Computing Subject Policy
Computing Lead: Miss R Bond
Policy Date: October 2023
“A high-quality computing education equips pupils
to use computational thinking and
creativity to understand and change the world.”
(Computing Programme of Study 2014)
Computing plays a vital role in our lives, particularly in current times where technologies are constantly changing and evolving. A sound knowledge and understanding of ICT and Computing enables and prepares pupils to be active participants in a world where work, and other activities, are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. It is our duty as educators to ensure all children have access to an education in which such technologies are available and skills are taught and practised to a high standard.
The National Curriculum of September 2014 reflects the developments that have taken place over recent years; shifting focus from children simply learning to use computers, to becoming competent and confident analytical thinkers, computer programmers and understanding how technology works. The new curriculum encompasses three main strands of Computer Science, Information Technology, and Digital Literacy which will be outlined in this policy.
This policy will share:
- the requirements of the National Curriculum (2014)
- our approach to Computing in the Early Years Foundation Stage
- teaching and learning of Computing in our school
- the expectations for all members of the school community
- assessment information
- an overview of Online Safety
National Curriculum for Key Stage 1
The Computing Curriculum focuses on three broad areas, but it is important to understand that all these aspects are connected. It can be thought of as Computer Science providing the foundation, Information Communication Technology as the application of computing and Digital Literacy as the implications of computing.
Computer Science – Pupils are taught the principles of computational thinking; how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Information Technologies – Pupils are equipped with skills such as typing in order to communicate such as, to create documents, or to create digital art.
Digital Literacy – Pupils know how to safely and responsibly use technology, being able to mitigate online risks through a range of strategies such as safe searching. Pupils also understand the wider use and importance of computing and digital technologies in the world.
National Curriculum Aims
The National Curriculum for Computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
- can 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.
National Curriculum Objectives for the end of Key Stage 1
Understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
Create and debug simple programs
Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies
- Provide a relevant, challenging and enjoyable curriculum for all pupils.
- Develop pupils computational thinking skills which will support them in a wide range of subject areas and give pupils essential skills which will benefit them later in their working and personal lives.
- Enable pupils to gain a secure grasp of the national curriculum objectives for Computing and Online Safety in Key Stage 1.
- Provide pupils in EYFS with broad, play-based experiences of computing to prepare them for the KS1 curriculum.
- Respond to new developments in technology.
- Enhance and enrich learning in other areas of the curriculum through Computing and technology.
- Develop pupils' understanding of how to be safe and responsible digital citizens.
Early Years Computing Provision
In the foundation stage it is important that children are given a broad play-based experience of computing in a range of contexts including “off-line” activities and outdoor play. Our Early Years environment will enable pupils to explore Computing scenarios based on their experiences in the real world such as in role-play. Children gain confidence, control and language skills through collaborative play such as “programming” each other in play by giving instructions, creating rules and using directional language.
Technology devices and a range of age-appropriate software is used to support learning in EYFS such as phonics apps, digital drawing tools and programmable toys. Recording devices such as video, cameras and microphones also support children in developing communication skills.
Teaching & Learning
The teaching of new Computing skills will be discrete. Pupils are also given opportunities to apply and develop their computing skills across the curriculum such as through art, english and science. We are following a bespoke enquiry based curriculum with resources and planning supported by the National Centre for Computing Education. Lessons in computing, where possible, is linked to children direct experiences and the 'real world' which enables pupils to build on a foundation of prior knowledge, which we believe leads to a greater depth of knowledge.
Teachers ensure their planning covers the entire Computing curriculum and offers opportunities for the development and application of skills.
Planning, teaching and assessment will be centred around the needs of the pupils, and teachers will use a supporting document; Progression of Knowledge and Skills. Teachers will ensure the needs of those requiring further support or deeper enrichment is met by methods such as scaffolding, adaptations and challenges.
The school acknowledges the need to continually maintain, update and develop resources that will effectively deliver the objectives of the National Curriculum and support the use of technology across the school. The school has a continually updated wide range of resources.
- Laptops and iPads for teachers to enable planning, teaching and recording assessments.
- A set of iPads in each year group with age appropriate apps.
- Desktop computers each with a keyboard and mouse.
- Promethean screens in each classroom.
- Apple TV and screens in all learning areas including the staff room.
- Bluebots and a variety of Sphero devices for programming.
- A range of communication technologies such as recordable microphones.
- Purple Mash platform.
- Tapestry Online Learning Journey (Nursery & Reception)
- Wi-Fi throughout the school
- Google Workspace for Education for managing staff email accounts, cloud storage for documents etc.
Roles and Responsibilities
Head teacher & Governing Body
The Head Teacher and Governing body will provide support by:
- Ensuring teachers are able to deliver the curriculum by having access to appropriate training and resources.
- Providing opportunities for the Computing Leader to carry out the responsibilities of their role as outlined below.
- Reviewing policies relating to Computing,
- Ensuring compliance or legal requirements regarding computing, systems and data are adhered to.
- Ensuring all members of the school community are up to date with and have a clear understanding of Safeguarding in particular relation to online safety.
The Computing subject leader is responsible for the implementation of Computing across the school. Their role is to:
- Offer help and support to all members of staff in their teaching, planning, assessment and use of technology and resources
- Monitor classroom teaching, planning and assessment
- Monitor children’s progression in computing
- Manage computing budget
- Keep up-to-date with new technological, curriculum and pedagogical developments and communicate these to staff
- Lead or organise staff training
- Continue own professional development in Computing
- Keep parents and governors informed on the implementation of computing or any significant developments.
- Liaise with Cablers who manage and support the school’s networks, resources and systems.
- Help to maintain and update the school website/app.
Teachers are responsible for:
- Planning and teaching progressive, creative and engaging Computing lessons using resources available in school and the chosen schemes of work.
- Ensure pupil’s make progress by building on their skills and knowledge, providing additional support where it is needed or enrichment activities to deepen understanding so that all children can achieve the end of key stage objectives.
- Enhance learning in all curriculum subjects through the meaningful use of technology.
- Continuing their professional development of skills and knowledge of the Computing curriculum to ensure they can confidently deliver the curriculum.
- Support pupils understanding of online safety at an age appropriate level and report any concerns to the designated safeguarding lead.
- Supporting the Computing Leader in monitoring and assessment by completing the relevant planning and assessment grids.
- Ensure support staff have access to planning and have the knowledge and skills to be able to support and challenge pupils in completing tasks.
All school staff are responsible for:
- Supporting teachers and pupils with their use of technology.
- Using technology to enhance their role or to support/challenge pupils.
- Helping to ensure technology resources are looked after, reporting any damages/lost items as soon as possible.
- Supporting pupils' understanding of online safety at an age appropriate level and report any concerns to the designated safeguarding lead.
Parents and carers are responsible for taking steps to keep their child safe online. They are responsible for setting a good example in the use of technology and the internet, promoting guidelines set by themselves or the school when children are using technologies. Parents/Carers are responsible for informing the head teacher as soon as possible of any issues or concerns their child may have/be experiencing online.
We encourage the children to take responsibility for the technology resources in our school by following our careful use guidelines, showing respect and handling equipment in a gentle way. The children are expected to be responsible for their conduct online, being kind as they would in real life.
Technical support is provided by Cablers and they are responsible for maintaining access to the internet, server systems and general maintenance of systems and equipment. Cablers work closely with Essex County Council to ensure filtering systems are in place to ensure children are protected when online. All staff are aware they must report any filtering issues immediately. Cablers visit the school once per month and provide advice and support by email or telephone if needed.
Teachers will assess pupils at the end of each topic. Assessment in Computing should be process oriented, reviewing the way that knowledge and skills are applied purposefully by pupils to demonstrate their understanding of Computing concepts. As assessment is part of the learning process, it is essential that pupils are closely involved. Assessment can be broken down into two forms:
- Formative assessment – observations and discussions with pupils are carried out during and following tasks and activities to enable teachers to make judgements. This enables pupils and teachers the opportunity to reflect on the learning.
- Summative assessment – teachers review pupils' work. Independent tasks provide opportunities for pupils to demonstrate their skills and knowledge throughout the term. Pupil’s work may take the form of photographs of the pupil during a task, written work, printed digital work or digital files such as those saved in the pupil’s Purple Mash account.
The school understands the importance of ensuring all pupils are responsible and safe users of the Internet and other communication technologies. Online safety is taught in discrete lessons as part of the computing curriculum as well as embedded into our PSHE curriculum.
Online safety is also explored through assemblies and Safer Internet Day events in the Spring Term. We communicate online safety updates and information to parents/carers regularly such as in our newsletter.
We offer a safe online environment at our school through restricted and filtered internet access.