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Computing

Intent

At Northgate, our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils.  We recognise the significance of computers in the modern world and seek to equip our pupils with the skills and knowledge to flourish in all areas by utilising technology safely and effectively in their lives.  In computing at Northgate, we encourage children to be original, imaginative, creative and innovative in their understanding and application of skills in computing.

The 2014 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.

At Northgate, our computing curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and the Rising Stars Switched on Computing scheme of work. Through our Knowledge Organisers, we ensure our curriculum is taught in a logical progression, systematically and explicitly, building on previous learning and skills for future learning.

In our computing teaching, we aim to equip our pupils with the necessary skills and knowledge to flourish in an increasingly technology-based world. These skills include learning the fundamentals of programming and coding, understanding computational thinking by studying algorithms, and developing an awareness of computer networks and the internet and using them safely and effectively.

As children study computing, they are encouraged to be curious and creative. They are taught to create and refine their own original content, such as photographs, using digital tools as well as collecting, analysing and presenting data in imaginative and innovative ways. Our computing curriculum teaches pupils to use technology make the most of computers and the internet for communicating with one or many, and working together on projects.

As children study computing, they develop an appreciation of how it can be utilised to benefit our day to day lives as well as learning the science behind how computers work.

Implementation

At Northgate, we incorporate computing into all aspects of the curriculum by using them to research, create and present learning in all subjects.  Teachers create a positive attitude to computing learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards.

Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of computing involves the following;

  • Computing will be taught from the Rising Stars Switched on Computing scheme of work.  Teachers will create teaching resources in blocks and, where possible, link this learning to that term’s topic.  Knowledge organisers show progression in teaching and learning units and provide teachers with the key knowledge and vocabulary of each topic it that is taught in the previous and following year group.  Teachers can use this to recap and build on prior learning successfully.  This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding as well as support the retention of facts.  
  • Through our planning, children are given a range of knowledge and skills based activities.  Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources.  Teachers use precise questioning in class to test knowledge and skills.
  • Teachers use a range of formative assessment tools to check pupils’ understanding and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
  • Children increase their cultural capital through visits, visitors and themed days.  These specialist visits and visitors deliver high quality workshops to facilitate and support computing learning by building on the children’s prior knowledge and aspire them to think of their futures and their prospective career paths.

Impact

As children progress through Northgate they cover the full computing curriculum developing a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the ways in which we use computers and technology.  They learn to be computer literate through a wide variety of topic-based learning which includes sending emails, creating video blogs and coding their own text-based games.

Children deepen their understanding of computing through exciting and stimulating topics, where they can become fully immersed in their learning.  Their learning is linked with all areas of the curriculum as they create formulas and graphs for Maths, script and record plays for English and research and present information for foundation subjects.

Regular assessments such as quizzes, mind maps and projects ensure that knowledge and understanding are developing appropriately.  Children also learn about how fundamental computers are in all aspects of life including future careers, ensuring that all children are well prepared for their next steps in education and learning.

Northgate Primary School
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