Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us at Warren Park, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world.
At Warren Park, our Computing curriculum has been developed to equip our children with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through their Computing journey, children will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
Computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines. It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in. Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.
Through our logical and systematic progression of skills for Computer Science, Information Technology and Online Safety, all children are familiar with the knowledge and skills that will form strategies taught and applied later in their learning. Our vision is that all children have the opportunity to succeed, balancing new learning and rehearsal with regular opportunities to revisit skills and to ensure they are consolidated.
Our Computing learning journey is sequenced to ensure key skills, knowledge and understanding are embedded from the start of the school journey. In KS1, children understand what algorithms are, create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. Within KS2, children work in depth using PRIMM: a structured approach to teaching programming to Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make. This supports the progression of simple input, sequence, repetition, count controlled loops and indefinite loops.
- Predict: Students discuss a program and predict what it might do; they can draw or write out what they think will be the output.
- Run: Students run the program so that they can test their prediction and discuss in class.
- Investigate: The teacher provides a range of activities to explore the structure of the code, such as tracing, explaining, annotating, debugging, etc.
- Modify: Students edit the program to change its functionality via a sequence of increasingly more challenging exercises; the transfer of ownership moves from the code being ‘not mine’ to ‘partly mine’ as students gain confidence by extending the function of the code.
- Make: Students design a new program that uses the same structures, but solves a new problem (ie has a new function).
Teaching is supported through worked examples, PRIMM workbooks and high levels of questioning to promotes discussion between learners about how programs work, and the use of starter programs to encourage the reading of code before writing.
As part the development of Computing skills, Warren Park Primary provide supervised access to the Internet. We believe that the use of the web and email are worthwhile and essential tools for children as they grow up in the modern world. We undertake positive steps to deal with any possible undesirable sites, by providing a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate material.
- understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic and algorithms and data representation
- analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
Through a wide range of experiences and assessments, children have the chance to develop and demonstrate their increasing levels of skill in a safe computing environment.
- Children develop knowledge, understanding and life skills which will help them prepare for the ever-developing technological world that we live in.
- Children utilise and develop the core skills of English and Maths whilst progressing and developing their computer skills.
- Children understand the impact of computing on them and their community ensuring that their usage has a positive intent and is conducted safely.
In addition, teacher development is proactively planned to ensure that best practice is shared and is to the benefit of pupils and staff and parents alike.