Computing is an integral part of everyday life and will play a critical role in our children’s futures. At New Milton Infant school, the teaching of computing is underpinned by our vision and values and 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.
In our school we use the ‘Teach Computing’ scheme which focusses on a progression of skills in computer science, information technology, digital literacy and online safety. Lessons support our children in the acquisition of knowledge, through the use of key concepts, terms, and vocabulary, providing opportunities to build a shared and consistent understanding. 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 through a carefully planned sequentially 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.
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.
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.
Our Computing scheme for the EYFS is centred around play-based, activities that focus on building children’s listening skills, curiosity and creativity and problem solving. Opportunities to develop computing skills will be offered as part of continuous provision. These include:
- Using digital cameras and ipads to take photos
- Exploring programmable floor robots using Beebots
- Considering how to use technology safely
- Exploring age appropriate programs on the ipads.
- Use technology to listen to music
- playing games on the interactive whiteboard
- exploring an old typewriter or other mechanical toys
- watching video clips
Allowing children the opportunity to continuously explore technology in a child-led way, means that not only will they develop a familiarity with equipment and vocabulary but they will have a strong start in Key Stage 1 Computing and all that it demands.
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. Pupils’ progress in computing is assessed throughout each unit and these combined assessments contribute to an overall view of how well children are achieving in computing. This assessment is communicated to parents each year in the mid-year report. the skills and embedded knowledge they have acquired, they will move forward to the next stage of their education into key stage 2.
Once children have mastered foundational knowledge in computing they will begin to show the application of this in a more in depth and independent way. At New Milton Infant School, we take a holistic approach to support all children to show mastery of learning at their own level. They will be able to confidently use information and communication technologies to support their future learning across all curriculum areas and within their wider lives.
Safer Internet Day 2022
On Tuesday 8th February 2022 will celebrated Safer Internet Day with the theme ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’. Using the internet safely and positively is one of the key messages that we promote within our school at all times and reinforce within computing lessons. We delivered internet safety assemblies to all the children and hope that parents will reinforce the message at home with your child. There are resources to support with this below.
Our Two Top Tips for Parents
- Monitor the games and sites your child visits to check for age-appropriate content and safety. This is particularly important if they have older siblings or family members who may be using games or sites not suitable for infant age children.
- Ask your child to tell you what they have learnt at school about how to stay safe online. What tips can they remember? What is okay and not okay to share online? What do they do if they come across something that worries them?