When planning and teaching computing at Holy Innocents’ Catholic Primary School, we believe that it is an essential part of the curriculum. It is a subject that not only stands alone but is an integral part of all teaching and learning. Computing, in general, is a significant part of everyone’s daily life and our children should be at the forefront of new technology, with a thirst for learning and improving their technological skills. The curriculum we follow, Purple Mash, means that our children are not being disadvantaged as they are consistently exposed to robust and progressive learning. Computing within Holy Innocents' can, therefore, provide a wealth of learning opportunities and transferable skills taught in the form of 'computational thinking' in order to provide them essential knowledge that will enable them to participate effectively and safely in the digital world beyond our school.
In Early Years, children will be working towards their Early Learning Goal ‘understanding of the world’ - ‘children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes’. Our Early Years provision means that children can be working towards this ELG throughout the year during their role play.
In Key Stage 1 the children will learn how to create folders to save their work on Purple Mash which gives them ownership of their own work. Through this, they will also gain an understanding of what should be shared with others and how to do this safely. In Year 2, they will broaden their experiences of online safety to sending and receiving emails.
Children will begin to understand what algorithms are and will learn how to design and explain a program that they have created. By the end of Year 2, children will also learn how to debug their programs and explain how to fix problems.
In Year 1, children will be exposed to spreadsheets for their first time. They will learn how to label spreadsheets and use the cells to record data. In Year 2, they will build on their knowledge and begin to implement basic formula to calculate data.
In KS1 there are lots of opportunities for the children to use the laptops and class technology across the curriculum. Purple Mash can support children with their understanding of Maths, English and Science especially through comprehensive programs designed to match the National Curriculum.
It is essential that children are provided with the opportunity to extend and practise their computing skills in real world contexts. Our pupils are fortunate to have the possibility to attend after school clubs such as Minecraft club and coding club where they are supported by external technicians and computing experts who provide tailored education for our children. These clubs have been successful in encouraging children from all age groups to take part in extra-curricular activities as well as competitions.
At the beginning of KS1, children will focus on what information is safe and reliable. They will learn how to create passwords to keep themselves safe online and learn how to share blogs and their private lives carefully. By the end of Year 6, children will have the opportunity to apply their online safety knowledge by creating a game to teach online safety rules.
In Year 3, children will use coding programmes on Purple Mash to extend their knowledge of algorithms. This begins by using code to debug programs, create variables and set running programs using algorithmic knowledge. By the end of Year 6, children should be able to adapt an existing program to make it unique to their requirements.
At the beginning of KS2, children will extend their knowledge of formulae in spreadsheets to help work out solutions to problems. By the end of KS2, children should have developed their skills so that they can use spreadsheets to create action plans and use spreadsheets for real-life situations.
By the time children enter KS2, they should become more competent in accessing technology for themselves so that they can support and challenge their own learning. For instance, they can support their foundation subject knowledge through research on laptops, can use the interactive whiteboard to demonstrate their learning and can become sufficient in producing work in other formats.
We use the Purple Mash assessment spreadsheet that was designed to closely match the Purple Mash curriculum. After each unit teachers can assess pupils as emerging, expected or exceeding depending on how well they understood the tasks. Ongoing formative assessment is used by teachers so that they can target children who need extra support as well as provide extension tasks for more able children. At the end of the year, the assessment spreadsheet will provide teachers with an accurate overview for each child so that a final summative assessment of each child’s computing ability can be made.
After the implementation of our Purple Mash curriculum, children at Holy Innocents’ will be digitally literate and will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and, most importantly, safely. The biggest impact we desire from teaching our curriculum is for children to understand how to keep themselves safe online and how to navigate through the internet with a deep understanding of the consequences of their actions. As children become more confident in their abilities in Computing throughout each year, they will also become more independent and key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation can become second nature.