘computational thinking’. For example, pupils can think about the steps involved in getting dressed for winter, decomposing the overall task into constituent tasks and then sequencing the instructions (writing an algorithm). Collaboration and communication are key skills linked to becoming a successful computational thinker. Therefore, many of the tasks designed require children to work in pairs or groups. This means the children use and develop the problem solving approaches and computational thinking that underpin computing.
In KS1, computing at New Milton Infant School is taught in a three-way rotation. A teacher led group will explore one main curriculum objective and, through on-going assessment, the teacher will be able to meet the individual learners’ needs. Independence is a key skill we wish all children to develop; therefore, another group will independently apply previously taught skills on the device provided. Although the use of technological equipment is important for children to become fluent users, we also like to take an ‘unplugged’ approach to teaching computing. The final group in the rotation will have a task without the use of equipment. These activities away from devices and computers are crucial to young children’s learning in computing. They help them understand abstract concepts and deepen learning.
For all children, teachers will seek to remove barriers to learning. We use formative assessment information alongside knowledge of the child’s special educational needs to plan lessons that address potential areas of difficulty. Children are given the scaffolding and support they need to give them the best opportunity for progression. For children with special educational needs, this may include visual or audio instruction prompts to help them achieve their goal with independence. Teachers and support staff will pre-teach skills and vocabulary for those children whom it may benefit. Throughout school and across subjects various technological resources are used to support children, for example, large colour coded keyboards, audio devices and apps to enhance learning. Through doing the above, all children have the opportunity to become successful with their computing journey.
We aspire for all our pupils to be confident, proficient and creative users of information and communication technology. They will be able to use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of simple programs and use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content. Most importantly, they will be able to use technology respectfully and safely, keep personal information private and know where to go for help and support if they have concerns about any aspect of on-line safety. Through the skills and knowledge they have acquired, they will move forward to the next stage of their education able to confidently use information and communication technologies to support their future learning across all curriculum areas and within their wider lives.