“Technology is best when it brings people together.” Matt Mullenweg
Computing is a fundamental part of the world we live in today. At St Chad's, we recognise that computers underpin today’s modern lifestyle and embrace the positive impact and educational benefits that can be achieved through appropriate use of the Internet and communication technologies. We provide children with the tools to not only be safe online but to also be digitally literate. All classes have access to a range of computing equipment and software to enhance their skills and improve their confidence using IT in the world around them. We are very lucky to have a class set of iPads to further enrich our computing curriculum, which are very popular with the children in all year groups. They enhance the learning in all areas and we have a wide range of cross-curricular apps and activities.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (Nursery/Reception) and the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum (Year 1/Year 2) provides us with a basis of the knowledge and skills that our children will learn throughout their time at St Chad's.
At St Chad’s, we use ‘The Purple Mash’ scheme of work to bring the Computing curriculum to life. Purple Mash is a whole curricular, online resource that supports teacher with challenging subject areas or topics, whilst encouraging children to love learning. It exposes children to a wide variety of digital tools, technological skills, and innovations. Children will be given their own log-in details for Purple Mash, which they will use to access all the resources they need for their computing learning.
Children begin their computing journey in the Early Years. The scheme for Early Years (Reception) shows opportunities for using Mini Mash or Purple Mash as part of the Early Years classroom to support children in working towards early learning goals. Children begin to recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools and they begin to select and use technology for particular purposes. Children are given opportunities Through Mini Mash to explore new apps, games and begin to programme during adult led sessions, in a purposeful way. We carefully guide children to complete an algorithm and then discuss ways they could 'debug' in line with the characteristics of effective learning. In their environment and continuous provision, children are given opportunities to:
- Explore and use a range of technology such as iPads, cameras, computers and technological toys
- Mark make with different programs
- Role play and make pretend electrical devices e.g. mobile phones, cameras, etc
- Research key words or topics with supervision
- Listen to music, rhymes, songs and stories
The national curriculum for computing is split into three discrete areas;
- Computer Science
- Digital Literacy
- Information Technology
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all children:
- 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
In Key Stage 1, children are taught to:
- 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
As well as learning about the use and function of devices, children at St Chad's learn about staying safe online. We teach online safety as an explicit part of our curriculum through the ‘National Online Safety resource’. This links with the Education for a Connected World framework. Children learn about:
- self-image and identity
- online relationships
- online reputation
- Online Bullying
- Health, wellbeing and lifestyle
- copyright and ownership
- privacy and security
- managing online information
We have a number of books in school that are a wonderful introduction to online safety and help to give children a simple and clear understanding of potential dangers when using the internet. Our children are taught how to report something that they may have seen that they find worrying, scary or upsetting using our 'stop, close, report' motto. Children learn about the importance of passwords and keeping personal information safe and private, trusting people and sources online, safe internet use and healthy screen time.
We run successful parent workshops around online safety each academic year to strengthen the learning of the children. Please refer to our materials regarding Staying Safe on the Internet by clicking here.